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Guth Gafa Doc Fest Highlights Unveiled
07 May 2009 :
The Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival, running 12th - 14th June, will bring Films On The Edge - a varied programme of 25 international and Irish documentaries, to the small village of Gort an Choirce, in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

This year’s Guth Gafa, (Gaelic for Captive Voice) Festival will be opened by Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan with the programme placing emphasis on children’s human rights, the Irish language, and South African, German and Swiss films.

Actor Stephen Rea will be a special guest in attendance for the screening of ‘An Paiste Beo Bocht / Child of The Dead End’. Directed by Desmond Bell, this docudrama tells the story of navvy poet, novelist, dramatist and screenwriter Patrick MacGill (Rea). The film was shot in Ireland, Scotland and England.

Two directorial debut films, ‘Identities’, directed by Vittoria Colonna, and ‘Today is Better Than Two Tomorrows’, directed by Anna Rodgers, will also screen. ‘Identities’ explores the multicultural transgender community in Ireland, while ‘Today is Better than Two Tomorrows’ follows the lives of two young village boys in Laos as they try to find their pathway into adulthood.

Festival co-director David Rane describes Guth Gafa as: “Bringing not only high quality, entertaining, thought provoking documentaries to the Irish audience but also having the directors in attendance to really bring the festival to life is what we have always strived to do at Guth Gafa. Creating points of discussion and inspiration for local, national and an international Audience.”

In the International Children’s Human rights stand, films to be presented include the Chinese film ‘Red Race’ which deals with the cruel and often sadistic gymnastics training of five and six year old Chinese boys and girls; Kim Longinotto’s new film ‘Rough Aunties’ (UK/South Africa), winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize Sundance 2008, which focuses on a powerful group of women who fight child abuse in South Africa and ‘Alone in Four Walls’ (Germany/Russia), winner of the Critics prize Locarno International Film Festival 2007 and Sundance World Cinema competitor 2008, which offers a glimpse into the world of a Russian boys’ reformatory.

Environmental issues and conservation are broached in John Webster’s ‘Recipes for Disaster’ (Finland) where the director persuades his wife and two young children to go on a year long ‘oil diet’ to reduce their carbon footprint, and the award-winning ‘Saving Luna’ (Canada) about a killer whale, isolated from his pod, who forms friendships with the local and indigenous people who live on a fjord in British Columbia.

Other International highlights will include ‘Forbidden Lie$’ (Australia), Audience Favourite - HotDocs 2007, which tells the story of a writer who cons the world with a non-fiction best-seller; from Iran, ‘Letters to The President’, is the remarkable story of some of the 20 million letters a year that the Iranian people write to their president, asking for his help; ‘The English Surgeon’ (UK), Winner Best International Documentary - HotDocs 2008, is the moving portrait of a western surgeon who travels every year to perform critical brain surgery on desperate citizens of the Ukraine. Other award winning titles include ‘No More Smoke Signals’ (Switzerland); ‘Forgetting Dad’ (Germany/USA); ‘RIP – A Remix Manifesto’ (Canada); ‘My Mother’s Farm’ (Norway/ Latvia, 2008) and ‘La Forteresse’ (Switzerland). Director John Dower will be in attendance to talk about his acclaimed boxing film ‘Thriller in Manila’ (UK), which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance.

Alongside the screenings and discussions will be an Irish Film Board and Screen Producers Ireland supported Industry programme. There will be an open Round Circle Forum where the European model of cinema distribution for documentaries will be discussed by a panel of Irish and international experts, and all attending filmmakers will be invited to participate. A second seminar will focus on the creative aspects of documentary filmmaking New Forms of Documentary: representing reality beyond verité. A Screen Training Ireland Masterclass will also be included in the festival programme.

The Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival is supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, IFTN, The Arts Council, TG4, The Radharc Trust, Údarás na Gaeltachta, The Broadcast Commission of Ireland, and other industry partners.

For more details on our special offers and weekend packages go to www.guthgafa.com or call 074 9180730

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