8 March 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
'The Runway' Lands Best Irish Feature at Fleadh
12 Jul 2010 :
The Runway
The Galway Film Fleadh Closing Ceremony saw Ian Power’s ‘The Runway’ take the event’s Best Irish Feature title, whilst Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s ‘The Pipe’ claimed the award for Best Feature Documentary and ‘Undertow’ from Javier Fuentes-Leon (Espacios) was dubbed the Best First Feature. Furthermore, Fleadh co-founder Lelia Doolan was presented with the Galway Hooker award at the ceremony.

This year’s Galway Film Fleadh winning Irish feature, ‘The Runway’ is written and directed by Ian Power (Dental Breakdown) and tells the true story of a South American pilot who crash landed his plane into a field in Mallow, Co. Cork in 1983. Told from the point of view of a nine-year-old local boy the feature stars Mexican actor Domain Bichir (Che) alongside Irish actress Kerry Condon (Rome). It is produced by Macdara Kelleher (Colony), Brendan McDonald (The Yard) and Bernard Michaux (Lumen).

Ahead of the win Ian described the film for IFTN saying: “It’s a kids’ film and people might laugh at that because I wrote it but kids’ films to me are ‘The Goonies’ or ‘E.T.’ – great films that I grew up with which weren’t condescending to you as a kid. And that meant that adults could watch them too and feel like they were also involved. That’s the kind of movie that we have here. It is set in 1983 and I wanted to give it a sense of how you remember your childhood.”

The Best Irish Feature Award, in association with Volta Video on Demand, was presented by Karen O’Malley of Element Pictures and second place was awarded to Carmel Winters’ ‘Snap’. Produced by Martina Niland (Once) the film examines the disturbing story of three generations of a family trapped in recreating a past that each one denies. Cast members include Aisling O’Sullivan (The Clinic), Eileen Walsh (The Magdalene Sisters), Stephen Moran (Buskers), Mick Lally (The Secret of Kells) and Pascal Scott (Intermission),

The title of Best Feature Documentary was claimed by ‘The Pipe’ from Risteard Ó Domhnaill (cinematographer, Shtax: A Homecoming). A project four years in the making and produced by Risteard and Rachel Lysaght (Joyriders), ‘The Pipe’ tells the story of the people of Rossport in the West of Ireland and the efforts of the Shell oil company to lay a pipeline through their community. Second place went to ‘Burma Soldier’, the story of Myo Myint, a political prisoner, who made the transformation from being a soldier in Burma's junta to a pro-democracy activist. The project is directed by Nic Dunlop, Annie Sundberg (The Devil came on Horseback) and Julie le Brocquy (Osama).

Where the category of Best First Feature is concerned, Javier Fuentes-Leon’s ‘Undertow’ scooped the top prize. Produced by Rodrigo Guerrero (Maria Full of Grace) and Javier, the film is set in a small fishing village on the Northern coast of Peru where religious traditions run deep and where Miguel and Mariela are about to welcome their firstborn. Miguel is also deeply in love with a man however. Second prize went to ‘The Double Hour’ from Giuseppe Capotondi and produced by Nicola Giuliano (Il Divo) and Francesca Cima (The consequences of Love). The feature introduces lonely souls and explores the boundaries of love.

The Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Award, for which film-makers attempt to sell a script idea in just 500 words, was won by Len Collin for his project entitled ‘Dumpailte’. The James Horgan Award for Best Animation was presented to David Quin (Twas Terrible Hard Work) for ‘Mister Heaney – A Wee Portrait’ which sees Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney speak about brambles and hairdressing with Brian Cowen, Garrett Fitzgerald, Wayne Rooney also featured. An honourable mention was made of ‘The Meaning of Eggsistence’ directed by Bruce Ryder and produced by Stephen Rennicks (Garage).

The Fleadh’s Best First Animation prize, awarded in association with Cartoon Saloon, was won by Pádraig Mannion for his work, ‘Action Evader’ which sees an 80’s computer game hero throw in the towel after losing his girlfriend. However following many years of retirement, he is once again dragged back into the game! An honourable mention went to Leo Crowley’s ‘Laurie and the Litterbgs’ about a young boy who lives with an unaffectionate mother and Bryan Joseph O’Sullivan’s ‘We are Detectives’ where Rian the human and Pogo the alien run a detective agency in their small town of Oakridge. Pixar delighted Galway audiences with a preview screenings of 'Toy Story 3' at which director Lee Unkrich (Monsters, Inc.) and producer Darla K. Anderson (Cars) were present. The 'Toy Story 3' team were represented by the pair when awarded the festival's prestigous Galway Hooker prize for their contribution to animation.

The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama was sponsored by Waveform Studios and saw ‘Your Bad Self’s Domhnall Gleeson win with project ‘Noreen’. Produced by Juliette Bonass (Lowland Fell), David Clarke and Ciarán Deeney (The Garden of Ireland) the film sees members of the Gardaí sort their own issues whilst looking to solve a crime. ‘Flatbed’, directed by Tom Merilion and produced by Jonny Speers (Adam & Paul) was lauded with an honourable mention. The unconventional love story see the end of a relationship and a 30-tonne articulated lorry hurtling down a deserted motorway at night.

The Best First Short Drama, in association with Mazars, presented by Paul Mee, was won by Patriock Finnegan’s ‘Hoodie’ and saw an honourable mention for ‘The Crush’ directed by Michael Creagh and produced by Damon Quinn (Scapegoat). The former centres around Hoodie, a Belfast youngster who inhabits two worlds: the middle-class, suburban one he has grown up in, and the anonymous one, both online and offline, which he uses to explore who he is and what he want whilst the latter project sees an eight year old schoolboy challenge his teacher’s fiancé to a duel. To the death.

The winner of the Best Short Documentary Award, in association with Studio Solas Teo, was Tadhg O’Sullivan (The Beholder) with ‘Bow Street’, the explorative doc looks to paint a picture of the colourful Dublin area. The category, presented by John Brady, saw an honourable mention bestowed on ‘Alibi’, an exploration of a crime and its aftermath from Darren Bolger (Seaview) and Caroline Campbell.

Finally, Fleadh co-founder Lelia Doolan was presented with the event’s Galway Hooker award for her enormous contribution to Irish film, television and theatre. Lelia’s life and work was also celebrated with an IFTA ‘In conversation with . . .’ event at the Fleadh. An interview with Lelia about her illustrious and varied career will feature will feature on IFTN this week.

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