30th Galway Film Fleadh 10th – 15th July 2018
For one week in the summer the entire Irish film industry descends on our “Cannes on the Corrib”, alongside filmmakers, talent, financiers and more from every corner of the world. They share ideas, collaborate and watch films in the uniquely welcoming, intimate and informal atmosphere that only a Galway festival experience could provide. More important, however, are our audiences which come from Galway, all over Ireland, and from almost every point of the globe, to see the best in new Irish and world cinema. With a packed programme featuring more than 150 films from more than 30 countries around the world, including 16 world premieres, they will not be disappointed.
We are thrilled to welcome some very special guests to the Fleadh this year, including legendary Irish director Jim Sheridan, actress Ruth Negga (who will be the subject of our actors’ masterclass), and screenwriter Kirsten Smith (10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde) who will host our screenwriting masterclass. There are many more filmmakers and film talent attending, though perhaps most exciting is the increased number of female-directed films and female filmmakers we present as part of our focus on Women in Film.
Programme highlights include a focus on Finnish cinema, featuring work that covers everything from cave-diving and cheerleading, to Sweden’s 17th century “queer Queen Kristina and her lady love” and desperate World War II romances. We also have a full menu of films looking at food and drink; a showcase of the best cinema made in, by and about Galway; a complete set-list of the best music documentaries from around the world, and of course the best in short film, and new Irish and world Cinema.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council of Ireland and all of our Board, venues, sponsors, financiers, friends, and everyone else we have come to think of as part of our ‘Fleadhmily’ for helping us deliver this programme. We are backing the bid. Let’s make Galway the European Capital of Culture!
On The Box
A selection of Irish made-for-television documentaries. Admission to each film is €5.00.
Each year, we strive to marry the best in Irish film with some of the best international titles vying to tell audiences their story. This year’s selection awaits your senses.
New Irish Cinema
Each year, we compile some of the very best in New Irish Cinema from across genres as varied as romance, war, action, documentary, comedy and the weird and strange.
Each year, we host a fantastic selection of fascinating documentaries from around the world. Check the list below for a range of titles bound to expand your horizons.
More information on 2016’s short film programme can be found here.
Talking film: Panels and discussions
During each festival we present a series of panel discussions that will interest filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Held in a number of venues around the Fleadh, these panels are free so that everybody has a chance to learn from the experiences of our filmmakers. Audience members are encouraged to contribute and most panels will have a Q&A element. Topics cover issues pertaining to the craft, such as the art and commerce of the short film, and a series of panels on women in film and much more.
Women In Film
In 2015, women accounted for a mere 9% of film directors, up 2% from 2014 but identical with 1998. In other roles, women comprised 11% of writers, 26% of producers, 20% of executive producers, 22% of editors, and 6% of cinematographers. This is obviously not good enough, not just in terms of representation in the film industry but also in the types of stories reflected on our screens. A 2016 Equality and Human Rights Commission Report notes that “A male dominated industry leads to male focused films, leaving women not only under-represented amongst directors but under-represented in the art and stories themselves.”
This year the Fleadh has committed to pushing female film talent and female-centred stories into the foreground. We are proud to announce that 38.5% of our World Cinema and Documentary programme is made up from films directed by women. While this is a good start, and well above the industry average, our commitment to achieving diversity among our filmmakers will be an ongoing process until 51% of films (or more) are made by women.
With this in mind we are excited to present two masterclasses by leading female film talent. Limerick-raised Ruth Negga, fresh from the Cannes success of Jeff Nichol’s Oscar-tipped Loving and her starring role in AMC’s new comic-book adaptation Preacher, will be the subject of this year’s acting masterclass. Meanwhile Kirsten Smith, screenwriter of 10 things I Hate About You and Legally Blonde, will be on hand to deliver our screenwriters masterclass.
Similarly we are excited to present a series of panels and discussions that will explore the role of women in film. These include “See it – Be it! Putting Women in the Picture”,a panel of women filmmakers, representatives from the Irish Film board and the equality committee of the Writers Guild and the Screen Directors Guild which will shine a spotlight on women in the Irish film industry, and our own Women in Film panel which will introduce you to some of the amazing filmmakers and films at the Fleadh this year.
