27 November 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Films at the Fleadh
27 Jun 2003 :
Getting the week's festivities off to a controversial start, John Deery's 'Conspiracy of Silence' will receive its Irish premiere on Tuesday 8th July. This sensitive examination of the plight of clerics suffering from AIDS was warmly received at the recent Taormina Film Festival in Italy and has been ruffling feathers within the Catholic Church hierarchy ever since.

Celebrated theatre director, John Crowley, will unveil his eagerly awaited feature debut 'Intermission' on Friday 11th with a host of the film's stars in attendance, including Colm Meaney, Cillian Murphy, and producer Neil Jordan to name but a few. The Fleadh is delighted to host this world premiere which is bound to cause a stir as the latest star vehicle for Colin Farrell.

Writer / Director Karl Golden's debut film 'The Honeymooners', a micro-budget feature that was shot in just eighteen days, will receive its world premiere on Saturday 12th July. Golden employed 'Dogme' techniques in this raw and poignant comedy, which stars Alex Reid, Jonathan Byrne, Justine Mitchell and Conor Mullen.

Another world first for the Fleadh on the same day is the long awaited debut feature from Shimmy Marcus, 'Headrush', a blend of action and adventure, comedy and drama which stars Wuzza Conlon, Gavin Kelty, Laura Pyper, Tom Hickey, Maura O'Neill and Stephen Berkoff.

Adapted from James Joyce's epic Ulysses, Sean Walsh's first feature 'bl,.m' is both a day in the life of the city of Dublin and an exploration into the consciousness of its three main characters Stephen Dedalus, Molly Bloom and, of course, Leopold Bloom. Starring Stephen Rea, Angeline Ball and Hugh O'Connor, 'bl,.m' will receive its Irish premiere on Sunday 13th July.

Bringing the Fleadh to a jovial end will be 'Spin the Bottle' an irreverent, witty and unique comedy from the team who created Paths To Freedom and Fergus's Wedding. Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, the film follows the exploits of 'Rats', played by Michael McElhatton, as he tries to raise the money to send his obese aunt to Lourdes. He is joined in this hapless adventure by 'Tommo', played by Peter McDonald and Bronagh Gallagher as Rats' girlfirend.

'Spin the Bottle' is also a fitting tribute to one of Ireland's best loved actresses of the stage and screen, the late Pat Leavy, who played Rats' mother in the film. Other supporting roles are played by Donal O'Kelly, Simon Delaney of Bachelor's Walk fame, as well as Gerry Ryan, Louis Walsh and Samantha Mumba. 'Spin the Bottle' will be released in Ireland in November but Fleadh audiences will get the chance to see its Irish premiere as the closing film of the 15th Galway Film Fleadh.

Galway audiences will get the opportunity to see Liz Gill's 'Goldfish Memory' which premiered in Dublin early this year and the Fleadh is also screening an experimental first feature by Paul Rowley entitled 'As Lathair', in which image and narrative combine to examine the ways in which the history of civilisation is a history of displacement, violence and exclusion.

There is a great wealth of Irish documentaries featuring in this year's Fleadh programme, ranging from feature documentaries to Irish language and short docs. The Fleadh will host a special presentation of 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', the celebrated fly-on-the-wall documentary which followed the Venezuelan coup d'etat which temporarily removed President Hugo Chavas from power in April 2002. Irish filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain were witnesses to the mayhem that ensued in Caracas and this award-winning documentary charts the months leading to the coup and the President's dramatic return to power some 48 hours later.

Former Programme Director of the Fleadh, Pat Collins' and co-director Fergus Daly's feature length documentary Abbas Kiarostami The Art of Living will receive its world premiere at this year's festival. This unique insight into the work of one of Iran's foremost filmmakers examines the social, aesthetic and spiritual themes in the masters' work and celebrates Kiarostami's global importance and his originality.

Other feature-length documentaries in this year's Fleadh include 'Raise the Roof', a documentary on Glor, a centre dedicated to the performance of Irish traditional music in Ennis, Dearbhla Glynn's 'Dust Devils' which focuses on the Burning Man Festival, an annual community arts event in the Nevada Desert and Dieter Anuer's 'The Time Has Come', an examination of the emigration of hundred of thousands of ethic German Romanians from Transylvania following the collapse of communism.

The Fleadh will also screen a double-bill of Irish language documentaries on Wednesday 9th July 'Damhsa an Deorai' and 'Dara Beag' as well as hosting a tribute to one of Ireland's foremost natural history filmmakers, Eamonn de Buitlear. Having begun his filmmaking career in the early sixties de Buitlear has, with infinite patience and sensitivity, unrivalled knowledge and experience, superb technical skill and measured artistic flair built up a picture of our natural environment, engaging, educating and entertaining generations of Irish viewers. A selection of de Buitlear's work will be screened on Friday 11th July including 'A Life In the Wild', 'Erin Through The Mists of Time', 'Land of the Wild Otter', and 'Islandman Maistir Baid Mhoir'.

Full details on the Galway Film Fleadh site: www.galwayfilmfleadh.com

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