The day ET arrived in Laois and Cork hurling was out of this world

Eight original short films featuring LauraLynn children premiere at gala event

The LauraLynn 'Oscars' give families with a child who has a life-limiting condition the opportunity to make a movie that reflects their passions and personalities.

 

A red carpet, screaming fans, photographers jockeying for position . . . it could only be the annual LauraLynn “Oscars”, which took place at the weekend at the Odeon Cinema in Charlestown, Dublin.

Individual short films had been created for the gala event by eight families – the common bond being that the starring role in each was played by a child who has a life-limiting condition.

Baz Ashmawy with star Claudia Scanlon and co-star and cousin Daniel Collins.
Baz Ashmawy with star Claudia Scanlon and co-star and cousin Daniel Collins.

The stars and their families enjoyed the hair and makeup treatment at LauraLynn Children’s Hospice before being chauffeured to the red carpet at the Odeon. The evening ended with each movie receiving its own “LauraLynn Oscar”, presented by 2FM radio’s Tracy Clifford.

“We’re delighted that this has been another successful year for the LauraLynn Oscars,” said Rachel Nolan, interim CEO of LauraLynn. “A core part of our service is creating fun memory-making activities for the children and their families, which is why projects such as this are so vital – they offer the opportunity to set illness aside for a while and to create ever-lasting experiences that are cherished by everyone involved.

The films were top-notch, and each was witty, innovative, and touching in turn – it was an event that everyone will remember for some time.”

Michelle Hartnett.

The whole event was a concept dreamt up and developed by play therapist Michelle Hartnett and it has become one of her favourite times of the year. She said it is “about bringing together the family on a shared project with a shared vision”.

After shooting, Windmill Lane Recording Studios give the films a professional look. “We are very proud to be involved – it really is worthwhile,” says Aidan Alcock, a director of Windmill Lane.

This season’s awards were hosted by television presenter Baz Ashmawy. “The children and their families have put so much work into these films, and it really showed: each production was of a really high professional quality, and everyone involved can be hugely proud of them,” he said. “We all had such a ball.”

LauraLynn provides clinical care, healthcare support, and palliative care services to children with exceptional and life-limiting conditions.

THE STARS OF THE FILMS

Aoibhinn (7) from Kildare
Film title: Clubber, The Loveable, Forgetful, Clumsy Alien.
Award: Best Comedy.
Plot: All seems normal in this suburban Kildare home, until one night a very special visitor appears bringing chaos, drama and love to the family home.

The gala was hosted by Tracy Clifford and Baz Ashmawy.
The gala was hosted by Tracy Clifford and Baz Ashmawy.

Conall (3) Donegal
Film title: Conall and Book of Spells.
Award: Best Fantasy.
Plot: Inspired by the popular Harry Potter franchise, Conall has been given the responsibility of protecting the most precious book on earth. Surely no one would try to steal this book of spells to take over the world . . .?

Liam (9) Laois
Film title: Honey I Shrunk Darth Vader.
Award: Best Original Screenplay.
Plot:When ET arrives in Laois, there is only one family that can help him return home but the dark side has other plans.

Liam Ryan, from Portlaoise, along with his twin brother Sean, starred in a short film.
Liam Ryan, from Portlaoise, along with his twin brother Sean, starred in a short film.

Leeia (14) Kildare
Film title: Leeia’s Magnificent Dragon-Taming Adventure.
Award: Best Adapted Animation.
Plot:Toothless the dragon has joined Leeia on the biggest adventure of her life to try to save Berk, Kildare from the worst Dragon Viking War that Athy has ever seen.

Claudia (14) Dublin
Film title: James Blonde.
Award: Best Action Movie.
Plot: When a horrific crime takes place, local forces need to call in extra help from the world renowned spy, James Blonde. Can she use her super spy skills to save the day?

TV presenter Baz Ashmawy, Liz Collins (aunt), Claudia Scanlon (star) and cousin and co-star Daniel Collins. Photograph: Conor McCabe
TV presenter Baz Ashmawy, Liz Collins (aunt), Claudia Scanlon (star) and cousin and co-star Daniel Collins. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Jamie (6) Cork
Film title: Star Wars – May The Hurl Be With You.
Award: Best Adapted Movie.
Plot: It is the yet-to-be-told sequel to the most recent Star Wars movie. With the knowledge and power brought by BB8 and the strength of the Cork hurling team, will good finally manage to overcome evil?

Natalia (5) Louth
Film title: Natalia and The Penguin.
Award: Best Adventure.
Plot: When a little girl dreams of a career in Dunnes Stores , there’s just one obstacle between her and working the tills…a penguin. Will her dream ever become a reality?

Cillian (7) Tipperary
Film title: The Gig – Pranksters Paradise,
Award: Best Drama,
Plot: The family are off on the adventure of a lifetime to see their biggest hero live in concert. A series of unfortunate events delays the family. Will the pranksters stop the family from meeting their hero?