Shane King (16), from Ballinagore, Critics’ Choice Award winner of the annual Trend Micro What's Your Story? competition, pictured with brother Conor King (11), sister Emma King (14) and parents Aisling and Mark. The competition saw entries from both primary and secondary school students across Ireland in the form of a two-minute video answering the question "How do you know what’s real or fake online?" Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

Teen filmmaker from Ballinagore takes home Critics' Choice prize

A creative teen from Ballinagore is already showing he has the talent and determination to make his mark in the world of news and documentary-making.

(See video at:

Mercy Kilbeggan Transition Year student Shane King, has been named as winner of a major award in the annual 'What's Your Story?' competition organised by global leading cybersecurity company, Trend Micro in advance of Safer Internet Day, which fell last Tuesday.

Amazing entries were submitted from all over Ireland but 16-year old Shane was named as winner of one of the coveted top prizes, the Critics' Choice Award.

Shane wrote the script and directed and was the presenter of “Stop, Think, Check”, which has won him a €1,000 prize.

Also entitled to their share of the glory are Shane’s sister Emma (14) who is in Second Year, younger brother Conor (11), who is in Sixth Class, and mum and dad - Aisling and Mark. Emma took the role of lead actress; Aisling and Mark played other acting parts and Conor was the camerman.

For Shane, this year’s success represented his second time on the winners list, emerging as winner in the Group Category in 2021 with “My Day the New Digital Way!” He was also winner in 2021 of An Taisce’s “Young Reporters for the Environment” award, which qualified him for a competition at European level which he then won.

This year for 'What's Your Story?' Trend Micro invited primary and secondary school students to produce a two-minute video on the theme: "How do you know what’s real or fake online?"

"Misinformation is on the rise, with Instagram, TikTok and YouTube among the three top news sources for teens. It was therefore an easy decision for the team at Trend Micro to make this the topic of focus for this year's competition," a company spokesperson said.

“It was an amazing surprise to be selected as a winner in 2021, so to go on to win in the Critic’s Choice category this year is something I’m so proud of!” commented Shane.

“It’s such an important subject and I think that people of my age and younger need to be educated on what could go wrong when you’re online. I love that I got to raise awareness of that through this project, while also doing something really creative that my whole family could take part in and enjoy.

“We plan to spend the prize money on a new camera, which will really help in creating top quality videos for future competitions and our own home productions. Anything left over will go towards our next family holiday.”

At this stage, Shane has been making films for years: “I had the interest even before going into secondary school,” he says, adding that his teachers have been highly supportive of his efforts: “Even with any projects in school, they've got me on board to do the video,” he says.

Shane’s aim is to study journalism and digital media, with a view to becoming a broadcast journalist.

Explaining the process behind creation “Stop, Think, Check”, Shane reveals that the family sat around the kitchen table and came up with various ideas.

“When we were sent out the question for this year's competition, we kind of had a chat about it and did a bit of brainstorming. We went on to different websites to get some sources and did research from that and then kind of came up with a few ideas from the information we got.

“We also drew on some of our own experiences like on social media and online and we kind of use all those different experiences and research to come up with the final idea. And so it was kind of a brainstorming session that we had. And we took ideas from that and then came up with the final idea for the video.

“We filmed it all around the house in different locations, and then we used the green screen as well.”

Shane has his own You Tube channel, to which he uploads his videos. Check it out by searching for Ri Tri Media -

To see Shane’s prizewinning video, check out: