X-Pollinator is delighted to announce six projects which have been chosen to take part in INCUBATOR, a brand new female-driven development initiative that aims to build on the success of X-Pollinator 2019 to encourage and support collaborations between teams of X-Pollinator participants to create new feature film or TV pitches and treatments.


Supported by Screen Skills Ireland, Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), INCUBATOR offers a paid and structured period of development for six projects, providing support in the form of mentorship, script editing and pitch creation, enabling writers to work up treatments with creative and practical input from their director and producer teammates.


After having received over fifty submissions from ninety applicants, this led to a competitive shortlisting process and subsequent interview. The INCUBATOR interview panel included Katie Holly, Lara Hickey and Evan Horan from X-Pollinator as well as director Dearbhla Walsh acting as an external assessor, and the six successful projects comprise a range of narrative feature, creative documentary, TV drama and animation.


INCUBATOR will provide each team with a script editor to work on the creative development of these six projects up until the end of the year; with the support of script editors Heather Browning and Dee Roycroft. X-Pollinator Directors Katie Holly and Lara Hickey will also mentor each team on the presentation of their treatments and on the creative and market potential of their project in general.


The six successful INCUBATOR projects are:




Aspiring rapper Danny is angry at the world. Having grown up in care, he feels everyone but his Nan has let him down. Now 18, Danny’s buzzing to make it on his own. He has big dreams, and top of his list is a holiday in the sun for him and his beloved Nan. But holidays cost money, life has a way of throwing you curveballs and Danny has a lot of growing up to do.


This is a coming-of-age story and a hard look at the challenges of overcoming a fractured childhood. Despite the challenging backdrop this is a high spirited film full of music and warmth.


Writer / Director: Kim Bartley

Producer: Rachel Lysaght




When music is banned throughout the land, Birdy and her ragtag band flee to the forest on a musical odyssey.


Writer: Jane Madden

Director: Jess Patterson




17 year old Chloe’s dreams are shattered when she is rejected by her favorite art college. Now she must drive all over the country with her portfolio and dysfunctional mother in the passenger seat.


Writer / Director: Claire Byrne

Writer: Karen Healy




Fr Shay Cullen has spent five decades rescuing exploited children from the sex industry and adult prisons in the Philippines. This feature documentary is an intimate portrait of a humanitarian hero.


Writer / Director: Mia Mullarkey

Producer: Collie McCarthy




Birdwatcher Lucia can’t deal with where things are going. She poisons her boyfriend, shoots cats, monitors waste disposal centres, and swallows paperclips in an attempt to restore balance. But when things get out of control, she’s forced to make an ultimate decision.


Writer / Director: Roisin Agnew

Producer: Roisin Geraghty

Executive Producer: Nicky Gogan




Choosing to save herself instead of her marriage, a working mum sets up an all-female commune, but will a shared vision be crushed by the cooped up reality? So, I Started A Commune is a comedy drama series about the risks and rewards of following your dreams.


Writers: Iseult Howlett, Laura Kavanagh, Nessa Wrafter

Producer: Kate McColgan


Katie Holly, X-Pollinator Co-Director – “We were absolutely thrilled with the overwhelming response to the scheme, the standard of applications and talent involved was so high and it was heartening to see so many teams that had formed as a result of X-Pollinator last year. The final six we selected were irresistible, and we are so excited at this crucial early stage to support these projects that we fully expect to see on screen one day. Thanks again to our funders for helping us make this happen, to Dearbhla Walsh for her keen eye and brilliant questions and to the talent who submitted.”


Lara Hickey, X-Pollinator Co-Director – “It was so exciting to read the diverse range of projects from such strong female talent submitted for this new scheme. The six selected projects represent the range and breath of female creative talent in Ireland. In particular it is fantastic to see new collaborations between filmmakers from different backgrounds and disciplines, in most cases hoping to develop ambitious first-time feature films and television shows.”


Gareth Lee, Screen Skills Ireland, Skills Development Manager – “Screen Skills Ireland is delighted to support INCUBATOR via the Screen Stakeholders Funding Scheme. Building on the success of X-Pollinator, this initiative will help to advance the careers of the next generation of Irish female talent, resulting in exciting ideas and collaborations. We wish the selected teams all the best as they develop their projects.”


Michael O’Keeffe, BAI, Chief Executive – “The BAI is delighted to co-fund this follow-on initiative from the X-Pollinator project team, which builds on the drive and energy of last year’s workshops. X-Pollinator INCUBATOR offers participants a practical opportunity to continue their creative journeys and to bring their ideas to the next stage with the support of this exciting mentorship programme. The BAI stands firmly behind initiatives which help to address gender imbalances within the Irish broadcasting sector. We are proud to support the strong female talent which X-Pollinator has set out to highlight and develop.”





Heather is the Development Executive at Deadpan Pictures, where she recently worked as script editor on two forthcoming TV series, Dead Still and The South Westerlies. Aside from her role at Deadpan Pictures, Heather works as a script editor and reader for a variety of production companies and funding bodies across Ireland. She is currently working as a script editor on Screen Ireland’s Spotlight scheme; and as a mentor on Galway Film Centre’s Script Mentorship Scheme, in association with the BAI and Screen Skills Ireland. Heather holds a BA in English Literature and Film Studies and an M.Litt in Film Studies from Trinity College, Dublin.




Dee Roycroft is a freelance Story/Script Editor and writer who has worked on productions for companies and broadcasters including RTÉ, Amazon Studios, JAM Media, CBBC, Telegael, Fíbín, SLR Australia and TG4. She is currently Script Editor on RTÉ’s Fair City in addition to coordinating their New Writers’ programme.


Dee has been a mentor on initiatives with Galway Film Centre and the Writers Guild of Ireland, and has taught two courses on Writing for Animation at the Irish Writers’ Centre. Her 10-part radio drama series for children Mr. Wall was nominated for a 2018 IMRO Drama Award.



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For further queries on the initiative, please contact us at info.xpollinator@gmail.com