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18-Year Old Aoife Awarded Third Place At Ireland’s Young Filmmaker Of The Year

18-year-old Aoife Rees from Killinick, Wexford, has come third place at the prestigious Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2022…

Fresh International Film Festival took to TV screens as it celebrated its 26th anniversary of giving young filmmakers a platform to shine. Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Senior Awards 2022 was broadcast on RTE 2 television, hosted by presenter and documentary filmmaker Stephen Byrne and presenter and musician Gemma Bradley. 

Aoife came third place at Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2022 for her film ‘A Sad Excuse for a Teenage Girl’ – a coming of age story about Ellie who is about to turn 18 but feels overwhelmed by the thought. To try and combat it, she runs away with her childhood best friend (who happens to be a teddy) but in that she meets a new friend who shows her that in perspective, things aren’t really that bad.

Speaking about her win to Wexford Weekly, Aoife said:

“Honestly, it’s still sinking in! I’m so honoured and grateful for this award, since there was so many brilliant entries this year and not to mention the high standard of them all!

I couldn’t be more grateful for Fresh Film Festival for continuing their festival and inspiring so many young people to make films! I’m just so thrilled to be part of it all. So a huge thank you to everyone at Fresh film festival,” Aoife told Wexford Weekly.

14.04.22 Winner – IrelandÕs Young Filmmaker of the Year 2022 – Sean Treacy for the film ÔThe Least I Can DoÕ (Wicklow), 3rd place, Aoife Rees, WexfordÔA Sad Excuse for a Teenage Girl’ and 2nd place, Max Hendrickson (Dublin), ÔThe Oubliette’, at the 26th Annual Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2022, presented by Fresh International Film Festival. The big night celebrates all the amazing work from young creatives who took part in the Fresh International Film Festival. The festival invited young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 12 to 18 years, to create, exhibit, and share films. Find out more at: Picture: Alan Place

18-year-old Seán Treacy from Ashford, Co. Wicklow, won 1st place at Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2022 for his film ‘The Least I Can Do’. A film about a naive teen David, who witnesses his best friend inappropriately engage with a girl at a party. He falls into a moralistic crisis as he reconsiders the values of his friends while also confronting the overwhelming guilt of his inaction.

2nd prize was awarded to Max Hendrickson, aged 16 from Dublin, for his film ‘The Oubliette’ – a film about a man who moves into a small apartment in a big city, and notices strange and mysterious occurrences.

The award for Best Group went to Emerging Limerick Filmmakers for ‘Asset of Teeth’, and ‘Heart of Land’ co-directed by Conall Flynn and Noah Finneran of Coláiste Iognaid Galway were dubbed Best School.

Other entries received Highly Commended Awards on the day, including Nellie Warren from Dublin for Direction for her film ‘How I Wonder’, Dylan Michael for Visual Innovation for ‘Faces’, and Kevin Meggs from Dublin for best Screenplay on ‘Sunday’.

Ireland’s Junior Young Filmmaker of the year 2022 was announced asLucy and Ruby Hand with LYCS Youth Work Programme James Joyce Street, Dublin, for their film ‘Litter Picker’.

The International winner was Ava Bounds from the UK, for her film ‘Beth’.

In addition, a number of specialist awards were presented for the Seniors including the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award, the RTE Factual Award, Radharc Trust Awards, and best animation in addition to the international awards.

About Fresh Film Festival

Now in its 26th year, Fresh Film encourages young people to make films by hosting an annual international film festival for young people, presenting Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, acting as an advocate for young filmmakers and promoting their work worldwide. 

Fresh International Film Festival invites young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 7 to 18 years, to create, exhibit and share films. The festival provides an opportunity for these young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema and tv screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year.

This year, the Fresh Film Festival received over 1400 films, from 82 countries.

Fresh Film runs a number of initiatives throughout the year and also distributes Irish films made by young people to festivals all over the world. 

Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards is now available for watch on the RTÉ Player.

Further details are available from

Featured images: Alan Place

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