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Award-winning screenwriter, film-maker and author honoured by DIT

Posted: 7 November, 2016

DIT Graduate Simon Fitzmaurice conferred with Honorary Doctorate

DIT conferred an honorary doctorate on screenwriter, filmmaker and author Simon Fitzmaurice in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin on Saturday 4 November.  At the ceremony more than 300 graduates of music, media, photography and film were also conferred with their award.

A graduate of the School of Media at DIT, Simon Fitzmaurice has won many awards for his films since his graduate film Full Circle was screened at film festivals all over the world and won a major prize at the Cork International Film Festival.  He went on to make other award-winning films, including the brilliant, The Sound of People. His critically acclaimed memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark was made into a feature documentary narrated by Colin Farrell and won Best Cinematography and Best Irish Feature Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2016.  His feature film debut, My Name is Emily was released in 2015 and became a huge international success. 

Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in 2008. His infectious, good-humoured approach to working under very trying conditions has been an inspiration to many.  In September Simon attended the London Screenwriters’ Festival to receive their Lifetime Achievement Award, titled the ‘F**king Awesome Award’.  My Name is Emily was screened at the Festival, followed by a Q & A with Simon himself.

In the citation read by John O’Connor, Director and Dean of the College of Arts and Tourism, Simon was described as a role model for his fellow students, with an infectious enthusiasm and positive energy.  “Simon’s writing illustrated insight, craft, imagination and precision.  Instinctively, and with very little guidance, Simon understood the power of cinema to relate to, observe and reveal the smallest and most deftly powerful actions of people, which, when projected large onto the giant canvass of cinema could radiate way beyond that tiny space and into a wider universe.”

Each year, Dublin Institute of Technology seeks to acknowledge the important contribution to society made by those who have achieved distinction in a number of fields – the arts and sciences, business and the professions and in scholarly, cultural and sporting activities.