IFTA for Kilkenny animator

Tess Felder

Tess Felder

AN animated work by a filmmaker from Kilkenny has picked up yet another accolade: an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA).

David O’Reilly’s The External World took home the honour on Saturday night, beating out Anam an Amhráin by Sean O Cualain (Sónta/ Cartoon Saloon) and two others in the animation category. This adds to the growing list of awards and special mentions the film is receiving around the world.

“A boy learns to play the piano” is the simple description offered of the 17-minute film, but this is no straightforward exercise.

In a futuristic dream-like world, a young boy plays his lesson on the piano in an empty auditorium, but as he makes mistakes his teacher slaps him on the head and growls, “Do it again!”, later slapping him with a fish and then a gun.

In the outside world, meanwhile, surreal scenes take place with people, animals and other creatures, involving defecation, decapitation, deconstruction and other odd occurrences.

Far from a children’s animated cartoon, The External World contains one scene in which a child watches a graphic YouTube clip, prompting his mother to ask whether seeing the video would be damaging to her son. The father replies: “Don’t worry, it’s just animation; It has no real effect on people.”

Yet with the awards continuing to come in, The External World certainly is having an effect on the world of film.

‘The External World’ can be viewed online at

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