Discussion Panels with prolific Irish, British and American filmmakers

Márta 25th 2017

Dingle International Film Festival (Dingle IFF) is proud to present a brand new event this year—Pow-Wow is bringing together professional industry leaders from Ireland and abroad to discuss their careers, and will be held in The Blasket Centre on March 25th 2017. Pow-Wow provides a unique and inspiring opportunity for enterprising filmmakers to gain more insight and knowledge about the global film and television industry. The guest speakers are some of the best in the business and will present their challenges and successes in film and television for this unmissable event.

The main panel discussions of this action-packed day are:

·        “Masterglass” with Todd Komarnicki

·        The Rise of American Television

·        Independent Journeys

·        Small Talk

·        “Three Great Scenes” with Jonathan Coleman


1) Masterglass with Todd Komarnicki and Jonathan Coleman

Masterglass is a discussion with prolific film writer, producer and director Todd Komarnicki, and Jonathan Coleman, Vice President of Guy Walks into a Bar, the production company founded by Todd Komarnicki.

In 2016, Todd Komarnicki wrote the Oscar® nominated film SULLY, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks. SULLY opened at #1 in the box office to rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film went on to earn over $240 million worldwide. For his biographical retelling, Komarnicki was nominated for a Satellite Award for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’.

Komarnicki has a long varied career working on many big budget productions:

  • He wrote and directed the Dutch/American production RESISTANCE (2003), a World War 2 epic drama, starring Bill Paxton, and Primetime Emmy-winning actress Julie Ormond.
  • He wrote the intense psychological thriller PERFECT STRANGER (2007), directed by James Foley, and starring Bruce Willis and Oscar-winner Halle Berry.
  • As president and founder of the production company, Guy Walks Into A Bar, Komarnicki produced the box office smash Christmas comedy ELF (2003), starring Will Ferrell, and MEET DAVE (2008), starring Eddie Murphy.
  • His most recent projects are THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN, starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn (and with shots on location in Co. Wicklow); and THE GREATEST GIFT, the true story behind the film classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. He has also co-written THE TRAINER, which will star Liam Neeson and be directed by Neil Jordan, due for release in 2018.

Jonathan Coleman has worked for 9 years to support and develop the company’s film and television projects, including:

  • SULLY (2016), directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks.
  • THE GREATEST GIFT, with Gulfstream Productions.
  • The forthcoming television projects MERCURY 13, starring Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain; and ORACLE YEAR, with Tomorrow Studios.

Jonathan is a graduate of Wheaton College where he studied Film and created several award winning shorts. In addition to his film and television work, Jonathan is an accomplished Voiceover Artist, producing work for IMAX Corporation, Vanderbilt University, Kickstarter, and many others.

This Masterglass will be chaired by Audrey O’ Reilly. Audrey is the director of short films CHICKEN, WAIT, and IN LOVING MEMORY, which was nominated for ‘Best Short Film’ at the IFTA Awards in 2000, and won the Prix du Public at the prestigious Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival. She has a proud association with the Dingle IFF and is a selector for this year’s films. She is currently writing the screenplay for the feature film LOCKERBIE, slated to be directed by the Oscar-nominated Jim Sheridan.  


2) The Rise of American Television

This panel is looking at popular TV shows, and giving audience members guidance from the people that worked on them. The exciting and diverse panel includes:

  • Michael Uppendahl, a critically acclaimed director of many episodes of some of the most popular American television shows of all time. These include: MAD MEN (2007-2015), AMERICAN HORROR STORY (2011—), RAY DONOVAN (2013—), FARGO (2014—) and LEGION (2017).
  • Marc Flanagan, who won a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for his work on TRACEY TAKES ON NEW YORK (1993). He was also nominated for an impressive ten Emmy awards for writing on THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW (1987-1990), winning one in 1989 and one in 1990.
  • Leslie Tolan, who was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her editing on THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW (1992-1998).
  • Daphne Pollon, who wrote four episodes of the long-running American sitcom, MURPHY BROWN (1988-1998). She also was an executive producer on the Jason Alexander sitcom, LISTEN UP (2004-2005).

The chair of The Rise of American Television is Mary Kate O Flanagan, a screenwriting consultant in the film and television industry. She was a speaker on screenwriting at The London Screenwriter’s Festival and The Galway Film Fleadh, and runs workshops all over the world. Her future projects include writing an animated adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s book HEART OF DARKNESS.


