My name is Brian Mullaney, 

I have a degree in film and video and I am a native of Donegal.

I studied media/moving image in NWRC in Derry, Northern Ireland and progressed to Glamorgan University in Cardiff, Wales where I achieved a degree in film and video. After I qualified I tried many angles to break into the film and television industry. It was where I wanted to be, it’s where I wanted to progress to and in turn, where I wanted to succeed. However, the opportunities seemed few and far between. I kept busy with personal projects, some freelance work and work without pay to gain experience.

I found myself unable to pay the bills ... my dream of a career in the world of screen began to drift further and further away

I worked to survive like many other fresh graduates I played music, worked in pubs, cinemas and the bookmakers. Enough was enough, I decided to move to a new city to broaden my horizons. My girlfriend and I decided on Toronto and gave North America a go. We packed our bags and made the big move. It was a huge step, we left our families, the comfort of home, we lived out of suitcases in crowded hostels, dusty hotels and cold, damp short term rentals, but we were determined to make it work and thanks to the kindness of strangers, some canadian relatives and the our friends and family back home, we had a basis to start our adventure.

I am a resident of Ballyshannon, the oldest and the greatest town in Ireland. A town full of history, passion, pride, creativity, talent and craic. The town has a rich history and is the birthplace of Irelands most famous poets, William Allingham. Each year the town celebrates the 'The Allingham Festival' a Creative Arts & Literary Festival. Artists and designers and literary lovers from many fields come to this small proud town and exhibit their work, provide workshops and entertain the festival goers. I have been lucky enough to have been involved with projects that have been presented at #allingham and have enjoyed many past festivals, but unfortunately I could not attend this year as I could not afford to return from Canada.

Luckily for me my friends, my brother and father are involved with the festival and attend every year. This year’s festival took an obvious step up and introduced a more focussed design and creative industries flavour to the Thursday and Friday lineup. One of this year's highlights was a visit from Toronto based, Neishaw Ali (the President of SPINVFX), a key part in my story!

SPINVFX is a hugely successful visual effects company who have worked on massive Hollywood feature films and ground-breaking television productions (Emmy Award Winners for their work on The Game Of Thrones). Her visit left an impression on the festival goers but it was the festivals impression and the town’s people & character that left a huge impression on her. 

I was contacted by many of my friends and family including my brother Joe who managed to get SPINVFX contact details and told me to get in touch, so I did and because of where I was from, I was given an opportunity by Neishaw.  I can now proudly say that I am working in the editorial department in a world leading visual effects company. 

It is a pleasure to work in such a creative environment, with state of the art facilities, surrounded by like-minded talented artists. I am finding my feet and a home away from home and it’s all because of The Allingham Festival and its people continuing to go above and beyond and grow this gem of a festival. 

I am the proof that the changes being made at Allingham together with the progressive creative thinking ... is working!
Neishaw’s experience in Ballyshannon opened a door for me in Toronto ...

I hope I can someday repay the festival and my home town but for now I can only say thank you and I hope to be there next year to thank everyone in person.

‘Round the world and home again, that's the sailor's way’

Go raibh maith agat.

Brian Mullaney

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