It was indeed a Fright-Ful Friday at Leap Castle

It was a joy to curate the Short Horror Film Programme for Fright-Ful Friday at Leap Castle, an annual event run by the Offline Film Festival in County Offaly. This sold out evening of all things spooky and fantastical took our large group, by bus, from outside the very hospitable Ormond Clubhouse, Emmet Square, Birr, and onward to Giltrap’s Pub in Kinnitty for prosecco and finger food. Then back on the bus for a moonlit journey to Leap Castle for the screening of the short horror films — well received by a lovely, enthusiastic audience.

Horror has very different meanings for fans of the genre – from gothic to grotesque, psychological, visceral and even humour. For this programme, I attempted to include a variety of those emotive experiences, and am also proud to say that all the films are from talented men and women currently working in Irish film. There were 7 films in total.

The Wake

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Written and directed by Rik Gordon. Rik has also written and directed Pigman and most recently, Pure Gold, doing well on the festival circuit.


Written and directed by Jannine Benkhardt. Jannine was also assistant director on The Switch, a short film currently screening at festivals.

Under Growth

Under Growth Poster

Written and directed by Evin O’Neill. Evin has also written and directed the short films, Digs for Pennies, Spooks, A Dry Christmas and Invisible.


Inexorable Poster

Written and directed by Zoe Kavanagh. Zoe also directs music videos and is the writer and director of the short film Tides, and the award-winning feature, Demon Hunter.

Mother Father Monster

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Written and directed by Sean Breathnach, and funded by Offaly County Council Arts Office and filmed in Charleville Castle. Sean has directed several short films and his debut feature film “Beyond the Woods” was released to critical acclaim.

The Trap

Paul Reid in The Trap (2018)

Written and directed by Helen Flanagan. Helen has directed short films including Away with the Fairies and The Drive. She also writes performance pieces and facilitate creative workshops with, as she says herself, a suspiciously witchy vibe.

How Olin Lost His Eye


Written and directed by Damian McCarthy. Damian has directed several short horror films and is currently in post on his first feature, also a horror.

To round off the evening, the owner of this haunting and magical place, Sean Ryan, regaled us with tunes and stories of the spirits that roam the castle corridors. Then, back on the bus to The Chestnut Bar for great chats, and even a complimentary drink! What more could you possible ask for. Frightful and Delightful!



FRAMED: Screening Updates

October / November is gearing up to be a wonderfully spooky time for my short film FRAMED, still making it’s way on the film festival journey. So far, FRAMED has been officially selected to screen at 22 festivals in Ireland, UK, USA, Japan and Canada!

Here are the latest dates, with more news to follow! As always, I am thrilled for our excellent cast and crew!

Halloweenapalooza: Iowa. USA October 11th


Ottawa Spookshow and Fantastic Film Festival: Ottawa, Canada. October 20th


Halloween Horror Picture Show: Tampa, Florida October 27th


Devil’s Night Gallery Film and Art Event: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. USA November 1st


FRAMED is also nominated for Best Short Horror Film at The Underground Cinema Awards: Dublin. November 2nd

Irish Language Short Film Programme November 2018- May 2019 Season

The Maynooth Film for All Club season finished this month and will resume in October 2019. I was delighted to once again be invited to curate a programme of short films for the season, and had great fun selecting some wonderful films, all made in the Irish language. As always, the standard of productions was very high. Congratulations to all the filmmakers on their amazing work, and thanks also to Dingle Film Festival for providing contacts to their Fisín awardees.


‘An Mhallacht’

Written by Antoin Beag Ó Colla and directed by Coilin O Scolai. This dark comedy drama revolves around two brothers and how the Mayo GAA Curse of 1951 affects their daily lives – pushing them to the point where they go against all they believe to be true.


‘Bonsoir Luna’

Written and directed by Donncha Gilmore, is an Irish Language, musical romance, funded by the Arts Council: Street artist Duke loves the blind barista Luna, who runs the George’s Street Arcade coffee shop. However, Luna’s mother Paula distrusts Duke, so he must enlist his fellow street artists’ help to win her over.


‘Eadrainn Féin’

Directed by Daithí O Cinnéide and written and produced by Mairead Kiernan. A farmer’s life changes when his son begins to question his gender identity.



Starring Enda Clarke, Fred McCloskey and Joe Greaney, STUAMA follows David, a young man in his early twenties preparing to go prison for the first time. Winner of the Dingle Film Festival Pitching Competition 2012, the film was written and directed by Paul Webster and produced by Eamon de Staic.


