By Michelle Crean


Extra funding from Healthy Ireland’s KeepWell campaign has meant a longer residency for Kerry County Council’s current Filmmaker in Residence. Mieke Vanmechelen’s residency has been extended by 11 weeks.

Mieke is currently working with TY students 2021 at St Brendan’s College Killarney on their ‘Sem Against Stigma’ YSI project as they want to break down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health in the community. The work they produce will be part of the YSI Virtual SpeakOut Tour happening April 12-16.

She also works closely with Kenmare Youth Film, a group set up over two years ago with the help of the Kenmare Family Resource Centre.

Two members, Leone Fiorito Wright and Patrick O’Connor-Mason have been invited by the National Youth Film and Animation Network (NYFAN) to participate in the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (VM DIFF) Young Critics programme. Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan will be participating in Fresh Film Festival’s ‘Ireland’s Young Filmmaker 2021’ Jury Panel.

The group are staying connected despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic and meet online weekly to discuss and exchange ideas and work on projects.

“The arts in these difficult times helps people stay connected and provides an outlet for creative expression,” says the Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen.

“I am delighted that Kerry County Council is able to offer an extension of this service to young people in Kerry.”