DIVERSE STORIES | DIVERSE STORYTELLING
CATALYST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL focuses exclusively on films that address under-representation on screen and behind the camera; gender equality, diversity and inclusion are core to our programming.

*PLEASE READ FULL CRITERIA, RULES AND TERMS BEFORE SUBMITTING*

The Festival Ambassador is Ruth Negga who noted in her opening address in 2021:

“I feel that the Catalyst International Film Festival can and will act as a compass, a beacon, a buoyant celebration of the multitude of exciting stories that are brimming in modern Ireland.”

We prioritise stories and storytellers who may struggle for visibility in the film industry and in mainstream film festivals. We believe that talent is plentiful but opportunities can be limited. Catalyst films will entertain and engage audiences - but they will also challenge and inspire.

Panel discussions, workshops, interviews, Q&A and special events will be an integral part of Catalyst International Film Festival. This is a place where diverse filmmakers, emerging and more established, can connect and maybe even collaborate. It is also the place where diversity is welcomed, not merely accommodated.

Key issues of the day will be enthusiastically debated with filmmakers, guest speakers, industry personnel and audience members. We anticipate not only a festival of films but also of ideas and opinions. We believe that there are clear cultural benefits created by engaging with diverse films and filmmakers.

Mindful of the power of film to engage and challenge, Catalyst International Film Festival will provide thought provoking cinema and proactive debate. We seek to generate new audiences and discussion around gender equality, diversity and inclusion and the practice of that by individual filmmakers. Our targeted festival guests will themselves speak to diversity whether in the vision, themes and characters explored in their films (content) and/or in the diversity of their personnel and crew (behind camera). Catalyst aims to generate new audiences for film culture and present a thought provoking and innovative programme.

Catalyst International Film Festival is also keen to engage with emerging filmmakers, ‘new’ rather than inevitably ‘young’, in order to broaden the horizons of potential future filmmakers and audience members. Filmmaking can be enriching as an art form, in and of itself; new technology has democratised filmmaking to some extent and we hope to capitalise on that in time.

****************************

FESTIVAL 2022

Dr Susan Liddy, Festival Founder Director said: “Catalyst International Film Festival has enjoyed presenting a hybrid version of the festival to the audience in Limerick and to the online audience all over Ireland. This is truly a unique festival that celebrates diversity in film making and our 3rd edition of the festival presented a strong programme both in the film programme and our industry events.”

PANELS AND PANELISTS 2022:

VOICES FROM THE EDGE - moderated by Dr. Zelie Asava, this panel explored the contribution and challenges facing diverse Irish and Irish-based artists to the cultural life of Irish society across a range of art forms including film, television and music. Panelists included Owen Alfred, Sandrine ndahiro, Corinne Gibbons and Shane Joyce

FOCUS ON THE SCRIPT AND SCREENWRITING AWARD - Jennifer Davidson (Chair WGI), together with the five screenplay finalists discussed screenwriting, inclusion and foreign a path in the industry. In conversation with Dr. Susan Liddy

RAISING FILMS IRELAND - Interactive discussion with Raising Films Ireland about what can be done to create a fairer and more inclusive industry. Panelists included Ailish Bracken, Phil Shanahan, Lesley Conroy with moderation by Dr. Susan Liddy

AMPLIYING TRAVELLER VOICES - How can filmmaking and music offer a platform to ethnic minorities like the Travelling community to share perspectives and aspects of their culture? This panel included traveller artist and supporters. Martina Durac moderated a panel with WILLZEE, Dr. Sindy Joyce

AWARD WINNERS IN 2022 were:

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM - DAVEY'S LULLABY - Adam Deyoe (director/writer) US

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - IN THE SILENCE OF ABSSYAL SEA - Juliette Klincke (director/writer) Belgium

BEST IRISH FILM - SCRAP - JAMIE O'ROURKE (director/writer) Ireland

SHORT SCREENPLAY AWARD - WINNER: PEDIMENT by DEREK UGOCHUKWU
RUNNER UP: 3 DOWN by DENISE DEEGAN

JURY SPECIAL MENTION AWARD - CLEANER - Edwin Mullane (director) & Lesley Conroy (writer) Ireland

SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL - LAMB - Polllyanna Popermajer (director) & Alma Johansson (writer) Sweden

AUDIENCE AWARD - ACT OF GOD - Spencer Cook & Parker Smith (directors/writers) US

EMERGING FILMAKER - UNDERGROUND EIRE - Corinne Gibbons & Shane Joyce (directors) Ireland

JURY PANEL 2022:

The Catalyst Jury Panel for 2022 were Ala Buisir, Fiona Kinsella, Colm Bairead, Rebecca Daly, Liz Gill, Carl Austin and Vanessa Gildea. The festival team would like to thank the Jury, the film makers, funders sponsors and the audience who supported the 2022 edition of the festival.

****************************

FESTIVAL 2021:

AWARDS WINNERS IN 2021 were:

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - WINNER - KINDLING (USA)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - WINNER - ARMOUR OFF (IRL)

BEST IRISH SHORT - WINNER - PADDY (IRL)

JURY SPECIAL MENTION AWARD - STRAY (USA)

SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL AWARD - TO ALL MY DARLINGS (IRL)

FILM JURY PANEL:

Barry Dignam, Niall McKay, Hannah Quinn, Cathy Brady, Dr Zélie Asava, Irina Maldea

Best Short Screenplay: WINNER– Focail Baile Croí (Katie McNeice)

RUNNER UP – Butterfly Mountain (Helen Adams)

SPECIAL MENTION – High Tea (Miriam Devitt)

SCREENPLAY JURY PANEL::

Mark O’Halloran, Juanita Wilson, Ailbhe Keogan, Paddy Slattery

****************************

FESTIVAL 2020:

AWARDS WINNERS IN 2020 were:

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - WINNER - DAYS OF RAGE
Runner Up - Sycamore

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - WINNER - WELCOME TO A BRIGHT WHITE LIMBO
Runner Up - The Grass Ceiling

BEST IRISH SHORT - WINNER - MATCH
Runner Up - The Girl at the End of the Garden

JURY SPECIAL MENTION AWARD - THE GRASS CEILING

SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL AWARD - IN ORBIT and SPREAD THE WINGS (Joint Award)

JURY PANEL: Marissa Aroy, Barry Dignam, Timara Lawless

In the current climate under the impact of COVID-19, we are planning for an in person event but we acknowledge that the festival may be online or in a hybrid version. We will alway follow government guidelines for the safety of attendees.

FILM AWARDS 2023

- Best Irish Short Film
- Best International Short Film
- Best Documentary Short Film 

- Spirit of the Festival Award
- Jury Special Mention Award
- Breakthrough Award
- Short Screenplay Award
- Spirit of the Festival
- Audience Award

Spirit of the Festival is awarded to a film, or films, that captivate us while effectively articulating the themes and characters that our festival seeks to champion in productions that support gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Breakthrough Award is for emerging/first-time/student film makers.

FILMS:
1. Short films must not run longer than 20 minutes including titles and credits. Feature films must be over 60 minutes long including titles and credits.
2. Only films submitted through FilmFreeway can be considered by Catalyst IFF. Applications should include a brief synopsis (20-30 words) and two high res images.
3. All submissions must complete the section indicating which diversity criteria your film has met. See the section below on Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Standards. If films are submitted without this information they will not be considered and the application fee will not be refunded.
4. Catalyst IFF does not pay screening fees for any of the films submitted or selected.
5. Submission Deadline Friday 3rd February 2023. All films must be submitted in final form and ready for screening.
6. Film Submission: EARLY BIRD - until Friday, 21st October 2022.
7. Only films completed after January 2021 can be considered.
8. Student films must be submitted with a valid Student I.D. in order to avail of the reduced submission fee.
9. If the film is not in the English language it must have English subtitles.
10. Music and image rights must be cleared for all films.
11. Selected submissions extracts can be included in all promotional material and publicity. (Extracts limited to and not exceeding 1 min)
12. Entry fees are non-refundable.
13.By submitting to Catalyst International FF you are accepting all the festival regulations and procedures.
14. Decisions of the Catalyst IFF Jury and Judges is final
15. The festival will liaise with the filmmaker regarding screening formats after final decisions have been taken
16. Selected finalists will be individually notified and a list will be on the website and social media platforms We regret we cannot provide individual feedback on your submission.

