23 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Galway Film Fleadh announces full programme for 35th Edition
27 Jun 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Past Lives
Set to run from the 11th to the 16th of July, the 35th Fleadh will feature 21 world premieres, 6 European premieres and 60 Irish premieres from 43 countries, featuring 95 feature films in all.

Highlights include an advance screening of Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s The Miracle Club, the world premieres of Irish films, Apocalypse Clown, Lies We Tell, The Martini Shot, Face Down, Verdigris and Made In Dublin, the Irish premiere of acclaimed debut film, Past Lives with director Céline Song in attendance and the Irish premiere of the winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale, On The Adamant from director Nicholas Philibert. 

“It is an honour to work with the programme team to find the best in Irish and International cinema to present for the audience in Galway,” said Maeve McGrath, Director of Programming for the Fleadh. “In the 95 feature films that we are presenting, we have 48 debut films with 41 Documentaries, 49 Narrative Films and 2 Animations alongside 102 short films.”

The Fleadh are introducing new sections Architecture on Film, Defender, and The Artist On Film alongside established programme sections such as Irish Cinema, World Cinema, Peripheral Visions, Generation and What the Fleadh?!

34 Irish films will screen in the Irish Cinema section with twenty world premieres and seven Irish premieres. These include the world premiere of George Kane’s Apocalypse Clown which follows a troupe of failed clowns as they embark on a chaotic road trip of self-discovery after a mysterious solar event plunges the world into anarchy. The world premiere of The Martini Shot starring actor Matthew Modine follows an ailing movie director as he begins to shoot what he believes to be his final work of art. The film is directed by Stephen Wallis, with performances from John Cleese, Derek Jacobi, Stuart Townsend and Fiona Glascott. The world premiere of Lie Of The Land from director John Carlin presents a tense drama that unfolds on a farm as a couple decide to abandon their farm but a last-minute change of heart leaves them fighting for survival. 

The Bingham Ray New Talent Award features ten nominees from all disciplines across film including Agnes O’Casey who leads the cast in the world premiere of Lies We Tell, from director Lisa Mulcahy, where a young woman finds herself in a struggle with family in this period drama. In the world premiere of Patricia Kelly’s Verdigris, New Talent Nominee, Maya O’Shea plays a young woman, Jewel, who befriends an older woman, Marian, a census enumerator, who needs her support to fill out the forms on the streets of Dublin.  

The World Cinema Competition which has a prize fund of €3,000 features four debut films, seven narrative features, and three documentaries with stories from around the world including the Irish premiere of Here, a captivating romantic drama that asks us to stop, reflect and enjoy living in the moment from award-winning director, Bas Devos. The Irish premiere of Carol Dysinger’s One Bullet is a story of intimate female friendship forged amidst America's longest war while Muayad Alayan’s A House in Jerusalem follows a young Rebecca as she moves with her father from the UK to Jerusalem, in the hopes that a new beginning can help her heal from her mother’s sudden death.  

The new programme section Artist On Film focuses on artists from across a variety of art forms. This includes a drama about the artist Audrey Amiss in Carol Morley’s Typist Artist Pirate King, an investigative portrait of the master of cinematic melodrama in Douglas Sirk, Hope As In Despair, and director Michael Modak-Truran captures the complexity of Faulkner’s work and life in Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead. The Fleadh will screen the world premiere of Donald Taylor Black’s documentary, John Behan: Odyssey which will tell the story of one of Ireland's best–known living sculptors. 

Animation highlights include the Irish premiere of A Greyhound Of A Girl, a family animation from director Enzo d’Alo that follows 11-year-old Mary who loves to cook and dreams of becoming a great chef. This adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel features a cast that includes Brendan Gleeson, Sharon Horgan, Rosaleen Linehan and Charlene McKenna. Part of the Peripheral Visions Competition is the Irish premiere of White Plastic Sky, a Hungarian dystopian animation from Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta Szabó set in the year 2123. Faced with diminishing resources, the human race can only survive through a trade-off: at the age of 50, every citizen is gradually turned into a tree.

The new Defender strand features films that look at political policy, climate activism and humanitarian struggles. These include the Irish premiere of Lonely Oaks which tells the story of the occupation of Hambach Forest in Germany and the tragic circumstances surrounding the film. Let The River Flow is a heart-breaking story inspired by a series of protests in 1970s -’80s’ Norway while Polish film, Backwards from director Jacek Lusiński follows a mother fighting for her autistic child’s rights to attend mainstream school.   

A new Architecture on Film strand presents films that explore our landscape and buildings with feature films representing church buildings, concrete galleries and museums including The Promise, and Architect BV Doshi, a reflection into the life of Balkrishna Doshi, one of India's most influential 20th century architects and recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.  

The Fleadh’s Music programme features six documentaries and one drama with the world premiere of The Graceless Age: The Ballad of John Murry from director Sarah Share. This documentary follows his journey from near death to redemption and a new zest for life and art. The world premiere of The Skids Revolution features the 70’s/80’s punk band who are enjoying a comeback. The Irish premiere of Joan Baez I Am A Noise is a deeply intimate portrayal of a music legend and a post screening video conversation with Joan Baez will follow. Cyndi Lauper will attend the Galway Film Fleadh for a post-show discussion following the screening of Let The Canary Sing from director Alison Ellwood which will close the 2023 Fleadh.  

This year the Galway Film Fleadh will remember two good friends of the festival who are no longer with us. A retrospective 35mm screening of Kings will remember director Tom Collins and to honour James Flynn’s contribution and legacy to the Irish film industry, the Fleadh will name the Best First Short Drama Award in his name. 

The Galway Film Fleadh is committed to embedding and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into all activities and working practices. This year their target of 50% gender representation has been achieved with 47% of films directed by female directors, 45% directed by male directors and 8% of our directors being a male/female directing team. They have also committed to representing older characters on screen and behind the camera. This commitment was realised this year while ensuring that the film programme is diverse and inclusive. 

Working with Chroma International Film Festival and Young Irish Film Makers, the Fleadh will present a range of screenings, talks and networking to showcase diverse stories of people of colour. 

The Fleadh will screen over 102 Irish and International shorts which will be in competition for the Fleadh’s Oscar-qualifying prizes. Masterclasses in acting and screenwriting will be led by Matthew Modine and Carol Morley, respectively.

Book tickets on galwayfilmfleadh.com or contact Town Hall Theatre box office on 091 569777.   

The Galway Film Fleadh is supported by the Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Screen Ireland and Galway City Council. 

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