3) Independent Journeys

Dingle IFF has invited a number of film directors and producers onto this special panel, where they will share their journey towards realising their film, from the small concept to the big screen. The panel includes:

  • Cass Warner, founder and president of Warner Sisters, and the granddaughter of Harry Warner, the founder of one of the biggest film production companies in the world, Warner Bros.  Cass Warner directed and produced HOPPER: IN HIS OWN WORDS (2012), an insightful documentary on the Oscar-nominated actor, Dennis Hopper, which will be screening at the festival.
  • Stephen Cookson, director of STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY, and Peter Keegan, producer of STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY, will speak at this event, and will also be screening their movie at the festival, which stars legendary English actor Timothy Spall.
  • Tom Ryan and Fionn Greger. Tom Ryan is the director, and Fionn Greger is the producer of the independent movie TWICE SHY, which will be screening at the festival. TWICE SHY stars several popular Irish actors, including Ardal O’Hanlon, Pat Shortt and Paul Ronan.
  • David Noel Bourke, director and writer of BAKERMAN, which is screening in St James’ Church on Friday 24th March. David will also attend a Q & A after that screening. An efficient writer, director, and editor, David has made three independent feature films—LAST EXIT (2003), NO RIGHT TURN (2009), and BAKERMAN (2016). BAKERMAN was screened at CPH:PIX 2016, the biggest film festival in Denmark.

Independent Journeys is chaired by Gerard Stembridge, who wrote ORDINARY DECENT CRIMINAL (2003), which starred Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Christoph Waltz. He also wrote and directed GUILTTRIP (1995), ALARM (2008), and ABOUT ADAM (2000), which was nominated for ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Writer’ and ‘Best Picture’ at the IFTA Awards. He has written for television, theatre and he is well-known for his radio work with Dermot Morgan. He is also a selector for Dingle IFF 2017.


4) Small Talk:

The makers of some of the most popular short films here in Ireland, and are now gaining amazing acclaim abroad, Paddy Slattery and Tristan Heanue will be guest speakers for this panel after a successful Crowdfunding campaign for their own feature film.

  • Paddy Slattery is a filmmaker and founder of Stand Mantra Productions. All his short films have been screened at the Dingle IFF over the years, including SKUNKY DOG, which was nominated for ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ at the 2015 IFTA Awards.
  • Tristan Heanue is a filmmaker and actor, whose credits include the American television series GAME OF THRONES in 2016, and VIKINGS in 2016 and 2017. He directed his first short film, TODAY, in 2015 and won the award for ‘Best First Short Drama’ at the Galway Film Fleadh that year.
  • Paddy Slattery and Tristan Heanue are currently in production on their first feature film, THE BROKEN LAWS OF ATTRACTION (2017).

The chair of the SMALL TALK discussion panel is Michael Ryan, who is on the board of directors of Dingle IFF. In 1980, Ryan and J&M Entertainment were founding members of the American Film Association (AFMA) – later to be renamed Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), and Ryan is currently chairman of this organisation. He helped produce over 200 movies, including WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993), THE ENGLISH PICTURE (1996), and THE GENERAL (1998) starring Brendan Gleeson. Ryan also co-found GFM Films, which is in production on the family animation film BLAZING SAMURAI (2017), featuring the voice talent of Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson and Ricky Gervais.


5) Three Great Scenes with Jonathan Coleman

This will be a presentation on screen development with JONATHAN COLEMAN, who is also attended the ‘Masterglass” with Todd Komarnicki. Vice President of Guy Walks into a Bar, the production company founded by Todd Komarnicki. Three Great Scenes refers to a quote from one of the greatest directors in film history, Howard Hawks—“A great film has three great scenes, and no bad ones.”

As well as providing exclusive insider information, our overseas guest speakers will also be afforded the chance to see and experience Ireland’s most beautiful Gaeltacht areas, and will further promote rural Ireland as a working destination.

With an incredible line-up of experts and a diverse selection of discussions, Pow-Wow at Dingle IFF 2017 is the perfect event to stimulate growth in the Irish film and television industry.

The Dingle International Film Festival will run March 23-26, 2017. Housed within this Gaeltacht area, Dingle IFF is proud to promote the Irish language and is the only festival offering an award for Irish Script writing with its Físín event. Dingle is home to many filmmakers, one of Ireland’s only independent cinemas, is a known film location (Star Wars, Ryan’s Daughter, Far and Away) and a major tourist destination making it the perfect home for our festival.

For information on how to book tickets and other events at Dingle IFF, visit Your Festival Pass 

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