BEST OF THE GALWAY FILM FLEADH
Recognised far and wide for showcasing the cream of the Irish and international cinema crop, the Galway Film Fleadh is entering into its 31st year. Taking place from July 09 until July 14, the fleadh brings the very best feature films and documentaries from all around the world right to the heart of Galway.
Putting the fanfare that usually surrounds film festivals to one side, the Galway Film Fleadh is all about celebrating a common passion for the greatest artform of all. There’s no red carpets here, but plenty of unparalleled cinematic greats. The Fleadh set out to curate a programme of excellence that will bolster Irish talent to a local, national and international level, while generating an atmosphere that encourages a meeting of minds between audience and filmmaker.
It’s safe to say that the organisers haven’t pulled any punches when it comes to their stellar 2019 programme, which is absolutely brimming with exciting feature films, thought-provoking documentaries and outstanding shorts. As well as all that, the Fleadh will also play host to some wonderful filmmaking talents for one enchanting festival week.
From the opening film all the way through to the concluding piece of cinema, the Fleadh will be bursting with all the moving, thrilling and fascinating movies you could hope for, with some public interviews thrown in to top it all off. The full programme of events will be unveiled later this month, but until then we’ve got some just enough intel to help boost your already heightened excitement…
Returning to the Fleadh with a flurry, The Irish Film Institute will be showcasing a fantastic programme of archival films made in and about Gaillimh in Glimpses of Galway on July 10. These precious snapshots into Irish life span all the way from the silent movie era of the ‘20s, right through to some of the ‘70s finest films. Glimpses of Galway will feature some rarely-seen amateur and professional footage of the city and town that are compelling beyond belief.
Also taking place on July 10 is a special screening of My Foolish Heart, a stunning modern film noir directed by the great Rolf Van Eijk. The film stars Galway’s very own Steve Wall of The Stunning, who embodies the role of jazz legend Chet Baker in this 2018 cinematic gem, doing the city proud. If you haven’t seen this music-focussed masterpiece, now’s your chance.
The Fleadh have the honour of hosting the Irish premiere of Never Grow Old on July 14, to mark the end of the celebrations. The film is an old-fashioned Western that was shot out in that old familiar Connemara we all know and love. The fast-paced movie is set on the infamous California trail during the 1849 gold rush, where loyalties spin like the barrel of a gun, so prepare yourself for an action-packed viewing. The Fleadh’s closing flick will be followed by the closing night party, which is one hell of a way to draw festivities to a close.
If you’re a fan of darkly comedic flicks with a supernatural edge, Extra Ordinary has your name written all over it. In this black comedy a driving instructor is required to use her supernatural gifts to save a lonely man’s daughter from an aging rockstar, who plans to use her as a satanic sacrifice. To make the viewing all the more sweet, the cast and crew will be in attendance on the night – July 13 – including the film’s stars Maeve Higgins and Barry Ward, as well as the directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman.
Making a welcome return to the this year’s Fleadh is director Patrick Wang, still fresh from previous successful features in In The Family and The Grief of Others. A Bread Factory, Part One & Part Two follows the characters of Dorothea and Greta. Forty-odd years ago, the duo transformed an abandoned bread factory into a vibrant arts space, which quickly became the heart of their community. But the emergence of a high-profile couple move into town, constructing a competing arts venue and draining all the funding and audience seemingly overnight, Dorothea and Greta’s very existence is called into question. As if this cake needed any more icing, multiple Emmy and Tony Award winner Tyne Daly will be presenting the double-bill, while the cast and crew will also be in attendance on July 10 and 11!
Galway Film Fleadh will be celebrating the life and times of Agnes Varda, paying tribute to the legendary filmmaker and new wave pioneer who sadly passed away early this year. The Fleadh will commemorate the film icon through the screening of a number of her iconic films in Pálás cinema, from June 10 until June 14. The screenings are set to feature some of Varda’s cinematic classics dating as far back to 1955! The much-loved 1962 Cléo de 5 à 7, captures the city of Paris at the height of the ‘60s in an intriguing tale expertly presented in real time about a singer whose life is in turmoil as she awaits test results of a biopsy. With screenings from ‘62, ‘77, ‘85 and 2000, the tribute ends with a screening of the 2019 film Varda par Agnès, the filmmaking pioneer’s finale. The film, which wrapped just prior to Varda’s death, sheds a light on her experiences as a director, bringing personal insight to what she called ‘cine-writing’ and travelling from Paris to Los Angeles and Beijing.
Whether you consider yourself a connoisseur of all things cinematic, from the direction to the lighting, or just love to sit back and delight in the magic of a story developing before your eyes, Galway Film Fleadh will certainly have what you’re looking for.