Helium has been awarded an Arts Council Young Ensembles Scheme grant for the development of the Two Suitcases Project. The Two Suitcases Project is a film & technology project which supports the creativity of teenagers living with chronic illnesses through the development of filmmaking skills. In the pilot phase, the writer Ben Murnane made a short film about his experiences of living with Fanconi anaemia and the importance of creativity during his teenage years. Young people with chronic illnesses took on camera, animation, editing, art department and acting roles. The film recently won best film in the under 18s category at this year’s Chaplin Film Festival.

The Arts Council Young Ensemble Scheme funding allows Helium to facilitate a film week which will allow participants to develop and make their own short films, and take part in workshops in the following areas: scriptwriting, storyboarding, camera operation, directing, animation, set design, and editing. This project will facilitate online participation for teenagers who are unable to attend the film week in person through different virtual platforms. The Two Suitcases film week will be facilitated by collaborative artist Siobhán Clancy, filmmakers Anna Rodgers (MND: The Inside Track, No Laughing Matter) and Alan Brennan (Earthbound), scenic artist Sandra Butler, and writer Ben Murnane.

The Two Suitcases Project is produced by Helium in partnership with the Digital Hub Development Agency and in association with the Computer Clubhouse. Two Suitcases has been funded by the Arts Council’s Young Ensembles Scheme with in-kind sponsorship from the Vodafone Ireland Foundation. Helium gratefully acknowledges the support of Children in Hospital Ireland and patient support groups.


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