‘Táimse im’ Chodladh’

Written and Directed by Denis Buckley. Produced by Ciarán Walsh. Starring Marcus Lamb. An Irish author alone in a room picks up faint sounds of a language falling and raising through the long wave frequency of his transistor. Winner of the Físín short film award scheme at the Dingle International Film Festival 2013.



When an adolescent girl’s father becomes romantically involved with another woman, her world is torn asunder. Written by Seamus Moran. Directed by Cathal Ó Cuaig. Produced by Ciarán Ó Cofaigh. Starring Úna Ni Fhlatharta, Beartla Ó Flatharta, Caroline Ni Dhubhchóin and Conal O’Céidigh.

‘An Cat’

In the aftermath of his wife’s funeral Mairtín (Frank Kelly) frustrated and unable to grieve her loss pushes his family away and isolates himself at home. His only wish, to be left in peace, is respected by everyone except his wife’s beloved pet cat.

Crediting the Writers of 10 of My Favourite Movies.

Just for fun, I recently listed 10 movies that had an impact on me, posting just one image per film on social media, with no explanations. Of course there are many, many more films that I could have chosen, but these ones came instinctively at this time and so they made this particular top ten list.

Using the hashtag #creditwriters, there is currently an important campaign to credit the writers of films, who are very often omitted from not just film posters and advertising, but also from film festival, award, review and media coverage.

Hence this post. So here are the films I listed, with all due credit to the amazing writers who conjured these incredible stories. Without them, we would not have such extraordinary movies to watch, which in my case means several times over!


Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent.


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Written and Directed by Alejandro Amenábar


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Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond


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Based on The Turn of The Screw by Henry James.

Screenplay by William Archibold, Truman Capote and John Mortimer


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Based on the novel by Davis Grubb

Screenplay written by James Agee


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Written and Directed by M. Night. Shyamalan


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Based on the novel by Henry Farrell. Screenplay by Lukas Heller


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Written and Directed by Guillermo Del Toro


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Written by Charles Brackett, S.M. Marshman and Billy Wilder


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Based on the novel by William Hjortsberg. Screenplay by Alan Parker




About Caroline: Writer and Director of FRAMED (2018). Author of the novel, LADY BETH (2017), winner of the Carousel Aware Prize. Writer of the short films ADAM (2013) and the award-winning IN RIBBONS (2015).



On Film: FRAMED begins the festival journey…

I am delighted to announce that FRAMED has been selected to screen at two wonderful film festivals. The 9th Underground Cinema Film Festival and Spook Screen, both happening this September.

Dates and screening times to follow. Although I have written and produced short films, this is my directorial debut, so I am very excited that it will soon be seen on the big screen!

FRAMED tells a spooky tale about a gothic artist, Joe, who’s fantasy is to paint his beautiful wife into one of his rather grotesque works of art. Happenstance will give him his wish – though not in the way that he could ever have expected – when Cathy arranges for his debut exhibition of paintings to be held in a creepy old house… you can check out FRAMED Facebook Page HERE

The Haunted and Fantastical: Short Film Programme 2017-2018 Season

The Maynooth Film for All Club season finished this month and will resume in October 2018. I was delighted to be invited to present another programme of short films for the season, and had great fun devising a theme and selecting some wonderful films. As always, the standard of submitted productions was very high, but unfortunately, I could only include seven films in the final programme. The theme I chose this time around was ‘The Haunted and Fantastical’ with an aim to screen films that were chilling and unusual and would most likely leave a lasting impression! With a mix of horror, fantasy and even some comedy, we received great feedback from the MFFA audiences, so here is the full selection and congrats to all the filmmakers on the amazing work.


A live action fantasy/art-house short, written/directed by Cashell Horgan (Paddy), starring Joe Mullins (Pilgrim Hill), and narrated by Jared Harris (Fringe, Mad Man, Sherlock Holmes, Lincoln, etc.)




Horror Comedy written by Gavin Keane, Directed by Conor McMahon and starring Niamh Algar, Michael Hough, Nora Relihan




When Jean clicks on an email link, it seems to be just a static shot of an empty room but on closer inspection all is not what it appears to be.

