Youth Work (2016 - 2022)
Mieke Vanmechelen is a film artist based in Kenmare, Co. Kerry. Since 2017 in her role as Kerry Filmmaker in Residence she has worked extensively with youth groups and schools throughout the county, facilitating many short films, videos, some feature films and documentaries.
A number of these youth film projects have been selected for film festivals and screenings such as Fresh Film Festival, First Cut Youth Film Festival, Kerry International Film Festival and the Galway Junior Film Fleadh. Participants have had the opportunity to travel to special screenings and events such as the University of Limerick, the National Film School at IADT in Dún Laoghaire, the National Youth Film School in Kilkenny, Kerry International Film Festival, Triskel Arts Centre Cork and IMMA.
Kenmare Youth Film, a group founded and actively run by Mieke in partnership with Kenmare Family Resource Centre, was shortlisted for the Best Group Category 2021 by Fresh Film Festival. One member won the audience choice award for Best Film, and three members were shortlisted for Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2021.In 2022 this group became Kingdom Youth Film and is now based in Killarney, ocassionally meeting at West End House, Killarney.
Kenmare Youth Film was invited to be a part of the Fresh International Jury Panel in 2020 and 2021, three members of this group have gone on to be become part of the Fresh Youth Council and one member has was recently accepted onto the Arts Council peer panel. In 2021 Kenmare Youth Film members won many awards and one member was part of the VMDIFF Young Critic’s Panel on Virgin Media TV, this participant also featured on RTE Junior Radio. The group has received support through the Kerry ETB, LCYP programme for a project looking at how the pandemic impacted young members during 2020 and have been awarded funding for a new film that will examine the topic of stereo-typing in teens and young adults during 2021. This film will be made in partnership with Cork Young Filmmakers.
Mieke also worked with Saint Brendan’s College Killarney and their film, The SEM Film Project, completed during the March 2020 lockdown won Best Film at First Cut 2021 in the secondary schools category.
Every year Mieke has nominated a young Kerry filmmaker as a candidate for the National Youth Film & Animation School Screen Ireland Film Bursary with three candidates being successful to date, a number of young filmmakers mentored by Mieke have gone on to study film at third level.
During the 2021 and 2022 academic year Mieke assisted St Brendan's College with their TY YSI project which shortlisted from 300 submissions for the Young Social Innovators (YSI) - Changing the World for Good Awards and received over 8k views on social media. In 2022 SEM won an overall award for their ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project. One . Each of these projects dealt with sensitive and difficult topics, and the young people invoved showed incredible initiative and conviction in dealing with and conveying their chosen message.
Additionally, three short films made by Kenmare Youth Film were been selected for LASTA during the summer of 2021, this festival for young people was organised by Siamse Tíre Tralee. Mieke partnered with Kerry International Film Festival, festival Director Eibh Collins for Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 and 2022, these events proved to be exceptionally successful for children and young people in Kerry.
Mieke commenced her second term as Kerry Filmmaker in Residence during 2021. She is a Creative Associate on the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Schools programme and a member of BLAST artist panel at Tralee Education Centre. She is a recipient of a Digital Media Award and Residency Award at Fire Station Artists’ Studios Dublin 2021. She is the director of film company Fierce Quiet Films which has recently received an Arts Council Film Project Award.
Mieke is currenlty also working with LAWPR0 (Local Area Water Protection Authority) on a project supported by Creative Ireland and a Case Study in partnership with SICAP, SICAP is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund. She is a member of the Tralee Eduction Centre BLAST artist panel.
Her film practice is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.