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X-Projects: The ‘Angelus’ competition.

The post below is from Roger Childs, Senior Production Executive & Genre Head of Religious Programmes at RTE.

Please note that the competition is open to other colleges and schools. As DCU’s reputation is involved via students who send in relevant projects, please be mindful of any ethical issues and respectful of other people’s faith positions, as well as those who have none. Note that the deadline is quite short i.e. the end of March. However, the duration is only 1 min. 15 secs. and although that in itself is quite a discipline, it nevertheless is achievable.

N.B. You will need the Angelus Chimes, which I have linked to at the bottom of the page.
Best wishes with your entries.

William Tuke:


Roger Childs RTE

Roger Childs RTE


The “Angelus” broadcasts on RTÉ Television

A creative opportunity for aspiring Irish filmmakers

The 1’ daily Angelus broadcast is by far RTÉ’s most watched Religious Programme. For some, it’s as much part of Irish cultural identity as the harp on your passport; for others, it’s an anachronism – a reminder of more homogeneously and observantly Christian times; for others still, it’s an object of derision – not offensive, just naff. How can RTÉ reconcile these utterly conflicting views?

In fact, RTÉ Audience Research has shown that a clear majority of Irish viewers still favours keeping the Angelus broadcasts, chimes and all. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has dismissed the very few formal complaints of perceived sectarianism, perhaps because, visibly, in the latest version, commissioned in 2009, efforts have been made to make the short films accessible to people of all faiths and none. Those who wish to say the Angelus – and a perhaps surprising number still do – can. But that minute can also be used for other kinds of prayer and reflection, if desired. The Angelus prayer itself – which pre-dates the Reformation, incidentally – is never broadcast in these slots and is not imposed. The reflective slot airs for one minute in every 1440 per day and on only one RTÉ TV channel.

As one primary school headmaster, Harry Rowan, commented, “To the person of faith, it’s a moment of grace; to the person without faith, it’s a moment of peace. What’s not to like?”   

That would be RTÉ’s aspiration. Nonetheless, the current format is in need of renewal, which offers an opportunity for creative thinking about how RTÉ fills the slots. It is proposed that aspiring filmmakers at secondary schools and third level colleges nationwide are invited to develop and produce their own creative responses to the challenges of the slot: to produce short films, which, subject to editorial compliance, would all be showcased on RTÉ One and on digital platforms. A panel of expert judges comprising, for example, a leading filmmaker, an artist, a media lecturer and a member of RTÉ staff would then be invited to draw up a shortlist, to be voted on by the public, in order to find the nation’s favourite short films for the slot. The winning films would each be awarded a prize of €500 and continue to be broadcast for the next two years, or until the slot is next revisited.

Responses might vary from traditional to avant garde and cover a spectrum from piety to secularity – e.g. from time-lapse footage of a flower opening to a silent minute of a sleeping child’s face; from animation to stills. There is no reason why the challenge should not also inspire submissions from, or reflect the cultures of, Ireland’s minority faith communities.

Submissions should be 1’15” in duration, with non-verbal content that is fully compliant with RTÉ Programme Makers’ and BAI Guidelines (see links) and conducive to prayer or reflection for people of all faiths and none. The traditional chimes in their 3-3-3-9 sequence should be retained, but can be treated creatively, as, for instance, in the current televised versions, where they appear to be heard over a trawler skipper’s radio or from a distant spire:

Entries should be sent via or similar file transfer, in HD, with clear name and contact details for the filmmakers, to  


NOTE: You will need to download the Chimes link here: Angelus Chimes
The download icon should be at the top of your web page, or in case of difficulty please contact me (William Tuke) and I’ll forward the file on to you.

N.B. As a courtesy, if you take up this project, please also e-mail me at: William Tuke


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