Written and Directed by Sean Breathnach




A short fantasy written and directed by Damian Draven, starring Martin Galligan and Anna Ilaya Ozolina




An outcast creature pines to be accepted by his local village. One night, outside his mountainous home, an opportunity arises. Written and Directed by Rik Gordon, starring Robert Render, Kathleen Bridget Murphy, Robbie Beggs and Jay Dee




A tale of loss and redemption. Written and Directed by Vittoria Colonna, starring Wallis Murphy- Gunn.




A story about the imagination of children, and the unbreakable bond between brothers.

Written and Directed by John Christopher


Caroline is writer and director of FRAMED (2018)  and has also written and co-produced IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She is the author of the award-winning novel, LADY BETH.




FRAMED: The Trailer is up!

I am delighted to release the trailer of my directorial debut. Big hugs of gratitude to all who collaborated with me to make this happen. To find out more about the cast and crew, please visit our Facebook page at the link below…


FRAMED, a Short Film 


More news coming soon!


I am also the author of the novels LADY BETH which won the award for BEST NOVEL at the Carousel Aware Prize and ARKYNE, STORY OF A VAMPIRE, I have also written several feature-length and short screenplays including ADAM [2013] and the multi-award winner, IN RIBBONS [2015].


Animation in Irish Short Film: Maynooth Film for All Short Film Programme 2016 – 2017

I was once again delighted to be asked to curate another short film programme for Maynooth Film for All [MFFA], a joint partnership between Kildare Library & Arts Service and the Department of Media Studies in Maynooth University. The film club is also affiliated with access>CINEMA.

Hosted by the University and generally held in the IONTAS Building on the first Wednesday of every month, the short film programme ran from October 2016 to May 2017. Each of the films I selected screened before the main feature. All were very well received and attendance figures were consistently good.

I decided to theme the programme around Animation in Irish Short Film, to further showcase some of the fantastic Irish talent that is out there, but also to take an opportunity to screen a wide variety of different themes and styles of filmmaking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t screen every film I viewed, which is a pity, but here are some of the best!



Struggling children’s book writer Harold Finch gains an unexpected house guest in the form of an ageing, hyper-intelligent mosquito named Anabel.

Written by Benjamin Cleary and directed by Vincent Gallagher.



ANYA is a five-minute animated film, charting twenty years in the life of a Russian orphan. It is a unique initiative with To Russia With Love to help raise funds for the charity. 

Written and directed by Damien O’Connor


Morgan M. Morgensen’s Date with Destiny

Morgan M. Morgensen nervously survives his first date with the love of his life, Destiny.

Written by Sarah Daly. Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt



Inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, the film was created and directed by Giant Animation as part of the Animation Hub, a work experience programme set up for students to work on live projects.

Directed by Alex Sherwood, Ben Harper and Sean Mullen



The story of Boney, a working stiff who doesn’t care about his dead-end job. That is until, he has a run-in with a spirited old lady named Bridie…

Written and Directed by Aidan McAteer



Frederick Butterfield has been second place his entire long life, but when his slightly older twin brother becomes the oldest person alive, Frederick sees an opportunity to finally take first place. ‘Second To None’ follows Frederick’s attempts to make it to number one.

Written and Directed by Vincent Gallagher



One Halloween night a smouldering suitcase was pulled off a bonfire in Dublin and thus was saved a true story of love, loss and hope.

Written and Directed by Andrew Kavanagh


My thanks to all of the featured filmmakers. Astoundingly talented, all of them! Also, big thanks to the enthusiastic audiences who came along to the screenings, and to Brenda Brady and Denis Condon for the continued facilitation of Maynooth Film For All.

The Librarian’s Cellar: At the Cinema: From Novel to Screen: Six Irish women writers who paved the way…

Always inspiring to see the novels of Irish female authors transfer to the big screen through film adaptations. A few that come to mind straight way are Edna O’Brien , Celia Aherne, the late Maeve Binchy, and Emma Donoghue. But how many others can you name?

I came up with the following Six:


1: Katherine Cecil Thurston: The Masquerader 

Katherine Cecil Madden was born in Cork in 1885. Thurston was her married name. Her novels were successful in both Britain and America. She also wrote The Gambler (1905) and Max (1910) Thurston’s career was cut short at the age of 36 when she was found dead in her hotel room in Cork.


