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‘Taimse Im’ Chodladh’ or ‘I am Sleeping’ was the winning entry in FÍSÍN 2013, a short film competition. It was directed by Denis Buckley and produced by Ciarán Walsh of www.curator.ie. Colm Hogan was Director of Photography, John ‘Bob’ Brennan was on Sound and Marcus Lamb played ‘Tomás,’ the only character in the film. It was recorded in the Beehive Theatre in Dingle and a disused factory in Killarney, production lasting just over a week and ending in a one day shoot.



The title is taken from an aisling of the same name. An aisling is a traditional song in which Ireland, in the form of a beautiful woman, appears in a dream or a vision. The aisling is usually loaded with symbolism and/or political comment on the state of the nation. Buckley adapted the idea of the aisling to comment on the experience of emigration, or, economic exile in a contemporary context. The traditional song is replaced by a short film and a radio-play (encountered by chance) replaces the dream as the vehicle for the vision and the political comment that is inherent in it.

Buckley wrote the script which was reduced from 17 minutes to around 7 minutes running time, and re-structured into to a filmscript consisting of a single shot – one continuous tracking shot. It was pitched to a panel consisting of Brenda Ní Shuileabháin, Nuala O’Connor, Marina Ní Dhubháin and Bob Ó Cáthail.

The pitch succeeded and Buckley and Walsh immediately went into production. The script was translated into Gaelainn or West Kerry Irish by Bríd Criomhthain and Bosco Ó Conchúir and recorded as a soundtrack in the Beehive Theatre, Dingle. Bríd Criomhthain, Naoise Mac Gearailt, Jeaicí Mac Gearailt and Nuala Nic Gearailt performed the parts. A set was constructed in the old ‘Pretty Polly’ factory in Killarney, a terrific resource made available by Noel O’Leary, Town Clerk of Killarney Urban District Council. ‘Táimse Im’ Chodladh’ was filmed on 24 August, 2013, wrapping after 10 hours and five takes.

The filmed premiered in Dingle on Monday 17 March 2013, a fitting date for a film that deals with cultural identity in the context of emigration and the profound resonance of economic exile in contemporary Ireland.



FÍSÍN is organised as part of the Dingle International Film Festival. It involves pitching an idea for a short film in competition for a cash prize of €5,0000 with an additional €2,000 worth of filming equipment supplied by Vast Valley. The winning film has to be completed in time for showing in the festival in the following year.

The idea of the competition is to promote Irish language film making, an idea developed by Ciaran Walsh when he was involved, briefly, in a strategic re-think of the festival in 2010/11. Walsh had managed a visual arts programme in The National Folk Theatre that ran in conjunction with the Festival for a number of years. Maurice Galway, Director of Dingle Film Festival, was employed as the curator of a series of exhibitions that complemented the aims and objectives of both The National Folk Theatre and the film festival.

The idea of ‘FÍSÍN’ developed in this context. The aim was to address the need to promote new work by Irish language or Gaeltacht film makers outside of opportunities created by the Irish language television station TG4. Tor Cotton came on board with sponsorship and ‘FÍSÍN’ (fís meaning vision and the suffix -ín denoting little) was formally launched.

An Daingean (Dingle) is the main town in the West Kerry Gaeltacht, an area in which Irish or ‘Gaelic’ is the primary language. ‘FÍSÍN’ was developed to promote the making of new short films in the Irish Language as part of a wider objective of building a greater Irish language component within the festival, acknowledging that one of its principal funders, Údarás na Gaeltachta (the Gaeltacht Authority) was a primary funder of the festival due to its location in the West Kerry Gaeltacht.

Walsh assesses ‘Táimse Im’Chodladh’ as follows: “My involvement with Dingle Film Festival ended shortly afterwards and, although I had some qualms about pitching in a competition I had devised, Denis overrode these and persuaded me to get involved. I am very proud of ‘Táimse im’ Chodladh.’ Emigration is etched into heart and soul of West Kerry, it’s social fabric, landscape and its language. ‘Táimse im’ Chodladh’ is a synthesis of all of that, realised by an artist who has experienced emigration for over thirty years. It was made in Kerry, using local talent and resources to achieve a perfectly compact vision or ‘fís.”