The 23rd Galway Film Fleadh (5 - 10 July) has unveiled its 2011 line-up which features an eclectic mix of Irish and International features and documentaries; World, European and Irish premiers; a range of shorts programmes; Masterclasses with Gill Dennis, Amanda Plummer and David MacKenzie and a public interview with Martin Sheen.
Opening the Fleadh on Tuesday July 5th will be Darragh Byrne’s debut feature ‘Parked’, which stars Colm Meaney (Get Him to The Greek) as Fred Daly, a proud man living in his car whose lonely world is brightened up when he meets young dope-smoking Cathal (Colin Morgan).
World Premiers at the Fleadh include Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s ‘Stella Days’ which will be attended by its lead actor Martin Sheen who stars as a parish priest who attempts to set up a local cinema in rural 1950’s Ireland despite opposition from parishioners. Martin Sheen will also take part in a public interview at the Fleadh on Saturday July 10th. The festival will close with Mike Mills ‘Beginners’. Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent, ‘Beginners’ is about a young man rocked by two announcements from his father: that he has terminal cancer and that he has a young male lover.
Galway will also host the world premiere of Lelia Doolan’s documentary on the life and work of political activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, which is titled ‘Bernadette — Notes on a Political Journey’. Other first festival outings include investigative documentary and performance art hybrid ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that tackles the US militaries stance on homosexuality and Neil Dowling’s debut feature ‘Sarang Hey!”.
A host of debut features from Irish directors will be shown at the Fleadh including John Michael McDonagh’s comedy ‘The Guard’, Rebecca Daly’s ‘The Other Side of Sleep’, Alexandra McGuinness’ ‘Lotus Eaters’ and Terry McMahon’s ‘Charlie Casanova’.
New Irish Cinema from more established directors includes Mary McGuckian’s ‘Man on the Train’, which features U2 drummer Larry Mullen’s acting debut, and Gerard Hurley’s ‘The Pier’ which tells the story of Jack McCarthy’s return to Ireland after 20 years in America to reconnect with his ailing father.
International films at the Fleadh hail from more than 35 countries including Korea, Argentina, India and Japan and include Miguel Cohan’s thriller about a man convicted for a crime he didn’t commit in ‘No Return’ and the winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film ‘In a Better World’. LGBT interest films to be screened include ’80 Days’, a tale of two women in their seventies who find each other after 50 years and ‘Gigola’, a depiction of the life of a female gigolo amidst the decadence of 1960’s Paris.
Irish documentaries announced in the line-up include Ian Palmer’s Sundance hit ‘Knuckle’ about a feud between two traveller families and the bare-knuckle fighting they engaged in and ‘Ballymun Lullaby’, a documentary about Ballymun children’s music teacher Ron Cooney. International documentaries include ‘Blood in the Mobile’ which is set between the DR Congo and Finland and focuses on the dreadful conditions under which minerals for mobile phones are mined and ‘Bobby Fischer Against the World’ which follows the tragic life of late chess master Bobby Fischer.
The Galway Film Fleadh will also have special screenings of inspirational Icelandic films which deal with the Icelandic response to the economic crisis in association with the Ireland:Iceland project and a screening of ‘Blazing the Trail’ which follows New York Kalem Company who made almost 30 films about Ireland between 1910 and 1915.
Shorts will also be screened at the Fleadh and include the 30 Minute Film Festival on Saturday 9th July when 30 one minute films will be screened along with Super 8 Footage in collaboration with the Super 8 Shots Festival in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday July 9th.
The line-up was officially announced last night at The Radisson Hotel Galway. The full programme is available at Galway Film Fleadh and tickets are available at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway (Tel: 091 569777/www.tht.ie).