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Want to be a film critic? Here’s your chance

The Irish Film Institute has set up an award scheme for potential movie critics in tribute to late programmer Pete Walsh.

IF YOU APPRECIATE film and want to write about it, the Irish Film Institute’s new award might be of interest.

The IFI has just announced the Pete Walsh Critical Writing Award, in honour of their late programmer who passed away a year ago.

The award will be given annually to “an outstanding piece of critical writing on any one film theatrically screened in Ireland during the previous calendar year” (in this case 2013). You don’t have to be an established and published writer to enter or win – it is open to anyone resident in Ireland.

The winning entry will be published in the IFI’s monthly programme on the IFI website and the winner gets a free pass to see films at the IFI for a year.

Full details are here but the deadline for entries is 5pm on 28 February next, and maximum word count is 1,250 although pieces do not have to reach that maximum. It’s worth noting the IFI’s advice that “the focus is on film appreciation and criticism rather than academic analysis”.


The late Pete Walsh. Image: Tomasz Bereska.

The IFI’s director Ross Keane said that the award was decided with Pete’s colleagues and family. “Two areas consistently emerged that Pete was passionate about – good film writing and seeing as many movies as possible.”

The judging panels is led by Tony Tracy (Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway), Kevin Coyne (Irish Film Institute), Gráinne Humphreys (Jameson Dublin International Film Festival) and Professor Neil Sinyard (Reader in Film Studies, University of Hull).

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