Focus On Finland
Finland has a rich and storied cinematic pedigree. Like Ireland, it boxes well above its weight when it comes to the international film scene. Finland’s cinematic output is well regarded at home – it boasts one of the best domestic box-office takes in Europe – but films from Finland also travel to cinemas and festivals all over the world, and it is something of a powerhouse when it comes to international co-production. This year, the Fleadh is proud to collaborate with The Finnish Film Foundation to shine a spotlight on some of the best in contemporary Finnish cinema.
Features include Finnish film legend Mika Kaurismäki’s The Girl King, an energetic historical biopic that puts a modern slant on the story of Queen Kristina, who scandalized Sweden with her rebellious political and sexual behavior; The Mine, a tense environmental thriller that shows just how easy it is to be corrupt despite good intentions; The Midwife, a visually sumptuous historical thriller about a wartime romance between a Finnish nurse and a Nazi officer; and Armi Alive!, Oscar-winner Jörn Donner’s wonderful “meta film” which centres around the preparation of a play about Armi Ratia, a famous Finnish design entrepreneur who struggled against her family, banks, and conventional ideas of beauty in the 60s and 70s. The Irish-Finnish co-production Absolution is a tight domestic thriller in which a hit-and-run accident triggers a nightmarish spiral of guilt and revenge.
On the documentary front we are proud to present Diving into the Unknown, a remarkable story of a life-threatening mission and unconditional friendship, in which a group of Finnish cave divers try to bring their dead friends home. Finally, the tragi-comic documentary Cheer Up follows Finland’s worst cheerleading team as they struggle with teenage angst and constant failure.
in association with
We are firm believers that cinema not only has the power to shed light on abuses of human rights, and the brave work done by those who strive to better this situation, but also the power to affect real change in the world. This year’s programme of Human Rights Cinema focuses on some of the most pressing concerns from around the world today, including the current European refugee crisis, the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, and the damage caused by conflicts in Israel/Palestine and the North of Ireland.
Titles include the subtle and powerful documentary Fire at Sea, in which life on the Italian island of Lampedusa is shaken by waves of refugees; and Those Who Jump which provides a raw glimpse into the lives of African migrants hoping to make it into Europe by scaling a barrier between Morocco and the outlying Spanish city of Melilla. Eyes of a Thief, meanwhile, is a thriller exploring the effects of physical and psychological violence on the people compelled to live with it, while Koudelka: Shooting Holy Land follows the titular photographer as he travels through Israel and Palestine capturing a landscape divided by walls and barbed wire. Mental and physical walls also play a big part in Born and Reared (which explores male identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland) and The Wall (which juxtaposes sectarian divisions in North Korea and Northern Ireland).
Land of the Enlightened is a seamless blend of fiction and documentary focusing on the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. And our Human Rights strand of short documentaries offers snapshots from conflict zones, border crossings and refugee camps.
Mixtape: Music, Movies and Mavericks
The Fleadh was founded with something of a fiercely independent, DIY, and dare we say it, punk rock attitude at its core. And so it’s with a great sense of excitement that we present this year’s selection of music documentaries featuring some of the most fearlessly independent spirits in music and music film.
Outcasts by Choice follows The Outcasts, who formed in Belfast in 1977, kick-started the Northern Punk Explosion, and rejected sectarian violence. A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story takes us inside the longest running music show in TV history. It’s packed with the greatest music from Texas and beyond, with performances from Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ray Charles, Beck, Alabama Shakes, and Radiohead.
Imagine Waking Up One Morning And All Music Has Disappeared follows one of the most enigmatic and uncompromising figures in contemporary music, Bill Drummond, as he searches for new voices for his choir – in the open fields or in a factory, in a classroom or in a pub. It is a journey towards a “ground zero” in terms of music – a point at which we can try to invent it anew, together, innocent…
Featuring Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, The Delgados, Arab Strap and more, Lost in France follows fan-favourite Scottish record label Chemikal Underground Records as they re-live the experience of travelling to a once-off gig in rural France in the 90s.
Finally, A Poem is a Naked Person is Les Blank’s free-form documentary about singer-songwriter Leon Russell. Filmed between 1972 and 1974, this singular film has attained legendary status – but it has not been released until now.
