27 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
A closer look at the Irish feature films at this year’s Fleadh
07 Jul 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Abu Media’s ‘An Klondike’ will close this year’s festival
With the Galway Film Fleadh currently kicking off on the west coast, IFTN takes a closer look at the Irish feature films premiering at the festival this year.

Opening the festival on July 7th is Simon Fitzmaurice’s eagerly awaited ‘My Name Is Emily’. Starring Evanna Lynch and Michael Smiley, the film tells the story of a teenage girl who runs away from a foster home with the boy that loves her in search of her visionary writer father who is locked up in a psychiatric institution. Irish producers on the film are Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films while crew members include cinematographer Seamus Deasy, composer Stephen McKeon (who recently won an IFTA Award for ‘Queen and Country’) and editor Emer Reynolds (who also recently won an IFTA for ‘One Million Dubliners’).

Screening on July 8th is ‘A Day Like Today’. Made on a micro-budget of €450, the film is directed, produced, edited and shot by Walsh who also co-wrote the script along with Shane Coules. 'A Day Like Today' tells the story of Alice (Andie McCaffrey Byrne), a woman going through a tough period when she meets Joe (Paul Butler Lennox), a homeless man with a past that Alice is unaware of but she decides to take a chance and spend the day with him.

Irish/Australian co-production ‘Strangerland’ will have its’ Irish premiere at the Fleadh. Produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films and Naomi Wenck for Dragonfly Pictures' and co-written by Michael Kinirons – with partial funding from the Irish Film Board - 'Strangerland's crew includes cinematographer PJ Dillon, sound recordist Rob Flanagan, and photographer Ross McDonnell. The film tells the story of a family that finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past. The film stars Joseph Fiennes and Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman. ‘Strangerland’ will screen on July 8th.

Produced by Pooleen Productions, ‘Shem The Penman Sings Again’ is an imagined archive of the actual and much fabled, friendship of James Joyce and John McCormack. Screening on July 9th, the film is directed by Pádraig Trehy, written by Trehy and Peter McCarthy and produced by Rossa Mullin. Crew members include editor Tony Murphy, cinematographer Eimear Ennis Graham, composer John O'Brien and Production Designer Stephanie Clerkin. Louis Lovett, Hugh O’ Conor, Frank Prendergast, Brian Fenton and Martin Lucey lead the cast.

Irish/German co-production ‘Lost in the Living’ follows a young man, Oisín (Tadhg Murphy), a musician from Dublin, who travels to Berlin with his band. Buzzing with the potential for adventure, he leaves behind the weight of losing his mother and an anger towards his absent father and meets Sabine (Aylin Tezel), a pretty young Berliner, who shows him the secret places that belong to the people who live in the city. Directed by Robert Manson, the film is co-produced by Ballyrogan Films. ‘Lost in the Living’ screens on July 9th.

Screening ahead of its’ nationwide release on July 10 is Oscar nominated animated film ‘Song of the Sea’. Winning the Best Film IFTA at this year’s ceremony, the film is directed by Tomm Moore, written by Will Collins and produced by Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon. It features the voice talents of David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson and Fionnula Flanagan and tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse — the last Seal-child — who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. ‘Song of the Sea’ screens on July 9th.

Check out our interview with ‘Song of the Sea’ producer Paul Young here.

Produced by Filmbase, ‘Monged’ will screen on Thursday July 9th at the Town Hall Theatre. ‘Monged’ is about a wannabe drug dealer stuck with a batch of experimental new pills, a failing club DJ getting by on a daytime radio slot, and a socially awkward office worker who just turned up to the wrong party by mistake. Very much a collaborative film, the comedy is directed by Rory Mullen, David Prenderville and Brian Quinn, written by Gary Duggan, Barry Dignam and produced by Ciaran Byrne, Karolina Marinus, Craig Moore and Paul Thompstone. It is based on the award-winning play of the same name and stars Graham Earley, Rex Ryan, Joe Rooney, John Connors and Aoibhin Garrihy.

‘The Survivalist’ is coming off very strong reviews after screening at Tribeca and the Belfast Film Festival. Written and directed by Stephen Fingleton in his feature film debut, the film stars Martin McCann as a survivalist who lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest. When two women seeking food and shelter discover his farm, he finds his existence threatened. The film will screen at the Town Hall theatre on Friday July 10th.

The premiere of ‘Pursuit’ also takes place on July 10th. Directed by Paul Mercier, ‘Pursuit’ is a modern take on the legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne and makes for a contemporary myth about the pursuit of power, class, love and the chance to start again. The ensemble cast includes Ruth Bradley, Liam Cunningham, Brendan Gleeson, Owen Roe, David Pearse and Barry Ward.

‘You're Ugly Too’ receives its Irish premiere on July 11th. The film stars Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as Will, who is released from prison on compassionate leave to care for his niece Stacey (Lauren Kinsella; Albert Nobbs), after the death of her mother. ‘You're Ugly Too’ received its world premiere in February in Official Selection at the Berlinale Festival and has received exceptional reviews as well as winning this years’ SDGI Directors Finders Series.

‘Traders’ also premieres on July 11th and asks the question - what if it made sense for ordinary people to kill each other for money? ‘Traders’ is a thriller about recession-hit Ireland and the extreme, brutal lengths people will go to hang on to wealth and status. Written and directed by Rachel Moriarty and Peter Murphy, ‘Traders’ stars Killian Scott, Peter O'Meara and John Bradley.

‘Moscow Never Sleeps’, which premieres on July 11th, is a contemporary multi-narrative feature film that dives headlong into the volatile intersections of Russia's capital and the intimate lives of five people. Irish director Johnny O'Reilly delivers a visual love poem to his adopted city and the interweaving lives of its denizens. The film is produced by O’Reilly and Andrey Zakharov of Russia’s Snapshot Films. In Ireland, Katie Holly from Blinder Films produces.

Check out our interview with Johnny O’Reilly about the film here.

The festival's closing film, Irish-language feature ‘An Klondike’, tells the story of the Connollys — three Irish brothers who journey from the silver mines of Montana to the Klondike Valley in the hope of striking it rich. They seek their fortune in Dominion Creek, a town built on greed, where the Connollys become embroiled in a deadly feud with Jacob Hopkins, the man who runs Dominion. When Séamus Connolly shoots Jacob’s son in a duel, Jacob vows revenge. Directed by Dathaí Keane, ‘An Klondike’ received development funding from the IFB and is produced by Abu Media. The film stars Owen McDonnell and Dara Devaney.

For more on the Galway Film Fleadh, see their website at www.galwayfilmfleadh.com.

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