Ocean FM wins radio drama award in Berlin

The team at Ocean FM are celebrating after winning the Prix Europa in the Radio Drama category in Berlin for its three part play “Francisco”.

The entry fought off competition from Europe’s largest state owned broadcasters, including the BBC, to take first in the drama category. Francisco was written and Directed by Donal O’Kelly and was recorded at The Glens Centre in Co.Leitrim.

RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One has also been honoured with two prizes at the Public Service Media competition.

Documentary on One – Message in a Bottle, produced by Peter Mulryan and Liam O’Brien, was named Best European Radio Documentary of the Year 2013 and also received second place for Best European Radio Investigation of the Year 2013 with The Echo Chamber: The Story of Jihad Jane, produced by Ciarán Cassidy with sound supervision by Mark Dwyer.

Francisco is based on the extraordinary writings of Captain Don Francisco De Cuellar, shipwrecked here from the ‘Invincible Armada’ of ships sent by Phillip II of Spain to invade Queen Elizabeth’s England in 1588. Undertaking an incredible journey across the North West of Ireland in an effort to return to Spain, De Ceullar gave a unique insight into Irish society at this time.

“Telling this story on radio has been an obsession of our team here at Ocean for a number of years and was a logical next step on from a series of documentaries we produced on the Armada”, said Tim Collins, CEO of Ocean FM.

“This success reflects the wealth of artistic talent based in the North West and the value of the creative partnerships developed by Ocean”, he said.

“Donal O’Kelly brought his unique genius and energy to the project along with talented actors Jaime Carswell, Darina Gallagher and Sorcha Fox. The musical score by Kila performed by Dee Armstrong, Colm and Rossa O’Snodaigh and Seanan Brennan was exquisite and the sound production by Ray Duffy another vital ingredient,” he said.

“I would like to thank Producer Aisling Heraughty and Assistant Producer, Peter Collins who worked tirelessly on the project”.

“It is also important to acknowledge the support of Ciaran Kissane and his team at The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision Fund for having the foresight to support this unusual project”, he said.

This is the second major drama award won by Ocean FM in the past month having taken the Gold Award for Drama at the PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny.

“We have had an extraordinary run of success in the past 18 months having won the IMRO Award for Commitment to Irish music two years in a row, seven PPI Awards including five Golds and now another first for “Francisco” in Europe’s most sought after radio and television awards, The Prix Europa”, said Tim Collins.


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