John Chilcote, M.P (1904) Thurston’s political thriller, became the book and film, The Masquerader in the United States. It was filmed four times, the first as a silent film in 1912 under the title The Compact. The second production was in 1920, a Russian/French co-production titled Chlen parlamenta. It was also produced in 1922, and again in 1933 starring Ronald Colman


2: Dorothy McArdle: The Uninvited

Born in Dundalk in 1889 and from a wealthy brewing family, Dorothy was a journalist, novelist, playwright, teacher, political activist and historian. She wrote The Irish Republic,  a narrative account of the Irish War of Independence, and her novels include The Dark Enchantment (1953), The Unforeseen (1946) and Uneasy Freehold (1941), which later became The Uninvited (1942). She died in 1958.


The Uninvited (1944) starred Ray Miland, Ruth Hussey and Donald Crisp. A supernatural romance, it was directed by Lewis Allen with adaptation written by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith, (yes, she of The Hundred and One Dalmatians!)


3: R.A. Dick: The Ghost and Mrs Muir

R.A. Dick was the pseudonym of Irish writer Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie. Very little is known about Josephine. She was born in Wexford in 1898 and died in 1979. She also wrote Duet for Two Hands (1960) and The Devil and Mrs Devine (1974).


The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947) starred Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison and George Sanders. A supernatural romance, it was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz with adaptation written by Philip Dunne. Philip also wrote the screenplay for The Last of the Mohicans (1992). A TV sitcom of The Ghost and Mrs Muir ran from 1968 – 1970.


4: Somerville and Ross: The Irish RM

Somerville (Edith Anna Somerville:1858-1949) and Ross (Violet Florence Martin: 1862-1915) were Irish cousins who collaborated on writing novels and short stories about the Irish society of their time.

The Irish RM

The successful TV series of ‘The Irish R.M.’ was based on their collection of short stories, Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. written in 1899. Other works by the authors include  An Irish Cousin (1889) and The Real Charlotte (1894)


5: Elizabeth Bowen: The Last September

Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899. Her works include Friends and Relations (1931) The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1945) and Eva Trout (1968). She died in 1973.

The last September

Set against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, and centred on the lives of the Naylor family in their Cork country mansion Danielstown, the film was released in 1999, starring Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon.


6: Time after time: Molly Keane

Molly Keane was born in Kildare in 1904, real name, Mary Nesta Skrine. Between 1928 and 1956, she wrote eleven novels, and some plays, under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. She used her married name, Keane, for her later novels, several of which have been adapted for television.

Time after time


‘Time after Time’ (1986) was made for TV, and starred John Gielgud, Googie Withers and Trevor Howard. It was directed by Bill Hays, with screenplay written by Andrew Davies, who also wrote the screenplay for Bridget Jones Diary and lately, House of Cards, Mister Selfridge and War and Peace.



Women in Irish Film: Short Film Programme at MFFA

I was delighted to be asked to curate a short film programme for Maynooth Film for All [MFFA], a joint partnership between Kildare Library & Arts Service and the School of English, Theatre and Media Studies in Maynooth University. The film club is also affiliated with access>CINEMA.

Hosted by the University and generally held in the IONTAS Building on the first Tuesday of every month, the short film programme ran from October 2015 to April 2016. Each of the films I selected screened before the main feature. All were well received and attendance figures were consistently good.

I decided to theme the programme around Women in Irish Film, mainly to raise awareness and to showcase some of the fantastic talent that is out there, but also to take an opportunity to screen a wide variety of different themes and styles of filmmaking. I received far more films than I could actually screen, which is a pity as there are so many talented writers/directors out there. I’ve included links to the filmmakers and their works below for further reference.


Vanessa Gildea: The Abandoning

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Creates the memory of a house where past and present are not separate places


Hannah Quinn: My Bonnie

My Bonnie 4 x 6

Two people at sea, trapped between a rock and a hard place, must face the distance


Aoife Kelleher: Home


A film about how our lives are shaped by the homes in which we grow up


Helen Flanagan: Drive


An unhappy mother struggles to connect with her infant daughter


Lydia Ford, Olivia Flanagan, Gemma Stack: Parallel


A coming-of-age drama follows a schoolboy as his day unfolds and he transforms from his typical popular persona to his true self


Eimear O’Grady: The Climb


For most people Kilimanjaro is their Mount Everest. The reason for climbing is personal


Audrey O’Reilly: Wait


When an important pigeon race and a rare visit home by his son Martin coincide, Charlie waits anxiously for a safe journey home


I wish all of the talented women featured here, and indeed, all of those I couldn’t include in the final selection, the very best of everything with their future projects, and let’s all keep striving for that level playing field in the film industry!