First Take is a training and development event for film and media students, emerging filmmakers and newly established film professionals. Through individual presentations, case studies and panel discussions, the event aims to promote fresh thinking and foster DIY ethics amongst attendees, inspiring them to create their own film projects, and to proactively promote their work.

Sessions will delve into the fundamental techniques of pitching and packaging film projects, explore the creative and practical processes involved in low-budget feature filmmaking, and provide a case study analysis of a high-profile Irish feature film from the 2018 Cork Film Festival programme.



Pitching Techniques for Emerging Filmmakers

An introduction to the fundamental techniques of pitching your film project, instilling the audience of emerging filmmakers with the guidelines and know-how for this crucial, yet often undervalued, aspect of the film production process.


  • Beatrice Neumann – International Film Consultant

Inclusion & Best Practice in the Film Industry

The session will discuss principles of inclusion in the filmmaking process, particularly in terms of gender parity, tackling unconscious bias, and the importance of diversity in the industry, engendering participants to adapt these foundational conventions and best practices from early in their career.

Presented in partnership with Women in Film & TV Ireland


  • Jessie Fisk – Producer, Feline Films
  • Oonagh Kearney – Director, Five Letters To The Stranger Who Will Dissect My Brain
  • Dr. Susan Liddy (MIC) – Co-Chair, Women in Film & Television Ireland
  • Darya Zhuk – Director, Crystal Swan
  • Louise Ryan – Marketing and Communications Manager, Screen Ireland

Finding your Audience – Marketing & Packaging Feature Film

This case study will focus on the fundamentals of finding your audience, and learning to effectively market and package your film. Conducted by Harry Ponsonby and Neil Harrison of Stagwell Media UK / National Research Group, it will teach the audience about concept testing, audience development, test screenings and focus groups.


  • Neil Harrison – Executive Vice President, Head of International Tracking, Stagwell Media (NRG) UK / National Research Group
  • Harry Ponsonby – Vice President, International, Stagwell Media (NRG) UK / National Research Group

Irish Feature Film Case Study – The Dig

The producer, co-directors and cast of Irish feature debut The Dig (screening at Cork Film Festival 2018) will discuss the financing and development of the project, incorporating the process of engaging financers, funding bodies and sales agents, and leveraging the film’s key assets in their festival and distribution strategies. The conversation will also explore the creative genesis and development of the project, providing fundamental learning for up-and-coming filmmakers on both the artistic and production processes of film production.


  • Moe Dunford – Actor, The Dig
  • Brian J. Falconer – Producer, The Dig
  • Andrew Tohill – Co-Director, The Dig
  • Ryan Tohill – Co-Director, The Dig