Black ‘47, Lance Daly’s famine-set thriller will close the 30th edition of the Galway Film Fleadh on July 15th. The unique western-tinged revenge film screens as part of the festival’s ‘Galway on Film’ programme, a rich selection of films that feature Galway and Galwegian people at its core. Three new films will make their World Premiere at the Film Fleadh as part of the programme: When All Is Ruin Once Again directed by Keith Walsh, Town of Strangers directed by Treasa O’Brien and the previously announced Don’t Go directed by David Gleeson. The Galway on Film programme also features The Camino Voyage directed by Dónal Ó Céilleachair and The Science of Ghosts directed by Niall McCann.
Black ‘47 is set in 1847 during the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his estranged family. He’s seen more than his share of horrors but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets on a destructive path to avenge his family, systematically working his way up the political and social hierarchy of 19th Century Ireland. The film stars Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford and Sarah Greene.
Director Lance Daly said, “It’s great to be coming back to the Galway Film Fleadh with BLACK ’47 – which is actually set in Connemara and tells a story of the Great Famine that is particularly relevant to the West – and we’re thrilled to have such a prestigious slot in this year’s amazing programme. I’m hopeful that the “Connemara Irish” and Maumturk Mountains featured in the movie will give it an extra boost with the local audience! The Fleadh has always been an important place to meet fellow filmmakers and celebrate Irish cinema, and I can’t think of a better launch pad for our film ahead of its September release.”
When All Is Ruin Once Again by Keith Walsh is an experimental, poetic documentary about the transience of life set in South Galway/Clare during the recession years. The action takes place between the openings of two new huge stretches of motorway that bypass a landscape drenched in folklore, legacy, memory, character and experience. Using a rhythmical narrative and featuring local people with striking imagery, the film explores who we are, who we were and where we are going. When All is Ruin Once Again is the second feature documentary from director Keith Walsh to play the Film Fleadh, after 2012’s Apples of the Golan.
Town of Strangers takes the audience on a journey in the company of outsiders making their home in Gort, a small town in County Galway. These tales were inspired by an open invitation from filmmaker Treasa O’Brien, who auditioned a blend of migrant workers, hippies, Travellers, blow-ins and newly-arrived refugees, whose private worlds we are ushered into, sharing their dreams and desires. As the characters act out their innermost fears and hopes through poetic leaps of imagination, a deeper connection to their experiences is revealed, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always moving.
The Camino Voyage meanwhile follows a crew including a writer, two musicians, an artist and a stonemason who embark on the Camino by sea, an inspiring and dangerous 2,500 km modern day Celtic odyssey all the way from Ireland to Northern Spain, in a traditional boat they built themselves. The cast includes Glen Hansard, Breanndán Ó’Beaglaoichnm, Liam Holden, Breanndán Pháid Ó’Muircheartaigh and Danny Sheehy.
Niall McCann’s observational drama The Science of Ghosts centres on well-known Irish musician Adrian Crowley. He was once described by American songwriter Ryan (not Bryan!) Adams as: the greatest songwriter you may not have heard of. This is his, and our, story. While being interviewed by a film crew for his latest album, an interruption causes Adrian to ponder – what would a film about his life be like? Could it ever really reflect who he is? His imagination takes him – and the audience – on a journey as he becomes a ghost visiting his own life, past and future. What emerges is a humorous and original take on the power of storytelling that features Radie Peat of Lankum, Brigid Mae Power, the Crash Ensemble and the writer Kevin Barry.
The previously announced Don’t Go which makes its World Premiere at Galway, stars Melissa George and Stephen Dorff as Ben and Hazel, a married couple who have recently lost their young daughter. After relocating to a small beachside town in Ireland, Ben begins to have vivid, mysterious dreams about his little girl, which he starts to suspect may hold the key to bringing his daughter back to life. Don’t Go is directed by David Gleeson and was shot in Spiddal, Co. Galway. Speaking about the shoot, producer Nathalie Lichtenhaeler said: “It has been a wonderful experience shooting this film in Spiddal. We were honoured to work with this calibre of cast and an extraordinary crew who enabled us to create something very special.”
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