Eat, Drink, Love Film
We are proud to present a tastefully curated menu of some of the most mouth-watering and thought-provoking food and drink films from around the world. This strand celebrates Galway’s emerging status as the culinary capital of the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as challenging the way we think about food and sustainability.
To begin, we recommend a pairing of vino and kino, with a synaesthetic screening of The Duel of Wine, a humourous little number of good vintage which stars real-life celebrity sommelier Charlie Arturaola. Both he and producer Lino Pujia will be on hand to introduce new wines during the screening.
Galway filmmaker Risteard Ó Domhnaill provides our main course, with a special screening of his film Atlantic in Galway Harbour. Guests will be welcomed with a reception featuring local craft beer and local seafood served by Stephane Griesbach of Gannet Fishmongers. Following the screening, there will be a Q & A with O’Domhnaill, Griesbach and Michael O’Meara, author of Sea Gastronomy.
After this you may need a digestif! Barista introduces the world to the competitive espresso-making circuit, profiling five enterprising young baristas as they vie for a national title. Join us for our own baritsa competition at Badger and Dodo at 4.30pm on Thursday.
Finally, it’s time to pay compliments to the chef, and chef Dani García is ready to welcome you into his kitchen… presuming he still has one. Deconstructing Dani García follows the titular Spanish haute cuisine chef as he reinvents himself following the closure of his two-Michelin-star restaurant.
Bain taitneamh as do bhéile!
Galway Is Film
As well as bringing the best in world cinema and film talent to Galway, we delight in showcasing Galway to the world of film. Aside from its reputation as the cultural heart of Ireland, Galway is very much a city of film. One of only 8 UNESCO-designated Cities of Film worldwide, the development of the film sector in Galway has been nothing short of staggering – it’s worth over €72 million to the local economy and provides over 600 full-time jobs.
First off, we are proud to present work from west-of-Ireland-based filmmakers in the Way Out West short film programme. Similarly, we welcome the return of the Galway Film Centre’s One Minute Film Festival, and we will once again screen a “best of” showcase from Galway’s premiere grassroots short film event, Little Cinema Galway.
The Irish Film Institute returns with a whole new diverse programme of films about Galway from the IFI Irish Film Archive. Amateur films of holidays in the west of Ireland play alongside 1950s public information films featuring Dr. Noel Browne and the building of TB sanatoria; the life of a Connemara farmer in 1941 contrasts with aerial footage of Ireland by Scottish aviatrix Winnie Drinkwater.
We will also present a very special screening of local filmmaker Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s Atlantic, which examines the political, economic and environmental threats to the Atlantic Ocean. (See above for more details.)
Our closing film, Sanctuary, is a wonderful, unique feature from Galway’s Blue Teapot Company. Employing a large cast of actors with intellectual disabilities, the film tackles issues such as the right to intimacy.
Out On Film
Once again we are proud to bring a programme of the best in LGBTQI cinema from around the world to our audiences in Galway. We kick things off with the European premiere of Jewel’s Catch One. In 1973, bar-owner Jewel Thais-Williams, created a disco for those seeking refuge from both racial discrimination and homophobia in the black community. It was one of the first black gay clubs in America, and everyone from Sammy Davis Jr. to Chaka Khan performed behind its darkened windows.
Uncle Howard is the story of New York filmmaker Howard Brookner, whose work (buried in William S. Burroughs’ bunker for 30 years) captured the late 70s and early 80s cultural revolution. In this revelatory documentary, Brookner’s nephew, Aaron, explores the legacy of a life cut short by AIDS.
Catherine Corsini’s Summertime is a sumptuous and unapologetic romance set in early 70s France. Farmers’ daughter Delphine moves to Paris to break free from the shackles of her family. Her encounter with Carole who is actively involved in the stirrings of the feminist movement turns their lives upside down. Likewise, albeit set in contemporary Israel, Barash follows a schoolgirl as she struggles painfully towards liberation from her family. She finds salvation in the arms of a new arrival at school who sets her heart beating.
Finally, 25 years after Paris Is Burning, which uncovered the drag scene and voguing balls of 1980s New York, this celebrated underground culture pulses with fresh energy once again in Kiki, which explores the thriving voguing culture that provides an outlet for self-expression for at-risk LGBTQ youth of colour.