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Galway Celebrates Double Anniversary at Special Film Event
03 Dec 2019 : News Desk
Lelia Doolan with Cathaoirleach of Galway County, Cllr. Jim McClearn and Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Mike Cobbard
A special industry event in Galway this weekend celebrated 2 key anniversaries in Film in the city.

In 2014 Galway became the fifth city in the world to achieve the status of UNESCO City of Film, in recognition of the rich history and vibrant culture of filmmaking that continues in the city and county to this day. Galway City of Film is now celebrating its 5th anniversary of that recognition and is taking a wonderful opportunity to look back at what has been achieved so far.

In a happy coincidence, this year also marks 30 years since the founding of the Galway Film Centre. With a number of short films, camps, community-led documentaries and other important film industry schemes under its belt, Galway Film Centre’s fingerprints, encouragement, and vital support can be found on key projects across Galway city and county. The Centre provides access for local industry and talent to international connections across Europe and beyond, in addition to being an industry representative body lobbying within Ireland and overseas on behalf of the local industry. The Centre facilitates inward production support through ScreenWest and the Galway Film Partnership in addition to development and production supports through the WRAP Fund.

Sunday night saw both milestones celebrated at the Pálás. Speaking at the event, Alan Duggan Manager of Galway Film Centre underscored the importance of the Centre to film industry in the west; “We have made significant strides in developing initiatives to support local industry including the Fís TV Summit and the WRAP Fund and with the same spirit that delivered the designation itself, we continue to work with our partners to deliver initiatives locally such as Creative Enterprise West and to influence national policy-making and regional planning for the industry.”

“With the confluence of these two events comes a unique opportunity to present our Galway UNESCO ‘City of Film/Ceantar Scannán’ Award to local film producer Lelia Doolan. It is difficult to think of anyone that has contributed more to the local film industry than Lelia Doolan and Galway City of Film wish to honor her and her legacy of incredible work by presenting this award to her as part of our celebrations.”

On receiving the award Lelia Doolan said; “the first time this was awarded, it was to Michael D. Higgins. It is an honour to be in such good company.” The award was hand-crafted by Galway designer Berina Kelly.

Mayor of Galway Cllr. Mike Cobbard spoke about Galway’s rich and vibrant history and culture of filmmaking. “Originally launched in 2014 by Uachtaráin Michael D. Higgins, Galway City of Film has offered valuable supports and resources to the filmmaking community in the city over the last five years that otherwise would not have been possible.”

Cllr. Jim McClearn, Cathaoirleach of Galway County highlighted some events made possible by Galway Film Centre. “With a number of short films, camps, community-led documentaries and other schemes under its belt, Galway Film Centre’s fingerprints can be found on fabulous projects all across Galway city and county.”

City of Film highlights include organising camps for young animators, hosting the One Minute Film Festival and 48 Hour Challenge, supporting short film funding schemes through Galway Film Centre such as Science on Screen and the RTE Short Film Scheme,

The award presentation was followed by a screening of Cumar, a feature film by Aodh Ó Coileáin celebrating Galway artists including Rita Ann Higgins, Tommy Tiernan, and Noeline Kavanagh. Learn more about supports offered to filmmakers by visiting GalwayFilmCentre.ie

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