Galway’s Junior Film Fleadh, the young audiences arm of the Galway Film Fleadh, takes place from November 10th – 14th this year at Pálás Galway. The Junior Film Fleadh is a film festival for all generations, that puts young people and their stories in the spotlight. The programme of cinema for the 2019 JGFF kicks off with Sunday matinees of brand new animation, documentary and drama films, followed by a week of educational screenings, filmmaking workshops, a Society & Inclusivity cinema programme and the return of the JGFF Future Filmmakers Competition.
This year’s Junior Film Fleadh will present some highly anticipated new animation and documentaries. Children of the Sea is a Japanese animated feature about a girl named Ruka who is drawn into a mystery involving sea life around the world and two mysterious boys she meets in the aquarium where her Dad works. The anime film has previously played at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival.
Born2Drive is the Fast & Furious of documentary films. Born2Drive follows the world’s youngest rallycross driver, 15-year-old Oliver Solberg, on his journey towards becoming Nordic rallycross champion. Oliver’s big dream is to race against his father, world champion Petter Solberg, but his father refuses until Oliver has become a good enough driver. Oliver embraces this challenge and at 15 he moves to France by himself to attend racing school. Race by race his driving skill improves, but everything changes when his father suddenly gets seriously hurt. Born2Drive is real cars, great passion and 600 roaring horsepower under the hood. It is a movie with fast cars, fast-paced action and huge thrills.
Your Turn is a documentary directed by Eliza Capai about the social and economic crisis in Brazil, where students protested and occupied hundreds of schools, demanding better education and the end of austerity measures. The film depicts the student movement from the protests of 2013, through the election of the right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. Inspired by the collective voice of the movement itself, Your Turn is narrated by three high school students, who jostle for space and time to tell their story and represent central points of their struggle, including at the intersection of feminist, LGBTQ+ and racist issues of their generation.
While each morning of the festival will feature European film screenings for French, German, Spanish and Irish school groups, each afternoon will feature screenings from the festival’s Society and Inclusivity programme, featuring films for the socially and civically minded. The Italian film Dafne is a character-driven family drama about a self-aware and bright young woman with Down syndrome. Living with her parents, Dafne must attend to her father after her mother dies, on top of processing her own grief. The multiple-award winning documentary Midnight Traveler is one of the most vital human rights films to come out this year, made by director Hassan Fazili, as he and his family fled from the Taliban in Afghanistan and captured their entire journey to seek refuge in Europe on camera. Midnight Traveler puts a human face on a global crisis and the many thousands of families out there just like Fazili’s, seeking shelter from violence.
And as 2019 has been a critical time for students doing their part to protest the climate crisis, the JGFF will be continuing the conversation with a screening of The Clean Bin Project, a documentary made by filmmaker couple Jen and Grant who go head to head in a comedic competition to live zero waste for an entire year. A fun and inspiring call to environmental action that speaks to crowds of all ages, the film will be followed by a discussion with Pauline Reilly (Green Party Councillor Galway West) and John Tedders (The Filling Station, Galway) among other speakers.
The 2019 Junior Galway Film Fleadh will close with the return of its Future Filmmakers Competition, screening eighteen short films made by aspiring directors under 18 years of age from all over Ireland. The winning filmmaker will receive a €250 prize and a place on a Galway Film Centre filmmaking course.
Click here to see the full line-up of feature films, short films and filmmaking workshops taking place as part of the 2019 Junior Galway Film Fleadh. Teachers can make group bookings online or by calling 091 52200. Individual tickets can also be purchased online or on the door. The Junior Galway Film Fleadh is supported by the Arts Council.