CRITERIA:
For inclusion in the Catalyst International Film Festival films will need to satisfy a number of criteria in order to demonstrate how content and personnel contribute to diversity.

Films must demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and meet the criteria in the following areas:

A) On-screen
AND
B) creative leadership.

A) On-screen representation, themes and narratives: if your film has a lead character/s or at least two secondary character/s in the underrepresented group list OR has a storyline or subject matter about an underrepresented character/s or group it qualifies for consideration for the festival.

AND

B) Behind the Camera Representation: If at least one member of your film’s key creative team – writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor - is on the underrepresented group list OR two or more crew member it qualifies for consideration for the festival.

The festival seeks to address underrepresentation in the following areas:

· Gender
· Social and economic exclusion
· Race
· Disability
· Age
· Sexual Orientation

Please note this is not a definitive list and we would welcome queries about films that address under-representation in areas not mentioned here.

SHORT SCREENPLAY AWARD 2023 In association with the Writers Guild of Ireland (WGI)

1. All scripts to be submitted via FilmFreeway in the English or Irish language, maximum 10 pages. Longer scripts will be disqualified.
2. The story, themes and/or characters should reflect the ethos of Catalyst International Film Festival which champions under-represented groups and supports gender equality, diversity and inclusion.
3. Scripts that are in production or under option are not eligible. The script will be an original work of the author(s). Only screenplays will be accepted.
4. Works written by another author are not eligible. A script adapted from your own work is eligible if you currently retain the rights.
5. Script revisions must be entered as a new submission and pay a new fee.
6. Screenwriter must be 18 years or older on date of submission.
7. Decisions of the Judges are final and confidential.
8. Winners will be selected from a short list decided by an industry panel. Finalists will be notified and winners will be announced on our website.
9. Unfortunately, the festival is unable to provide individual feedback on your submission.

SCREENPLAY AWARD PRIZES:
Winner
- Cash Prize of €1,500
- Membership of Writers Guild of Ireland (WGI) for one year
- Book Voucher – Value €150 (Kindly sponsored by WGI)
- Catalyst Trophy
Runner Up
- Cash Prize of €500
- Membership of Writers Guild of Ireland (WGI) for one year
- Catalyst Trophy
Special Mention (If decided by Jury)
- Membership of Writers Guild of Ireland (WGI) for one year
- Catalyst Trophy

**The festival does not issue waivers, please do not email the festival asking for waivers.

Updated August 2022

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Nino Tropiano

    A lovely festival, organized with passion

    May 2022
  • Adam Deyoe

    A festival with a purpose! I am over the moon to have my film "Davey's Lullaby" win best international short! Unfortunately, I could not attend but the communication from the staff made me feel like I was (almost) there. And thank you for mailing me the beautiful trophy! I can't thank you all enough. Wonderful work everyone and so inspiring! Looking forward to next year! I better get to making another film.

    April 2022
  • Mel Piper

    It was a pleasure having our German-Irish-Welsh-Dutch-Belgian short film Shadow Players participate in this year's edition of Catalyst International Film Festival - a brilliant, nurturing space for indie filmmakers and their works. Thank you so much for having us!

    April 2022
  • I had such a fun time at Catalyst. Everyone was so inviting and hospitable. I can't thank the team enough for allowing me to be a part of it this year. I already can't wait to see what next year brings.

    April 2022
  • Jonathan Hughes

    A fab festival with such a great vision behind it. Really well managed and created a great buzz and wonderful online community around their festival this year. Can't wait to screen with them again.

    June 2021
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Jonathan. The Catalyst team was delighted to have you! We enjoyed screening 'Operator' and wish you well with its festival run. Look forward to welcoming you back soon! Susan