How you can help us!

“Two Suitcases”: Mid-term film week mentors

The second phase of the Two Suitcases Project – in which teenagers living with chronic illnesses make their own films and animations in collaboration with professional artists – gets under way over the October mid-term break. The following artists and filmmakers will be mentoring the teenagers, led by collaborative artist Siobhán Clancy:

Siobhán Clancy’s practice explores models of socialization that impact on individual wellbeing in contexts of health, disability, education and young people. Outcomes are disseminated online, presented as performance and/or embedded in event-based programmes to facilitate active engagement of the audience. In the past, her work has been supported through the AIC Scheme by The Arts Council and managed by Create (2009) and also by Dublin City Council Arts Act Grant (2010). She has been awarded residencies with ‘Art at Work’ (2010), Helium Children’s Arts and Health (2009-2011) and Disposable Film Festival, USA (2012). Clancy is currently studying an MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at NUIM. See also

Alan Brennan graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2000 with a BSc in Media Arts. His graduation film, The Uncorruptibles, was screened at several festivals and has been highly commended. His independent short film Ball received a special commendation at the Kerry Film Festival 2001. In 2004, he graduated from the National Film School with a Masters in Scriptwriting. In 2008, he wrote and directed the Irish Film Board-funded short film Shapes, which has played at film festivals around the globe to great acclaim and was recently acquired for broadcast by HBO and Channel 4. His debut feature film Earthbound won Best First Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2012 and will be in Irish cinemas early in 2013. Alan is currently living in Wexford with his wife and two sons.

Sandra Butler is one of Ireland’s leading scenic artists with seventeen years experience within theatre, television and coporate environments. Her recent work includes engagements as head scenic artist on the 2012 Wexford Festival Opera production of L’Arlesiana, RTE’s The Works and DruidMurphy. She has collaborated with numerous theatre companies, including Druid, the Abbey Theatre, Rough Magic, Fishamble and Landmark Productions. Sandra was engaged as a mentor on the first phase of the Two Suitcases Project in February 2012, facilitating art direction.

Ben Murnane is a writer and editor, and currently a PhD student at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of three books, all published by A & A Farmar: Two in a Million, a memoir of life with a rare genetic disease, Fanconi anaemia; Dublin on a Shoestring (with Katherine Farmar), a guidebook; and Feather Silence, a collection of poetry. He has written for several newspapers – including the Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Daily Mail – and RTÉ Radio. He is also writer and presenter, with Katherine Farmar, of the online video series Dublin: The Local Way, and writer/director, with Emma Eager, of the short film Two Suitcases, which won awards at the 2012 Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival and the 2012 First Cut! Youth Film Festival.

Anna Rodgers is a documentary director and producer who over the past 12 years has received numerous awards and critical recognition for her work. She specialises in working on sensitive subjects and social issues, as well as music and culture. Anna’s recent work includes: Lonergan’s School Principles, a documentary for RTE focusing on the issue of early school leaving with former Mountjoy Prison governor John Lonergan; MND: The Inside Track which brought the audience on a quest for a cure for motor neurone disease with the much loved sports broadcaster Colm Murray, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2010; and No Laughing Matter, a documentary on breast cancer with Anne Gildea.

Zachary Griner has done two things since he was young. The first was to spend the summer of his 13th birthday mowing lawns to buy his first camcorder to make skate videos. Second was to volunteer his time at a foster care home giving Christmas presents and spending time with kids since he was 11. He brings a positive and fun environment into his love of filmmaking and his dedication to working and teaching others. Zachary believes that with a smile and a bit of passion, the world can be a fantastic place. Zachary was a mentor on the first phase of the Two Suitcases Project, facilitating storyboard construction, camera operation and lighting.

Youth support during the film week will be facilitated by Linda Hederman:

Linda Hederman is an art therapist with experience working with various client groups. These client groups include both children and adults with special needs, the visually impaired and school goers of all ages in disadvantaged areas. She previously worked as an interior designer. She then took a three year career break to sail around the world. Upon her return she decided to retrain to work with people in a therapeutic way. She has also worked in the art department including on the film The Commitments. She is an artist producing mainly collage work with a particular interest in text.

Join our mailing list

We would love to keep in touch to tell you about what's happening in our creative programmes supporting children and teenagers managing long-term health conditions across Ireland to access a meaningful creative and social outlet. We will also send you details from time to time on our events, fundraising activities, funding and sector news.

Donate to Helium

Your donations help sick children and their families (it also makes you sound!)


Contact Us
+ 353 (0) 44 93 96 960


Helium Arts is a registered charity and compliant with the requirements of the Charities Regulator, the national regulatory authority for charities in Ireland


CHY Number: 19236
Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20075200
Companies Registration Office: 486621


Design by New Graphic


Helium Arts
Top Floor
22 Pearse Street
Co. Westmeath
N91 VYP0



This website has been part funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.