Ten short films from emerging Irish talent have been awarded funding as part of Screen Ireland's flagship Focus Shorts scheme, which aims to encourage strong and original storytelling from aspiring Irish writers, directors, and producers. 

Screen Ireland will provide €60,000 in funding to ten different live-action, fiction films as part of the €600,000 scheme. 

Previous short films produced as part of the scheme have been recognized at the Tribeca Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival, and the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.

There were a total of 92 applicants for the scheme this year, with Screen Ireland selecting ten diverse short films. 

🎬 Quiet on set… It’s time to focus.

Screen Ireland is delighted to announce the ten successful teams of the 2023 round of the agency's flagship Focus Shorts scheme.#IrishTalent #FocusShortshttps://t.co/fmV67PoOss

— Screen Ireland (@ScreenIreland) September 21, 2023

"The overall caliber of this year’s Focus Shorts applications was phenomenal, making the panel’s job of selecting the final teams particularly difficult," Emma Scott, Head of Distribution & Short Film Production at Screen Ireland, said in a statement. 

"This high bar is testament to the fantastic talent in our industry and their high-quality work."

Among the films selected for the scheme was "A Punch Up At A Wedding," directed and written by Jamie O'Rourke and produced by Aisling Magill, which focuses on a "dislocated man" struggling to fit in at an Irish wedding. 

"Naked Lights," written and directed by Jeda De Brí and produced by Gregory Burrowes, tells the story of a disaffected nightshift attendant named Emma, who must prevent a stranger from burning down a 24-hour gas station. 

Emerging director Kate McNeice's "The Quiet Ocean" takes place in a futuristic Irish motel where people go to end their lives and follows a receptionist who falls in love with one of her guests. The film is produced by Fiona Kinsella and written by Barry Smyth. 

"Trying" is a poignant short film following a hard-working Dublin couple who must navigate the emotional strain of fertility treatment. The film is directed by Barry O'Connor and written by Lauren Larkin. Maria O'Neill is on board as a producer. 

"Come Back," written and directed by Helen O'Reilly and produced by Nathan Griffin, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who attempts to rekindle her once-close relationship with her elder sister. 

Alan Hopkins' "Ogham," which is produced by Husni Hafid, follows a bereaved father who has decided to eke out existence in a cave until injury forces him to return to civilization.

Suri Grennell's "Breeders" tells the story of a man who follows a young drunk woman home only to wake up pregnant with her extra-terrestrial baby. "Breeders" is produced by Deirdre Levins. 

"Like Me," which is directed by Aisling Brady and written by Ivan Cush, follows a beast-like monster who wears a humanistic mask and meets a seductive stranger at a house party who appears to be just like them. The film is produced by Séamus Waters.

Aisling Byrne's "Turnaround," which is produced by Killian Coyle, follows a cleaner in West Cork who must decide if she will keep a closely guarded family secret following a sudden death in the family she works for. 

Finally, "Cat & Mouse," directed by Michael-David McKernan and written by Clare Monnelly, tells the story of an inept thief who, disguised as a mouse, makes an unlikely connection with a waitress during a failed burglary. The film is produced by Mícheál Fleming. 

Scott said the ten selected films were proof of the emerging talent in the Irish film industry. 

"I look forward to working with the selected teams to bring their hard-won projects to fruition and help them on the next steps of their careers," she said in a statement.