Saoirse Movie Launch
The school is delighted and proud to launch “Saoirse”, an Irish language short film produced by the students of 6th class in Gaelscoil Philib Barún in Tramore, Co. Waterford in Ireland. The film was shot at various locations around Tramore from March-May 2021 and the movie’s name, which is pronounced “Seer-sha”, is the Irish word for Freedom.
The concept for the film is rooted in Irish folklore and the stories of the fairies in Ireland’s heritage. It explores the temptation of wealth to those that live a comfortable but basic lifestyle. The lure of wealth is too great to refuse for Saoirse (the main character), who wishes for more at the expense of all that she had once viewed as hardship. However, she soon comes to realise that her ordinary, daily life was beautiful just as it was.
The film stars a selection of students from 6th class, with many more being involved in the filming, editing and overall production. The film was written and directed by their teacher, Ben MacCaoilte.
The film project was devised with two main goals in mind. Firstly, to submit an entry to the All-Ireland School Theatre Festival competition in 2021 and secondly, to align the film making process with the school’s developing STEAM programme. The outdoor nature of the filming process was also a welcome addition to an otherwise very different school life due to Covid-19.
Gaelscoil Philib Barún is developing a comprehensive set of learning programmes centred around STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Thanks to a recent donation by Red Hat, a multinational software company with a base in Waterford, the school was able to purchase a selection of modern digital media equipment that was used to produce this film.
As a result, the students were able to explore Ireland’s heritage through film while being able to experience digital media, script writing, storyboarding, acting, sound engineering, lighting, filming, editing, sequencing and directing. Apart from the curricular benefits of the process, the students gained considerable confidence in themselves, a deep appreciation of the value of teamwork and perseverance, with a drive to succeed and a sense of achievement and pride in the completed film.
The music featured in this movie was composed by former pupil, Kelly Ní Mheirnín. Recorded and mixed at her home in Tramore, and created completely independently of the filming process, the movie soundtrack has four instrumental tracks: Banú (meaning Dawning) features in the opening scene: Réadú (meaning Realisation) features during the storm, Amhras (meaning Doubt) features in a transitional scene and Machanmh (meaning Reflection) features during the closing credits.
The soundtrack is called Saoirse and has also been published to several popular music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube.
We are very proud of how this film turned out but we are even more proud of the community effort that made it possible. We thank Red Hat for their financial support and vision, which enabled our students to experience such a variety of STEAM concepts, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The ongoing support from our Principal, Daithí de Paor, coupled with his willingness to explore new avenues, cannot be overstated. We really are truly blessed to have Daithí as a part of our school.
We would also like to thank Kelly Mheirnín for her musical creativity which has resulted in a beautiful coastal soundtrack that mirrors the emotions of the film beautifully. The music she composed, produced and performed with her Dad, James, blends seamlessly into the film, adding a sense of depth and realism that is wonderfully simple.
Lastly, and most especially, to the students and their families, your talent and commitment to each other during the process was a pleasure to experience and film. It has been a fantastic project from start to finish and an incredible achievement by the school community, especially considering the global challenges we face. We thank you sincerely and applaud you for a job well done!