The 17th Galway Film continued in the rich tradition of exhibiting the best in contemporary and classic Irish and World Cinema, a tradition for which the festival has become world renowned.
Gaby Dellal’s On a Clear Day opened the Fleadh. Telling the story of suddenly unemployed, 55 year-old Frank’s plan to swim the English Channel, On a Clear Day manages to be charming and funny while simultaneously dealing with complex issues such as the death of Frank’s young son from drowning some 25 years previously. This poignant film goes much deeper than your average triumph over adversity film and got the Fleadh off to a flying start.
This year’s focus country was France and the fleadh was proud to screen a season of Classic French Cinema. Films included Jacques Tati’s Playtime, Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie, Bresson’s Pickpocket, Trouffaut’s Les Quatre Cent Coups, Cocteau’s Orphee, Vigo’s L’atlante, and Renoir’s La Regle Du Jeu.
The 17th Galway Film Fleadh was honoured to pay tribute to one of the most versatile and sought-after screenwriters in modern cinema, Paul Schrader. Perhaps best known for his collaborations with Martin Scorsese, Schrader is responsible for scripting such classic films as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing out the Dead. He has also directed many of his own scripts including Blue Collar, Hardcore, American Gigolo and more recently Autofocus. Schrader shared his considerable experience and skill at this Screenwriting Masterclass.
Luis Mandoki hosted this year’s Director’s Masterclass. Born in Mexico City IN 1954, Luis Mandoki’s illustrious filmmaking career has seen him work with some of the leading lights in Hollywood Cinema, including Andy Garcia, Susan Sarandon, Meg Ryan and Paul Newman. Following on from his successful debut Gaby - A True Story, Mandoki progressed swiftly to a series of Hollywood films including Born Yesterday, When a Man Loves A Woman, Message in a Bottle and White Palace. His most recent effort Innocent Voices, his first Spanish language film in fifteen years, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in this year’s Oscars. The Galway Film Fleadh was proud to screen Innocent Voices as part of our Masterclass series of films.
This year’s Actors’ Masterclasses went above and beyond all expectations as the Galway Film Fleadh was proud to welcome not one, but two world class actors to host the event. Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson have both carved out impressive careers playing an array of diverse and varied characters. Campbell Scott is probably best known for his portrayal of a smooth-talking womaniser in Roger Dodger (2002), but it is his chameleonic ability to adapt to a broad range of roles that has marked him out as one of the best actors of his generation. His career highlights include roles in David Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and more recently in The Dying Gaul (2005). Born in New Orleans, Patricia Clarkson studied drama at Yale before making her breakthrough in The Untouchables (1987). Roles in such films as High Art (1998), Far from Heaven (2002) and Lars Von Trier’s Dogville (2003) has cemented her reputation as one of Independent Film’s most sought after actors, a reputation that was further strengthened by winning the Special Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival for her role in The Station Agent (2002). Most recently she co-starred with Campbell Scott in The Dying Gaul (2005). The Dying Gaul received its Irish Premiere at the Fleadh this year.
Matt Dillon was the subject of this year’s Public Interview. Having started his acting career at the age of 14, Matt Dillon has grown from a young actor regularly typecast as a troubled teen to one of the most diverse actors of the last three decades. His nuanced performance as a recovering drug addict trying to come clean in Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy (1989) won him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead in 1990. Since then he has worked with a broad range of Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman (To Die For 1998), Kevin Kline (In and Out, 1997) and Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller (There’s Something About Mary, 2002). Recently Matt Dillon has turned in another direction when he wrote, directed and starred in City of Ghosts (2002), which was shot entirely on location in Cambodia. The Public Interview was hosted by RTE1’S Myles Dungan as part of RTE Radio 1’s Rattlebag. There was also a special screening of City of Ghosts.
The Galway Film Fair, Ireland ’s only film market, was in full swing over the weekend, with some 600 meetings held in three days. Financiers from United Artists, Miramax, HBO Films, UK Film Council, Ingenious Films, Nexus, NDR, Irish Film Board, TG4 and RTE were out in force meeting with Irish directors and producers.
The 17th Galway Film Fleadh came to a dramatic end as the award winners were announced to a packed auditorium in Galway ’s Town Hall Theatre immediately before the Closing Film, Anthony Byrne’s Short Order
With over 70 feature films, over 100 shorts and various documentaries, animations, seminars, debates and discussions, the 17th Galway Film Fleadh programme was designed to suit every palate. And so after a jam packed six days of films, interviews, seminars, masterclasses, debates and discussions the 17th Galway Film Fleadh drew to a close.
2005 AWARD WINNERS
Best Irish Short
1st RECOIL | Billy McCannon
2nd JELLYBABY | Ronan Burke, Rob Burke
special mention TILLY AND THE TEETH | Brian Durnin
Best First Irish Short
1st A TAXING NIGHT | Brian O' Neill & Paul Bushe
2nd DEATH'S MAILING | Julian Hills
special mention END GAME | Andrew Greener
1st PAVEE LACKEEN | Perry Ogden
2nd SHORT ORDER | Anthony Byrne
Best irish short documentary
1st IDIR DHÁ SHAOL | John Mallon
2nd LOST WITHOUT YOU | Anne O'Connor
special mention BREAK AWAY | Colm Quinn, Liam Ó Cathasaigh
Best first irish short animation
1st WHAT HAVE THE BRITS EVER DONE FOR US? | Aidan O'Donovan, Colm Tobin & Kevin Nolan
2nd PROCRASTINATION | James Murphy
special mention MONSTER IN MY TUMMY | Padraig Mannion
Best irish short animation
1st STARS | Eoghan Kidney
2nd BARBERSHOP | Michael O' Sullivan
special mention NOT THERE YET | Jason Tammemagi
Best feature documentary
1st HIGHWAY COURTESANS | Mystelle Brabbée
2nd BIG PLANE, SMALL AXE | Margaretta D'Arcy
special mention SWITCH OFF | Manel Mayol
Stella artois pitching award