Five Storyland dramas chosen by RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen

Winners include ‘Cagney & Lacey meets Father Ted’ and a ‘pre-apocalypic’ survival tale

Almost 200 production teams applied for this year's Storyland commissioning round, and RTÉ and its partner in this year's scheme, Northern Ireland Screen, have now selected the five winners.

Production companies Against the Grain Films, Mycrofilms, Out Left Productions, Six Mile Hill Productions and Two Hungry Fish Productions will all have their short dramas added to the RTÉ Player in early 2016.

The idea of Storyland is to give emerging Irish drama talent the opportunity to make original dramas up to 20 minutes long that they can use as a springboard or calling card, while RTÉ head of drama Jane Gogan also uses it as a means of identifying creative talent she is keen to work with in the future. In Costigan, a crime drama by Against the Grain Films, former detective garda Vi Costigan is released from prison after serving time for a crime she didn't commit and tries to mend broken relationships and seek out new opportunities "that have dark repercussions".

It is written and directed by Gary Duggan and produced by Ailish Bracken.


Smitten, a comedy drama from Mycrofilms, centres on Bronagh's discovery that she is pregnant on the same day her ex-boyfriend goes missing after a drunken night out.

It is written and directed by John Morton and produced by Ruth Carter.

In the mood for a coming-of- age drama set in "the deepest suburbia of Dublin" in 1995? Hot Knives, from Out Left Productions, tells the story of 14- year-old skateboarder Charlie, who is forced into a confrontation after wayward sister Sam steals medicine for their father. It is written by Stephen Walsh, directed by Diarmuid Donohoe and produced by Richard Keane and Rebecca O'Malley. From suburbia to the dystopia of Dinosaurs, by Belfast-based Six Mile Hill Productions. In this "pre-apocalyptic" drama, everyone and everything on the planet is set to die in five years. One family tries to beat the inevitable.

It is written by Aaron Gray and Paul Skillen, directed by Chris Baugh and produced by Brendan Mullin.

Finally, Quinn & O'Grady by Two Hungry Fish Productions is described as "Cagney & Lacey meets Father Ted". This comedy of "mismatched cops" centres on their efforts to solve the strange goings-on in the village of Blackhill.

It is written by Janey Hayes and directed by Ivan McMahon, who also produced it alongside Molly O’Driscoll.

This is the sixth season of the competition and the first to involve Northern Ireland Screen. Previous iterations included a public voting element, while veterans include the Hardy Bucks, the Screenworks team that made Amber for RTÉ, screenwriter Thomas Martin and in-demand actor Charlie Murphy.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics