Galway Film Fleadh Announce Short Film Highlights

An Béal Bocht

This year the Galway Film Fleadh present a total of fourteen short film programmes, featuring a rise in short film co-productions from around the globe including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Norway, Lebanon and the United States.

The competitive short film programme showcases an exciting mix of drama, documentary and animation, with the winners of the Tiernan MacBride Award for Best Short Drama and the James Horgan Award for Best Short Animation gaining eligibility for Oscar consideration.

This year’s short animation programme features an abundance of styles from old school stop-motion to dark comedy. Highlights include an adaptation of the classic Irish Novel An Béal Bocht by Tom Collins and the Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders produced Sorry I Drowned, inspired by a letter found on the drowned  body of a refugee fleeing from war.

Short documentaries explore a variety of subjects from the therapeutic power of tattoos to Olympic dreams, from urban cowboys to vintage motorcycles, the latter being the focus of Charlie Endean’s  directorial debut, Open Road.

There is also the return of Oscar winner Benjamin Cleary, co-directing his new film Wave;, the Irish premiere of A Drowning Man, hot after competing in Cannes; the directing debuts of The Gate Theatre Director Selina Cartmell, for her Filmbase/RTE funded film The Date and the renowned MTV VMA nominated Music-Video director Brendan Canty with his film For You; and Ireland’s own top model Laragh McCann goes behind the camera for her first time for her debut film Day.

In addition to the curated programme of over seventy short films in a mix of Irish, English and foreign languages, the festival will also premiere two programmes of films funded by the Irish Film Board: Short Stories and Frameworks Animations.

As well as screenings, look out for the return of the short film forum. This panel discussion is dedicated to emerging and established short filmmakers in all genres, with a focus on strategies and advice from international film festivals and short film programmers. Following the panel there will be an opportunity for discussion, debate and networking.

The Galway Film Fleadh shorts programme runs every day from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th of July.

Full details of each programme will be live on from Tuesday 27th June. 


Irish Film @ Galway 2017


Pilgrimage, directed by Brendan Muldowney and starring  Tom Holland and Richard Armitage, Stephen Burke’s prison drama Maze, and a Joe Heaney biopic, Song Of Granite, are set to screen at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh (11-16 July).


Pilgrimage is a thriller set in 13th-Century Ireland, which  centres on a group of Catholic monks travelling through an Irish landscape filled with violent, warring clans in a bid to bring a sacred relic to its eventual destination of Rome

Maze  recounts the true story of a mass escape from Northern Ireland’s Maze prison in 1983, which saw 38 IRA prisoners break out in what was the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II. It stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Martin McCann and Barry Ward.

Song Of Granite, directed by Pat Collins, charts the rise of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney.



Call For: Feature Films for Galway Film Fleadh

The Galway Film Fleadh is now accepting feature submissions for the 2017 edition of the festival, which will run from 11th – 16th July.
In 2016, the Film Fleadh screened 16 World Premieres as well as countless European and Irish Premieres, many of which have gone on to secure distribution or be picked up for further international outings.  Films screened at the Fleadh frequently follow on to Toronto, Berlin, Sundance, Tribeca, Venice and London.
The Fleadh is an Oscar-Qualifying festival for Shorts (Animation & Drama). It also platforms excellence in filmmaking with retrospectives, public interviews, tributes and masterclasses from some of the world’s best filmmaking talent (John C. Reilly, Ruth Negga, Zachary Quinto, Saoirse Ronan, Fionnula Flanagan, Josh Olson, Brenda Fricker, Will Forte, Martin Sheen, Stephen Daldry,  Michael Fassbender, Ronald Harwood, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Hampton, Peter O’Toole, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Robert Towne, Paul Schrader, Mira Nair, Patricia Clarkson, Abbas Kiarostami, Paolo Taviani and many more).
Speaking about the call for entries Gar O’Brien Galway Film Fleadh programmer said “The standard of Film coming through the Fleadh each year is getting higher and higher, with the Fleadh now firmly established as THE must-attend Irish film event on the industry calendar. Alongside the Film Fair, the festival attracts programmers, financiers, distributors and sales agents from around the world and is a unique platform for filmmakers to showcase their work to both industry and some of the most cine-literate and passionate audiences in the world. It’s also a frankly dangerous amount of craic. “
Alongside the festival, the Fair – Ireland’s only film market, co-ordinates pre-scheduled meetings between filmmakers and invited Film Financiers, Distributors and Major Producers, allowing new talent to be discovered and long term partnerships to be made.
The Galway Film Fleadh accepts dramatic, documentary and animated feature films. Screening at an earlier film festival will not preclude selection, although priority will be given to Irish, European and World Premieres. The audience selects awards for Best International First Feature, Best International Feature and Best International Feature Documentary, Best Irish First Feature, Best Irish Feature, Best Irish Feature Documentary while awards for Human Rights Cinema and The Bingham Ray New Talent Award are awarded by a jury of industry professionals.
The earlybird deadline for feature film submissions is Friday 24th February at 5pm. The submission fee is €30. The regular deadline is Friday 31th March at 5pm, the fee for which is €40.
To view the full list of rules and regulations and to submit a film to the Galway Film Fleadh, please see
Looking for funding?  Want to submit your work to festivals? Keep an eye on upcoming deadlines here

Podcast: Women in Film and Television Ireland @ Galway Film Fleadh

WIFT new logo CU cropped


‘A Stronger Voice for Women’ Panel Discussion

‘A Stronger Voice for Women’ event in association with the Galway Film Fleadh features a dynamic panel discussion on creating a stronger voice for women in Film and Television when writing, casting and auditioning.

Panelists included international and Irish talent: screenwriter Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You), casting supremo Louise Kiely (Ella Enchanted, Sing Street), screenwriter, playwright and actor Stefanie Preissner, whose six-part comedy-drama series, Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope was recently shot in Dublin and actor Seána Kerslake, who stars in upcoming feature A Date for Mad Mary.

Seána Kerslake

Actor Seána Kerslake who participated in WFT Irelands’ A Stronger Voice For Women at the Galway Film Fleadh, talks to us about her background, process and recent roles.

Seána most recently filmed the lead role of Aisling in the forthcoming RTÉ drama series Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope directed by Cathy Brady and written by Stefanie Preissner. Other projects due for release this year include Darren Thornton’s forthcoming feature film, A Date for Mad Mary in which she plays the lead. Seána trained with the Screen Acting Programme at The Factory in Dublin (now Bow Street Academy), and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music & English from NUI Maynooth.

Louise Kiely

Listen here to our interview with leading casting director Louise Kiely following her contribution to WFT Ireland’s ‘A Stronger Voice For Women’ at the Galway Film Fleadh. She gives great insights into the casting process and advice for aspiring actors.

Louise and her team cast film, television and commercials. Recent credits include Sing Street (Dir: John Carney for Cosmo Films), A Dark Song (Dir: Liam Gavin for Samson Films), A Date for Mad Mary (Dir: Darren Thornton for Element Pictures Distribution), Handsome Devil (Dir: John Butler for Treasure Entertainment) and Redwater (BBC One and Element Pictures Distribution).


A Stronger Voice for Women took place on Saturday, 9th July 2016 as part of the Galway Film Fleadh


Women in Film and Television Ireland

“Women in Film and Television International is a voluntary foundation promoting greater representation of women on screen and behind the camera, with a membership of over thirteen thousand professionals worldwide.

Women in Film and Television Ireland is a branch of Women in Film and Television International. The Irish branch is a voluntary body run by film and TV professionals of international standing. Our committee members represent the creative, business and technical divisions of the Irish audiovisual sector. We are all internationally credited and the recipients of industry-recognized awards. Our intention in creating this organization is to ensure that the film and television industry functions as a meritocratic, sustainable and successful force into the future.”




Review of Irish Film Galway Film Fleadh: The Wall


Shane Croghan takes a look at David Kinsella’s The Wall, the story of a young female poet in North Korea, which screened at Galway Film Fleadh 2016.

The Wall, director David Kinsella’s highly inventive tale of a young North Korean poet, was publicly screened for the very first time at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Drawing on his own experience growing up in a troubled Belfast, Kinsella has managed to offer the viewer an insight into an extremely secretive state, through a Northern Irish lens.

The film, fittingly, is a multicultural production, shot in North Korea and Belfast, with Norwegian animation and a script penned in Amsterdam by Klaas Bense. This diversity is apt considering the nature of the story, a globe-trotting comparison piece that serves to highlight the universal nature of human experience in spite of cultural and political differences.

The story behind the making of The Wall is fascinating in itself, with Kinsella originally setting out to shoot a documentary he found that all the footage he obtained was pure fiction owing to the behaviour of the North Korean government, who brought in extras and effectively forced the director to shoot propaganda. Not to be deterred, Kinsella changed his approach and set about gathering material that could later be altered with animation. This unique set of circumstances has led to an altogether original style of visual storytelling.


Although the North Korean narrative dominates much of the running time, The Wall opens and closes with scenes set in Belfast, contextualising the tale of the North Korean poet Yung-Hee and reaffirming the director’s intention to compare the fear and paranoia found in these two troubled nations. In Belfast, three young Protestant boys play football beside a large wall. The Catholics are on the other side of the wall and the young men waste no time in making us aware of their disdain for those across the divide. These opening moments are extremely effective in setting the tone of the piece and there’s even some comedy to be found in the performance of the young actors, one of whom is playing the role of Kinsella himself.

Soon, the boys stumble upon Yung-Hee, mysteriously sitting alone on a bench by the big wall. After some introduction, the loss of the football and a number of racially charged comments from the three lads, we find ourselves transported to North Korea as the poet relays her tale of crushed dreams, totalitarian control and a complete absence of free thought. A particularly neat visual touch is employed throughout the North Korean scenes to convey the extent of government control, with wires seen attached to citizens, suggesting that they are merely puppets on strings. The muted colour palette of the suitably dreary shooting locations finds a nice contrast in the colourful splashes of animation which feature prominently throughout the film, giving a visual representation of the often metaphorical language of Yung-Hee’s story. Indeed, it is the beauty of Yung-Hee’s words, exemplified in her poem, that ultimately frees her from the tyranny of a controlling state and drives home the point of her story for the young David, who is very convincingly portrayed by Corey McKinley.

The Wall scooped the award for Best Human Rights Feature at this year’s Fleadh, and deservedly so. David Kinsella has managed to embrace the rather strange journey which led to the creation of this film and draw inspiration from any limitations he may have encountered. By utilising his own life experience, he has produced a moving piece that highlights the misguided thought process which permeates states driven by fear and paranoia.


The Wall screened on Thursday, 7th July 2016 as part of the Galway Film Fleadh


Winners @ Galway Film Fleadh Announced



On Sunday, 10th July 2016 the 28th Galway Film Fleadh came to a close, following another outstanding year of Irish and international film premieres, screenings, workshops and discussions.

Peter Foot’s comedy The Young Offenders and Darren Thornton coming-of-age drama A Date for Mad Mary shared the Best Irish Feature award at this year’s festival.

Sanctuary won Best First Irish Feature. Len Collin’s debut feature , which closed this year’s Fleadh, tells the story of Larry and Sophie who are attracted to each other and, through a care worker Tom, they sneak away during a supervised cinema trip, to a hotel room.

Frankie Fenton’s It’s Not Yet Dark won the award for Best Irish Feature Documentary. Telling the story of Irish filmmaker and author Simon Fitzmaurice’s life with Motor Neuron Disease, It’s Not Yet Dark is narrated by Colin Farrell and is based on Fitzmaurice’s 2014 memoir of the same name.

Lily, produced by the students on the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Programme and written and directed by Graham Cantwell, wonThe Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama, which will see the film join the long-list for Oscar consideration early next year.

Lily is a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. With her best friend, the fiercely loyal and flamboyant Simon, she navigates the treacherous waters of school life. When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.






Joining Dots

Director Fiona Ryan

Producer IADT


The Award for Best Animated Sequence in a Short Film


The Lost Letter

Director Kealan O’Rourke
Producer Brian Willis



          BY:  Joaquim Rouge Paret

Second to None

DIRECTOR: Vincent Gallagher





Director Eimear Callaghan

Producer Anthony McDonagh



Séan Hillen, Merging Views

Director Paddy Cahill

Producer Tal Green


The Award for the One Minute Film Festival: Presented by Mary Deely



Oscar qualifying Categories:  Since 2011 the Fleadh has been recognised as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards. Recipients of the James Horgan Award for Best Animation and Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama will qualify for consideration.



Second To None

Director Vincent Gallagher
Producer Damian Farrell





Director Graham Cantwell

Producers Sharon Cronin, Indah Pietersz, Emma Carlsson, Ciaran Byrne





Wifey Redux

Cinematographer: Daniel Katz

















WINNER: The Wall

DIRECTOR: David Kinsella

PRODUCER: David Kinsella




Kate McCullough for It’s Not Yet Dark





THE NOMINEES ARE: Peter Foott (director, The Young Offenders), Seana Kerslake (actress, A Date for Mad Mary), Caoilfhionn Dunee (actress, In View), Tara Lee (actress, A Date for Mad Mary, Moon Dogs)

Winner: Seana Kerslake





















Janet Hayes – EDGES


THE GALWAY HOOKER Award – Jim Sheridan presented by Ruth Negga




Writer/Director Tom Ryan on ‘Twice Shy’

Ardal & Shane

Twice Shy, is a modern, coming-of-age drama that revolves around a young, unmarried couple who set off on a road trip from Ireland to London, as the result of an unplanned pregnancy. The film charts the ups and downs of their relationship by juxtaposing their dramatic journey with flashbacks to happier times in their romance. 

The film stars Shane Murray-Corcoran and Iseult Casey in the lead roles and features support from a stellar cast including Ardal O’ Hanlon (After Hours, Fr. Ted), Pat Shortt (The Guard, Garage), Mary Conroy (Ros na Run) and Paul Ronan (Love / Hate).

Film Ireland asked writer/director Tom Ryan about his second feature, which premieres at the Galway Film Fleadh


The idea for Twice Shy came about after I finished work on my debut feature Trampoline. Trampoline was a low-key film about trying to deal with a career that isn’t suited for you and life in a small town, I wanted to make sure that my second feature wasn’t going to repeat any of that. I also wanted it to be bigger in scope and have something more important to say. The idea of writing about a young romance that was suddenly impacted by an unplanned pregnancy really gripped me. I thought it could be engaging and complex while also having the balance of being sincere and compassionate. The trip from Ireland to London opened up the scope of the movie. We also integrate flashbacks as to how our two lead characters of Andy and Maggie met and fell in love to offer some lightness and counter balance the drama of their road trip to the UK.

I view the film as a love story first and foremost. The abortion is a means to test these two characters and see if their relationship can survive something like this. Film is a great medium to tell a story with such an important and topical issue like this. Abortion is such a divisive issue and addressing in a movie is a responsibility we didn’t take lightly. It is our aim to portray it in a sensitive, non-judgmental manner.

Shane Iseult Airpot June (1)

I was incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful cast involved in this movie. Iseult Casey and Shane Murray Corcoran (pictured above) are terrific in the lead roles of Maggie and Andy and have such great chemistry on screen. Having actors like Ardal O’ Hanlon and Pat Shortt in supporting roles was a massive boost for us. For an indie movie to have a cast like this and a soundtrack that features Gavin James (pictured below), Ash, The Corrs and Molly Sterling is incredible. Setting out to make this film, I could never have dreamed we would be as lucky as we have been in getting all of these talented people together.

Gavin James


Having Fionn Greger on board the project as producer was also a huge help. He has been incredibly supportive of the movie throughout its production and always had my back when the going got tough. Our entire crew went above and beyond the call of duty for this movie and I can’t thank them enough. I’m also very grateful to the Film Fleadh for premiering Twice Shy. It’s a wonderful and prestigious festival. The fact that the film was the first of this year’s programme to sell out is extremely rewarding. I’m very excited and anxious to see how people will respond.




Twice Shy screens at the Town Hall Theatre on Friday, 8th July at 18.30

Director Tom Ryan and cast members Shane Murray Corcoran and Iseult Casey will attend.

Take a look at our preview of all the Irish films ascreening at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh

The 28th Galway Film Fleadh runs 5 – 10 July 2016





Interview: Emma Carlsson and Aisling O’Halloran, producers of ‘The Randomer’


The Randomer premieres at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. A modern Irish comedy about sex, love and procreation, The Randomer follows the fortunes of free-spirited Meg, who thinks she has everything she wants –  a great job and a vibrant city life full of trendy bars, cafés and social nightlife. But her life is suddenly turned upside-down when she finds herself needing the one thing that she least expected – a baby. With the clock running out before she hits the dreaded 40, it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for the perfect baby.

With the help of her new lesbian neighbours and her ever pregnant sister Regina, Meg dives headlong into Dublin’s widest selection of cosmopolitan men, determined to find the perfect “Randomer” to fulfill her quest. 

Film Ireland spoke to producers Emma Carlsson and Aisling O’Halloran about the process of undertaking this project, which was produced by the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production Programme.

Emma begins by explaining how the Filmbase Masters programme prepared the students for making a feature film. “Everyday you’d have a masterclass where professionals would come in and talk about their profession. Mix that in with a lot of practical assignments where you get to try different roles within the crew, and voilà – you’re as ready as you will be! With film you learn best by doing, so I’d say the best way to prepare yourself/teach yourself how to make a feature film is to make a feature film. Filmbase gave us that opportunity.”

Aisling adds that “there is no doubt at all that Filmbase is a practice-based course, with workshops taking place in lieu of traditional lecture-based masters. There are several practical shoots throughout the year so you are really thrown in the deep end. I was a producer on our first assignment – a three-day shoot, having never worked as a producer before. It was trial by fire, but this heavily influenced my decision to pursue producing on The Randomer.”


The film was directed by three of the students, Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy and Iseult Imbert, and Aisling admits that it was a little daunting for everyone, both cast and crew, coming into the project. Fortunately, any nerves were soon calmed when they sat in a room with the three directors for the first time. “They presented a cohesive and singular vision from the get-go. Luckily this remained strong throughout the shoot, thanks to their extensive work in pre-production.” Emma seconds that approach: “Having a clear, cohesive idea from the beginning and working with one DoP who knew how the directors wanted the film to come out was key here.”


According to Aisling, “the process of dividing the script did not come until much later in the project, less than half a week before the shoot began. The directors worked as one the entirety of the shoot, with complete artistic cohesion across style, vision, etc. Any director could direct any scene, knowing the core of what was needed, falling into the shoot based on scheduling. Fairly enough, each director eventually directed a third of the film.”


The project was always on terra firme with a script from Gerard Stembridge, whose credits include Ordinary Decent Criminal and About Adam. “The script was a complete revelation,” says Aisling. “A feature film depicting a woman who is making her own choices about her life, and is unapologetic about them. That is totally refreshing in film. Dublin is portrayed as a vibrant, young city, which is rare in the gangland, grey landscape that has been the trend in the last few decades. Gerard made a script that was very easy for a young film crew to get behind, energy wise.”


On using Dublin as a location, Aisling recalls how one of the directors likened their vision to that of a French film: “you know that it’s set in Paris, yet you never see the Eiffel Tower. They wanted this for Dublin in The Randomer, and that was what sold their pitch to me personally and heavily influenced the project for me. We have a young, energetic team who have experienced Dublin in a different light to generations before – let’s try and get some of that energy to The Randomer. Where is the newest, best cafe? What are people listening to? Where are they drinking? That thread is something we hope shines through in the film.”


Looking back over the whole experience, Emma and Aisling talk about the challenges they faced and the lessons they learnt making a feature film. “When trying to get actor’s availability work with location’s availability you face a lot of scheduling difficulties,” Emma says. “I’m so proud of our crew for pushing through. While most of our crew were a part of our class, some of them did it just for the experience, and showed up everyday with a smile on their face! We were honestly so lucky to attract such an amazing group of people. Same goes for our actors, who did everything in their power to make sure we got the best film we possibly could. Something that I truly learnt throughout this project is to take one thing at a time, that problems will keep coming – but so will solutions.”


Aisling agrees on the challenges of scheduling. “Definitely with low-budget filming. You are at the mercy of people’s kind generosity with their time and availability, and working around this. This cafe can do this for free today, but this crew member has to work until 8pm. The make or break of a film is in pre-production. We had less than two months for pre-production and shot it, something I would definitely not recommend! Many lessons learned in such a short time period though.”


The Randomer screens at the Town Hall Theatre on Wednesday, 6th July at 22:00.

Directors Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy, Iseult Imbert, and cast will attend.

Buy tickets here


More details on the Filmbase Masters programme can be found at

Take a look at our preview of all the Irish films ascreening at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh

The 28th Galway Film Fleadh runs 5 – 10 July 2016


Competition: Win ‘Tiger Raid’ Premiere Tickets & Goodies


The tense new Irish thriller Tiger Raid starring Brian Gleeson (Rebellion), Damien Molony (Kill Your Friends), and Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond) premieres at the Galway Film Fleadh next week.

The film follows two Irish mercenaries working in a private security crew in the Middle East.  They have been assigned to kidnap the daughter of a powerful man as part of a major robbery – a Tiger Raid.  One of them has a brutal and unrepentant view of the world, defined by fear and adoration of their invisible but omnipresent boss while the other is recklessly ambitious, hungry to progress through the ranks of the crew.  As the raid progresses, their frenzied world turns in on itself as past misdeeds come to the surface

Tiger Raid is a revelatory journey into the dark hearts of men, full of twists, shocks and surprises, driven by the savage poetry of its dialogue and a breakout performance from Brian Gleeson.

Both the film’s director Simon Dixon and lead actor Brian Gleeson will attend the Galway Film Fleadh screening of Tiger Raid, which takes place in the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday 7th July at 10pm.

Thanks to our lovely friends at Wildcard Distribution, we have a fantastic prize to giveaway of two tickets to the Irish premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh plus two  bags and a fab poster.



To be in with a chance of winning answer the following question:

Who directed Tiger Raid?

Email your answer to by 1pm Wednesday, 6th July when the Film Ireland hat will kidnap all entrants and select a winner.

Tickets for Tiger Raid can be purchased on the Galway Film Fleadh website


Filmbase @ the Fleadh



This year’s Galway Film Fleadh features a wealth of films supported by Filmbase over the last year. From shorts to features there’s a whole host of talent on offer at this year’s Fleadh, starting with The Randomer. Written by Gerard Stembridge (About Adam, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Nora), The Randomer is a modern comedy about sex, love and procreation.

Free-spirited Meg thinks she has everything she wants, a great job and a vibrant city life full of trendy bars, cafés and social nightlife. But her life is suddenly turned upside-down when she finds herself needing the one thing that she least expected – a baby. With the clock running out before she hits the dreaded 40, it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for the perfect baby.

If only Meg can avoid the pitfalls of modern dating, she might suddenly discover that the perfect no-strings-attached man isn’t so random. 

Produced by the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production Programme, The Randomer screens on Wednesday, 6 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 22.00.

More details on the Filmbase Masters programme can be found at

Buy tickets here

Cardboard Gangsters


Stalker Films and Five Knight Films in association with Filmbase present Mark O’ Connor’s latest feature film. A group of young cardboard gangsters attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.

Cardboard Gangsters screens on Saturday 9 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 22.00.

Buy tickets here

It’s Not Yet Dark


It’s Not Yet Dark, produced by Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film winner and Filmbase tutor Kathryn Kennedy, is a feature-length documentary telling the story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented Irish filmmaker who is living with motor neurone disease. He was diagnosed at the age of 34, after his short film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His wife was expecting their third child and they were left shocked and reeling.

Simon refused to give up and started to work on the script for a feature film – My Name is Emily. Now, five years later, the father of five children, he is completely physically incapacitated.

It’s Not Yet Dark screens on Saturday, 9 July at the Town Hall Theatre at 16.00.

Buy tickets here




In the wilds of Connemara, an engineer and his daughter are targeted by an ancient and angry force from within the earth itself.

Directed by Brian Deane, Foxglove was funded through the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards.

Foxglove screens as part of New Irish Shorts 1 on Thursday,  7 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 10.30.

Buy tickets here

We Have Each Other


A young couple try to survive a crisis, but the real danger may be far more personal than either of them realise.

We Have Each Other is produced by Filmbase student Roisin Kearney and stars Filmbase tutor Patrick Murphy.

Directed by Naomi Sheridan, We Have Each Other screens as part of New Irish Shorts 4 on Friday 8 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 12.00.

Buy tickets here



The story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. With her best friend, the fiercely loyal and flamboyant Simon, she navigates the treacherous waters of school life. When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.

Lily was produced by the students on the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Programme and written and directed by Graham Cantwell.

Lily screens as part of New Irish Shorts 4 on Friday 8 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 12.00.

Buy tickets here

Check out our preview of all the Irish films at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh here 


‘Adulting’ Premieres @ Fleadh


Adulting is a new short film by Linda Bhreathnach and Justin Davey, which will premiere at The Galway Film Fleadh as part of the ‘Short Film at the Fleadh’ series, which showcases the best in short filmmaking talent.

The film will be screened as part of the ‘New Irish Short Film 2’ collection in the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday, 7 July at 12.30 p.m.

“I wanted to do something that speaks for my generation and that shows the West in a way that’s not twee or clichéd,” says Linda, who is originally from Ros Muc in Connemara.

Written by Linda and co-directed with Justin Davey, Adulting features a cast that includes Linda Bhreathnach (Corp agus Anam, The Running Mate), Carrie Crowley (Vikings, Fair City), Paraic Breathnach (Jack Taylor, Breakfast on Pluto), Emma Eliza Regan (Jack Taylor, Darkness on the Edge of Town), Sean T. Ó Meallaigh (Vikings, Klondike), and James Riordan (Lipsinkers), amongst many others.

The film was shot in Galway City and Connemara and mixes the old traditions such as working on the bog with the new traditions – Facebook, Tinder and the all-encompassing presence of social media. Cinematography is by Justin Davey.

The music for the film is by Alana Henderson of Hozier fame.


Preview of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh


The West’s Awake and hosts the always splendid Galway Film Fleadh from 5 – 10 July. This year’s programme provides all sorts of cinematic delights and industry events.

Here we take a look at the Irish films on show.


The Last King (Nils Gaup)

Cinemobile – Wednesday, July 6th – 17:15

The year is 1204. Norway is torn apart in a Civil war. With the help of the Birch Legs, the Norwegian King is fighting for survival against the Church’s Bishopsmen, who will use any means available to obtain victory. While the King is on his death bed, his only remaining heir is guarded in deep secret. A boy who half the Kingdom wants dead, but two men will sacrifice everything to protect. The two Birch Legs warriors Skjervald and Torstein set on a perilous journey through the harsh Norwegian winter landscape in order to rescue the two-year-old future king from a terrible fate. The Last King is an Irish-Norwegian co-production.


Dead Along the Way (Maurice O’ Carroll)

Town Hall Studio – Wednesday, July 6th – 19:30

When two wedding videographers accidently kill their loan shark they decide to try and hide the body before the marriage ceremony begins.


Property of the State (Terry Ryan)

Town Hall Theatre – Wednesday, July 6th – 20:00


A hard-hitting drama, following the story of Anne Marie and threading together the events that lead to the harrowing murders of a young Mother, her child and a priest by a twenty year old man with a mental age of seven.


The Randomer (Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy, Iseult Imbert)

Town Hall Theatre – Wednesday, July 6th – 22:00


Free-spirited Meg thinks she has everything she wants, a great job and a vibrant city life full of trendy bars, cafés and social nightlife. But her life is suddenly turned upside-down when she finds herself needing the one thing that she least expected – a baby. With the clock running out before she hits the dreaded 40, it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for the perfect baby.

With the help of her new lesbian neighbours and her ever pregnant sister Regina, Meg dives headlong into Dublin’s widest selection of cosmopolitan men, determined to find the perfect “Randomer” to fulfill her quest.

If only Meg can avoid the pitfalls of modern dating, she might suddenly discover that the perfect no-strings-attached man isn’t so random.


The Wall (David Kinsella)

Cinemobile – Thursday, July 7th  – 14:15


North Korea and Northern Ireland, both have a sectarian divide, in The Wall we learn to take our own decisions and believe what we see and not what others tell us to see.


L’Accabadora (Enrico Pau)

Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 18:00

Annetta kept the inherited secret of mercy killing passed down through her mother. In her ancestral Sardinian world, she is the Accabadora: despite her young age, she is a strong woman compelled to live her life handling with the death under the severity of an ancient ritualism. But the II World War is bringing deep social changes, helping Annetta to go beyond the purgatory of her condition discovering the unexplored path of love.


Rebel Rossa (Williams Rossa Cole)

Cinemobile – Thursday, July 7th  – 18:15

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was one of the most controversial figures in Irish history. A committed Republican, he created the concept of bombing campaigns against England in the 1800’s. His funeral in 1915 lit the fuse to revolution resulting in the rebellion of Easter 1916.


Outcasts by Choice (Kate and Paul McCarroll)

Town Hall Studio – Thursday, July 7th  – 18:30

A documentary about Belfast punk legends.


In View (Ciaran Creagh)

Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 20:00


Ruth’s life is one of burgeoning guilt dominated by rage, alcoholism, depression and self-loathing which has its origins in a once off drunken indiscretion with a work colleague some years previous.  Having lost all that was dear to her, Ruth is still trying to seek out help but is coming to realise that there is only one course of action that may placate her soul.


Atlantic (Risteard O’Domhnaill)

The Shed on the Docks – Thursday, July 7th  – 20:30

Atlantic follows the fortunes of three fishing communities united and divided by the Atlantic Ocean, as they struggle to maintain their way of life despite mounting challenges within their own industry and environment. On both sides of the Atlantic, new hydrocarbon frontiers are pushing out into deeper water, and further north into the Arctic, posing serious threats from the oil and gas explorers.. The film charts the politics of resource management of the North Atlantic, from strong state control in Norway, mixed fortunes in Newfoundland, to a more liberal, privatised system in Ireland. ‘Atlantic’, through the experience of these coastal neighbours poses the question: who benefits from the exploitation of these resources. Filming at close quarters with those at the epicenter of the resources issue, and in some of the most dramatic and harsh settings in the North Atlantic, we will bring their story to a worldwide audience.


South (Gerard Walsh)

Town Hall Studio – Thursday, July 7th – 20:30

A young man struggles through his fathers recent passing. After finding a photo of his estranged mother Tom decides to search for the only family he has left.


Tiger Raid (Simon Dixon)

Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 22:00

A dark thriller featuring two characters who journey across the desert while undertaking a kidnapping in Iraq.


Fis na Fuiseoige (Aodh Ó Coileáin)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th  – 11:30

In Ireland person and place are inseparable. Sense of place has shaped the Irish literary imagination and Irish identity from earliest times. This one-hour documentary explores the deep connection between People and Place, as expressed in Irish-language poetry and local lore. Filmed over a year using state-of-the-art aerial cinematography, the film is a stunning visual exploration of the vast diversity of local places in Ireland as seen from a birds-eye perspective, illuminated by local stories and by the deep poetic perspective expressed in the writings of this country’s leading Irish-language poets who have written about the importance of place.


The War Against Women in Eastern Congo (Dearbhla Glynn)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th  – 13:00


The ongoing war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has taken over 6 million lives. Since 2007, phenomenally high levels of crimes of sexual violence have been reported. Award-winning filmmaker Dearbhla Glynn set out to document this crisis. She presents an uncompromising and disturbing examination of the effects of the sexual violence perpetrated with impunity against women and girls in this war-torn country. The film explores the experience of the victims as well as the perspective of the perpetrators of these appalling crimes – foot soldiers, warlords and high-ranking commandants. An arresting and brutal account of how war ravages the land and its people and leaves few victors – least of all women.


Land of the Enlightened (Pieter-Jan de Pue)

Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th  – 14:00

A gang of Afghan kids from the Kuchi tribe dig out old Soviet mines and sell the explosives to children working in a lapis lazuli mine. When not dreaming of the time when American troops finally withdraw from their land, another gang of children keeps tight control on the caravans smuggling the blue gemstones through the arid mountains of Pamir. Land of the Enlightened is an international co-production between Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany.


Deargdhúil: Anatomy of Passion (Paula Kehoe)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th  – 14:30

This new documentary explores the life, work and sensual poetic imagination of the revolutionary Irish poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi. Born in 1922, her story is set against a backdrop of a tumultuous century in Irish history in which she and her family (her father Seán MacEntee, her husband Conor Cruise O’Brien) were centrally involved. It is told from an intimate perspective through dramatic representations of a sequence of poems re-imagined and choreographed as short films intercut with her father’s home movies and the poet’s own commentary on her life and work. Featuring performance artist Maureen Fleming, and the voices of Louis de Paor, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Olwen Fouéré.


The Judas Iscariot Lunch (Teresa O Grady Peyton)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th  – 16:00

The Judas Iscariot Lunch presents thirteen Irish ex-­priests who speak candidly and frankly about the crossroads they came to with their beliefs, after being ordained and positioned as missionaries in East Asia, the Pacific and South America in the 1960s and 1970s.

Through their ‘camera confessionals’ we hear their questions and the guilt raised while bridging the gap between the theology they were taught at the seminary and what they put into practice in the real world. Their journey conveys the broader understanding of what faith is, and how it must move and change with the times, cultures and indeed their own humanity and needs.


Bobby Sands: 66 Days (Brendan J Byrne)

Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th  – 16:00

A cinematic portrait of the Irish Republican martyr’s epic 66-day hunger strike that grabbed the world’s attention in the early 1980’s.


A Date for Mad Mary (Darren Thornton)

Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 18:00


Tells the story of ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honour. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess and everything changes.


Twice Shy (Tom Ryan)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th – 18:30


A modern coming-of-age drama, that centres around a young couple who set off on a road trip from Ireland to London. The young, unmarried couple take the trip as the result of an unplanned pregnancy and have some life-changing decisions to make.


The Young Offenders (Peter Foott)

Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 20:00


Inspired by Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure of €440 million off the coast of Cork in 2007, The Young Offenders follows two Cork inner-city teenagers as they embark on a 160km road trip on stolen bikes in the hopes of finding some unrecovered bales.


Lost in France (Niall McCann)

Cinemobile – Friday, July 8th  – 20:15


Explores the rise of Scotland’s independent music scene in the ’90s, led by cult label Chemikal Underground. Featuring The Delgados, Bis, Mogwai, Arab Strap, Franz Ferdinand and other seminal acts, this is an intimate film exploring friendship, creativity and music. On the journey, we revisit a defining, chaotic trip early in the musicians’ careers, re-staging a concert in Brittany that connects the characters in life (and on stage) for the first time in many years. Lost in France is an Irish-UK co-production


Born and Reared (Henrietta Norton)

Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th  – 20:30

A moving documentary that explores contemporary Northern Ireland, through the lives of four men living in the aftermath of violent conflict; a story about reimagined identity of place and the fragility of masculinity.


A Dark Song (Liam Gavin)

Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 22:00


A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.


Revolutions (Laura McGann)

Cinemobile – Saturday, July 9th  – 12:15


Ireland’s recession pushes young people out. Surplus to requirement in the world beyond the Roller Derby track, the fast paced and aggressive Derby world becomes a haven for determined, pissed-off women in a crippled country. Young Irish women go on a high-octane Roller Derby odyssey in search of a means for self-expression, a fight to be fought, and, above all, a team that needs them. But how will responsibility and power affect the new leaders? With total access over 4 years, starting with the first-ever Irish team as they prepare for the World Cup in 2011, Revolutions follows this exciting sports arc, capturing the story as it unfolds, and observing fascinating rivalries and real character development.


History’s Future (Fiona Tan)

Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 14:00

Having lost his memory after a mugging, a man known only as MP (Missing Person) sets out on a journey not only in search of his memory but perhaps also for a new identity. History’s Future is produced by Cormac Fox for Irish-based Vico Films, Floor Onrust for the Dutch based FamilyAffair Films, and Benny Drechsel for Germany’s RohFilm.


It’s Not Yet Dark (Frankie Fenton)

Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th  – 16:00


A feature-length documentary telling the story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented Irish filmmaker who is living with motor neurone disease. He was diagnosed at the age of 34, after his short film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His wife was expecting their third child and they were left shocked and reeling.

Simon refused to give up and started to work on the script for a feature film – My Name is Emily. Now, five years later, the father of five children, he is completely physically incapacitated.

Narrated by Colin Farrell, and using extracts from Simon’s best selling memoir, we follow Simon as he embarks on the direction of his first feature film through the use of the last physical attribute he has control over – his eyes.


Staid (Paul O’Brien)

Town Hall Studio – Saturday, July 9th – 16:30

Four small-town people, tied together by new and old relationships, come together to tangle, fight, sing, talk, smoke, drink, argue, laugh, leave and return — and stumble towards the reality that their lives are finally changing, whether they like it or not.


Mom & Me (Ken Wardrop)

Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th  – 18:00

A portrait of what mothers mean to their sons showing a vulnerable side of American masculinity that viewers rarely see. These Oklahoma men come from all walks of life, ranging from a war veteran and a prison inmate to a cowboy preacher and a district attorney. Their mothers are just as complicated: spunky, resilient, demanding, generous, and iconoclastic. As these mothers and sons ride horses, shoot guns, and discuss their deepest feelings, Wardrop’s compassionate observation reveals the universality that underlies this most particular relationship.


The Siege of Jadotville (Richie Smith)

Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 20:00


A gripping true story of incredible bravery against impossible odds, The Siege of Jadotville thrillingly depicts the 1961 siege of a 150-strong Irish UN battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Jamie Dornan) by 3,000 Conoglese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Guillaume Canet plays a French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.


Moon Dogs (Philip John)

Cinemobile – Saturday, July 9th – 20:15

Follows two teenage step brothers on a road trip across Scotland & the enigmatic girl who comes between them.


Cardboard Gangsters (Mark O’Connor)

Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 22:00


A group of young gangsters attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.


Crash and Burn (Seán Ó Cualáin)

Cinemobile – Sunday, July 10th  – 14:15

For a fleeting moment in the early ’80s Tommy Byrne was the world’s greatest driver – the motor racing equivalent of George Best and Muhammad Ali all rolled into one. Byrne was a cocky, aggressive driver from humble roots and the F1 glitterati simply didn’t like the mix. Driving was a route out from a future of toil and drudgery he saw stretching out before him.

In a little over four years Tommy Byrne went from driving a Mini Cooper in stockcar racing, to the big-time in Formula One. His rise was meteoric and his fall spectacular.


Further Beyond (Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor)

Cinemobile – Sunday, July 10th  – 16:15

In their debut documentary, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor take as their point of departure the compelling 18th-century figure Ambrose O’Higgins. They attempt to retrace his remarkable journey from Ireland to Chile. Key locations in O’Higgins’ life – a lake in Sligo, a eld in Meath, the port of Cadiz, the sea, and the edge of a snow-covered mountain in the Andes – are visited and reflected upon in the hope that something might be revealed, as if these very locations might contain clues.

However, as they speculate on the idea of place and what O’Higgins embodies, the filmmakers continually get sidetracked by a competing story of immigration and displacement. Gradually, and not without humour, these intertwining narratives uncover ideas about the transformative power of travelling, as looked at through the peculiar prism of the Irish experience.


We Are Moving – Memories of Miss Moriarty (Claire Dix)

Town Hall Studio – Sunday, July 10th  – 18:30

An intimate portrait of Joan Denise Moriarty, a visionary who overcame enormous odds by doggedly following her dream of bringing ballet to every corner of Ireland. A pioneer of early 20th century Irish dance, Joan Denise Moriarty dared to create a uniquely Irish form of ballet inspired by her love of nature and Irish folklore. Her life’s work has been largely overlooked since her death.


Sanctuary (Len Collin)

Town Hall Theatre – Sunday, July 10th – 20:30

Larry and Sophie are in love. What could be more natural for them than to want to be alone, together? They bribe the feckless Tom to book them into a hotel for an afternoon’s tryst and look forward to getting to know each other, like countless couples before them. But Larry and Sophie aren’t any couple – they both have intellectual disabilities and Tom is their care worker. By attempting to be intimate, they aren’t just breaking the rules – they’re breaking the law.

While Larry and Sophie try to figure out their feelings, their future and how to use a condom, their friends from the training centre escape the not so watchful eye of Tom and go on a joyful rampage through Galway.


Click here to check out the short film programme at the Fleadh Continue reading “Preview of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh”


‘Lily’ to Premiere at Galway


Lily, a new LGBT drama written and directed by Graham Cantwell, will premiere at the 28th Galway Film Fleadh in July.

The film tells the story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. With her best friend, the fiercely loyal and flamboyant Simon, she navigates the treacherous waters of school life. When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.

The film stars Gaiety graduate Clara Harte and introduces Dean Quinn in the leading roles of Lily and Simon respectively.

Director Graham Cantwell says, “This film is really important to me, dealing as it does with the very sensitive issue of bullying. Some of our especially vulnerable young people are members of the LGBT community, and I’m very grateful to the BeLonG To organisation for their advice and support while I was writing the script.”

Sharon Cronin, Indah Pietersz, Emma Carlsson and Ciaran Byrne produced, with Eimear Ennis Graham as Director of Photography, Sonja Mohlich as Costume Designer, Tom North as production designer, Marina Granville as Key Makeup and Hair Artist and Keith Ward as Stunt Coordinator.

The score was created by two-time Emmy-nominated composer Joseph Conlan, whom Cantwell previously collaborated with on The Callback Queen. The film also features music tracks by JD Kelleher, Peter M Smith and Hello Monroe.

Lily was executive produced by Filmbase and Film Venture, and was shot on several locations in and around Dublin.

Full details of the screening will be announced by the Galway Film Fleadh shortly.







‘Fingerprints’ Selected for Galway


Jimmy Smallhorne’s Fingerprints has been selected for The Galway Film Fleadh 2016.

Siobhan Duffy’s Fingerprints was the winning short story in an innovative  screenwriting course at the Ballymun Regional Youth Resource centre, conducted by actor Jeff O’Toole. Ran over six months, the course aimed to provide young people from a tough working class community, the opportunity to write a short film script with the winning script to be produced into a TV movie by a professional film crew and cast.

Fingerprints was directed by Jimmy Smallhorne, whose debut film 2by4 won at Sundance, and is produced by Jeff O’Toole.

Fingerprints is a heart-rendering story of troubled boy David and his relationship with his teacher Miss Holden.

Fingerprints stars Mary Murray (Love/Hate, Adam and Paul, The Magdeline Laundries, Eamonn), David Murray (Film debut) and  John Connors (Love /Hate, Stalker, Cardboard Gangsters). Crew includes Director of Photography Fionn Comerford (Harry Potter, Breakfast On Pluto, and Life’s A Breeze, The Vikings, Penny Dreadful),  BAFTA winning editor Tony Cranstoun (The Royal Family, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Gold), IFTA winning sound editor Nikki Moss and renowned New York composer Joel Diamond.

The 2016 Galway Film Fleadh takes place July 5th – 10th.







Call For: Entries – Feature Films for Galway Film Fleadh


The Galway Film Fleadh is now accepting feature submissions for the 2016 edition of the festival, which will run from 5th  – 10th July.


The Galway Film Fleadh accepts Feature films, Documentary and Animation. Screening at an earlier film festival will not preclude selection, although priority will be given to Irish, European and World Premieres. The audience selects awards for Best International First Feature, Best International Feature and Best International Feature Documentary, Best Irish First Feature, Best Irish Feature, Best Irish Feature Documentary while awards for Human Rights Cinema and The Bingham Ray New Talent Award are awarded by a Jury of Industry Professionals.

The earlybird deadline for feature entries is Friday 26th February at 5pm. The entry fee is €30. The regular deadline is Friday 25th March at 5pm, the fee for which is €40.

To view the full list of rules and regulations and to submit a film to the Galway Film Fleadh, please go to website.



Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: I am Belfast


Seán Crosson heads North in Mark Cousins’ documentary I am Belfast, which screened at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.


Personifying places and indeed the entire island of Ireland as a woman has been a recurring trope in Irish literature and culture for many centuries, including seminal texts such as W.B. Yeat’s Cathleen Ni Houlihan and Pearse’s Mise Éire. Mark Cousins’ I am Belfast provides an innovative updating of this trope in the figure of a 10,000 year old woman (Helena Bereen) who claims to be the city itself and takes the filmmaker on a journey through time and space, recounting its historical development while travelling through its distinctive streets and landscape. In the process Cousins offers one of the most innovative studies of an Irish city; his film is partly a paean to its people, language and culture, partly an impressive rendering of the distinctive colours and shapes one finds while walking the streets of Belfast, and partly a hopeful song to a future without bigotry and division.

Cousins is fortunate to have collaborators such as acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and composer David Holmes who visually and aurally complement Cousins’ own refreshing and engaging dialogue with the elderly woman as he travels across the city and into its past. Few previous films have managed to render the distinctive architecture and colours of Belfast as effectively; there is also a patience to the film’s pacing that allows for the viewer to fully appreciate the film’s aesthetic achievement. Cousins even manages to find a peculiar beauty in the play of light and colour on the ‘peace walls’ that continue to divide communities across the city – more now even than during the height of the Troubles.

Belfast is unfortunately still primarily associated in film and television with recurring generic depictions of the Troubles and its aftermath; and Cousins, despite his own stated reluctance, does not shy away from confronting the legacy of Belfast’s traumatic and violent past. Indeed, he engages directly with some of the most disturbing events, including the horrific bombing of McGurk’s Bar in 1971 in which 15 civilians were killed and a further 17 seriously injured.

I am Belfast includes archive footage to incorporate events during the Troubles into its narrative; however, the film’s principal focus is on Belfast today and the hope that may lie in the future. Cousins films the mock-up of McGurk’s bar created under a Belfast underpass in 2011 and ponders the possibility of a different encounter between ‘salt and sweet’, Protestant and Catholic, beyond the traumatic legacies of the past. He personifies this evocatively in the imagined funeral of the ‘last bigot in Belfast’, and an upbeat funeral procession is featured towards the film’s close.

At a time when filmmakers have been hesitant to engage with the difficult legacies of Belfast’s past, Cousins provides a timely intervention while pointing to a future where all the city’s inhabitants could take pride in the spaces and places they inhabit.


Seán Crosson is the Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway. His publications include Sport and Film (Routledge, 2013) and several co-edited volumes, including Contemporary Irish Film: New Perspectives on a National Cinema (Braumüller, 2011) and The Quiet Man … and Beyond: Reflections on a Classic Film, John Ford and Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). He is currently President of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS)


 I am Belfast screened on Sunday, 12th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)



Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: Strangerland


Deirdre Molumby checks out the Irish/Australian co-production Strangerland, which screened at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

Strange by name and strange by nature, Kim Farrant’s debut is a confident, dramatic, suspenseful thriller that is well-acted but frustratingly ambiguous.

The Parker family have recently moved to a remote desert town called Natgari in Australia. While the children express a sense of restlessness – the youngest, Tommy (Nicholas Hamilton), wanders around the town at night while teenager Lily (Maddison Brown) gets very friendly with the local young men – the parents try their best to fit in. The father, Matthew (Joseph Fiennes), works as a pharmacist while Catherine (Nicole Kidman) is a stay-at-home mother who discovers one day, to her horror, that the children are missing. After the town is searched from top to bottom, the prospect that the children have disappeared into the desert outback becomes more probable, and every day their chance of survival rapidly diminishes.

In spite of what seems to be the set-up of old movie clichés – a family moves into a small town and tries to fit in, the kids start a new school, a family secret is apparent – there is more to the story than meets the eye. The promiscuous nature of the teenaged Lily sets her up as far from a helpless, innocent, victimised young girl. First seen only in her underwear as she openly flirts with a worker in her house in front of her father, her open sexuality is quite shocking, and even more so given she looks like she has only just hit puberty. Both Lily and Tommy are attractive children, which only makes their prospective fates in the desert landscape all the more daunting. Another key player in the plot is local cop David Rae (Hugo Weaving), who intends to be helpful and to be a good cop. However, the balance between protecting the Parkers and having long-standing relationships with several of the locals leads to difficult compromises.

At the heart of the drama are parents Catherine and Matthew, played respectively by Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes. While Catherine quickly disintegrates into emotional trauma by the events surrounding the children’s disappearance, the character of Matthew is far more enigmatic and stoic towards what is happening. Both go through major transitions, and the children’s disappearance reveals several facts about their parents’ marriage and relationship, the town and those who live there, and repressed desires.

While the younger cast are impressive, it is the trio of Weaving, Kidman and Fiennes who are the key to the film and all give stellar performances. The changing dynamics that occur both within and between the characters is indispensable to the film’s tension, which holds the audience from start to finish. Strangerland does, however, suffer from a fairly predictable plot as well as an awkward balance between trying to be both arthouse and accessible cinema. Having built up to what promises to be a dramatic, fitting finale, the film’s final scenes seem to be more interested in shocking the audience and subsequently leaving them freewheeling rather than providing catharsis. The ambiguity that characterises the film ultimately does not seem to be so much an artistic decision as lack of assertiveness on the part of the writers. The acting saves it.



Strangerland screened on Wednesday, 8th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)



Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: ‘An Náisiún’ & ‘Deoch an Dorais’


Seán Crosson takes a look at two TG4-commissioned documentaries that screened at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh – An Náisiún (The Nation 1923) and Deoch an Dorais (Name Your Poison).


Since its launch in 1996, TG4 (or TnaG as it was then) has rightfully developed a considerable reputation for the excellent documentaries it has commissioned and the Galway Film Fleadh has provided an important forum for the premiere of many of these works in recent years. An Náisiún (The Nation 1923) and Deoch an Dorais were two further impressive examples of TG4’s súil eile approach in its examination of the experiences of Irish people at home and abroad.

In An Náisiún the subject is the Irish civil war, and particularly that part of it fought out over Limerick city and its hinterland. Narrated by Macdara Ó Fatharta, the doc features impressive archive footage and photographs that are beautifully rendered to bring the viewer into the lives and tensions of the period considered. The most affecting aspect of the work is the director’s – Andrew Gallimore – decision to offer most of the commentary from the perspective of participants involved in the war itself, on both the Free State and Irregular sides. Arguably no war is more brutal or more poignant than a civil war and the words of those involved, whether from letters, memoirs or interviews, make this all the more apparent.



Set slightly later in the early 1930s, Deoch an Dorais (Name Your Poison) examines the legend of Mike Malloy (nicknamed “Rasputin of the Bronx” or “Durable Mike Malloy”), an Irish emigrant to New York at the time of prohibition. Malloy was the unwitting subject of insurance fraud when a policy was taken out on his life by an Italian-American New York gangster and speakeasy owner, Tony Marino. However, despite repeated attempts to collect the policy by killing Malloy in a manner that would suggest a natural death – from poisoning him with drink and food, to hitting him with a car and dumping his soaking body overnight in freezing weather – Marino and his accomplices were unable to collect.

The documentary is presented by All-Ireland winning Donegal captain Anthony Molloy, who also reflects on his own struggle with alcoholism and the larger story of Irish emigration to the United States of which Malloy was but one of many examples. Incorporating contemporary footage of New York and interviews with a range of scientific and academic commentators (including historian J.J. Lee), Deoch an Dorais also includes reenactments of the events from the 1930s involving Malloy, Marino and his co-conspirators (including undertaker Francis Pasqua); the scenes in Marino’s speakeasy offer a convincing rendering of the period, with the lighting particularly impressive. Under Paddy Hayes assured direction, Deoch an Dorais is an engaging and thought-provoking account of an extraordinary story.


Seán Crosson is the Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway. His publications include Sport and Film (Routledge, 2013) and several co-edited volumes, including Contemporary Irish Film: New Perspectives on a National Cinema (Braumüller, 2011) and The Quiet Man … and Beyond: Reflections on a Classic Film, John Ford and Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). He is currently President of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS).


An Náisiún screened on Thursday, 9th July & Deoch an Dorais screened on Saturday, 11th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)



Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: A Day Like Today


Christopher Banahan is impressed by Gerard Walsh’s A Day Like Today, which screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Gerard Walsh’s A Day Like Today has a thoughtfully-paced, sensitive script and direction that breathes an intimate sensibility into the arc of the story. Yet it belies a gritty undertone that gives the viewer disturbing glimpses that reveal the hidden flaws of the damaged central characters of the homeless Joe (Paul Butler Lennox) and downtrodden housewife Alice (Andie McCaffrey Byrne).

The film exudes a tentative subtle non-physical contact alliance between a couple from extremely different worlds. There is an unsaid compassionate understanding between the protagonists after spending a day in each other’s lives (suggesting an indirect catharsis to heal their own lives/ situations and see them more clearly from each other’s perspectives).

After the initial attraction, the unlikely couple’s hidden flaws rise uneasily and uncomfortably to the surface, during the course of ‘a mitching day in Dublin’.

Once intimate questions are asked by the pair, like the Pandora’s box syndrome, they have to be ‘looked into and faced’… As there’s no going back from the ugly truth once it is hinted at and takes an unhinged confrontational form of its own.

This confrontation manifests itself in a vengeful attack on Joe, a mercy rescue by Alice and the uncomfortable arrival of the vexed husband as he returns home to find his wife attending to the wounds of the homeless man. An uneasy, beer-drinking stifled conversation is drawn out with the homeless man by the suspicious husband, eventually leading to a brutal assault on his wife.

Yet despite the unwanted revelations and acts of retribution, the empathy of the two central protagonists towards each other irrevocably holds their belief in some form of redemption or hope, no matter how meagre or pitiful.

It is hard to believe that the film was put together on a micro-budget and shot in only ten days, as it is rich in its deliverance of its sensitive content, and thoughtful casting, particularly of Paul Butler Lennox’s volatile yet potentially ‘loose-cannon character’. An actor the director had in mind even as the script was still developing.

Gerard Walsh revealing it was ‘his love letter to Dublin’, told me he would make the film the same way again even if offered a larger budget – bringing to mind the Orson Welles filmmaker’s principal that ‘the enemy of art is the absence of limitation’ suggesting the tighter the budget the more creatively challenging the director must be. And in the case of A Day Like Today, Gerard Walsh succeeds with a wealth of imaginative gritty urban realism imbued with a sensitive story naturally told and revealed through brave and compelling performances.


Christopher Banahan (MA Production and Direction: Huston School of Film & Digital Media, Flirt FM journalist)

A Day Like Today screened on Wednesday, 8th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)



‘Song of the Sea’ Wins Best Film at Galway Film Fleadh


Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea won Best Irish Feature Film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Alex Fegan’s Older Than Ireland was awarded Best Irish Documentary while Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too won Best Irish First Feature ( in cinemas 24th July)

The Bingham Ray New Talent Award was given to producer Kathryn Kennedy, who produced the Fleadh’s opening film, My Name is Emily. Seamus Deasy was awarded Best Cinematography in an Irish Feature for his work on the film.

Stephen McNally’s Meanwhile won the Don Quijote Award for Best Animation and the Best First Short Animation was awarded to Tom Caulfield’s Unhinged.

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation went to Maurice Joyce’s Violet, while the Tiernan MacBride Award for Best Short Drama was won by Phil Sheerin’s North.

Best First Short went to Tristan Heanue’s Today, while Cara Holmes’ Queen of the Plough won Best Short Documentary.


The full list of winners of the 2015 Galway Film Fleadh:

  • Best Irish Feature Film: Song of the Sea
  • Best Irish First Feature: You’re Ugly Too
  • Best Cinematography in an Irish Feature: Seamus Deasy –My Name Is Emily
  • Best Irish Documentary: Older Than Ireland
  • James Horgan Award for Best Animation: Violet
  • The Don Quijote Award for Best Animation: Meanwhile
  • Best Animated Sequence in a Short Film: Geist
  • Best First Short Animation: Unhinged
  • The Tiernan MacBride Award for Best Short Drama: North
  • Best Short Drama: Queen of the Plough
  • Best First Short Drama: Today
  • The Donal Gilligan Award for Best Cinematography in a Short Film: Tim Fleming – My Bonnie
  • Best International Film: Margarita With A Straw
  • Best International Feature Documentary: Armor of Light and Touch the Light
  • Best International First Feature: My Skinny Sister
  • Best Human Rights Feature: Marzia, My Friend
  • The Bingham Ray New Talent Award: Kathleen Kennedy (Producer – My Name is Emily)
  • The Fleadh Pitching Award: Luke Morgan – Ewetopia
  • The One Minute Festival Award – Luke and Roger
  • Short Film Slam: I Am Jesus
  • Galway Hooker Award: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, and Mícheál O Meallaigh

Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: Song of the Sea



Song of the Sea had its Irish premiere earlier this evening at the Galway Film Fleadh. Glen Falkenstein sent us this review from the film’s Australian premiere at this year’s Sydney Film Festival.


Films routinely transport us to another world, another place; somewhere different and sometimes so enthralling that you can’t rip your eyes away. Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea, set in modern Ireland, does just that, weaving a very rich tapestry of Celtic folklore around a world we know, rendering a laudable achievement in both technical and literal storytelling just that much more fascinating.

Conor (Brendan Gleeson) shares an isolated lighthouse with his wife Bronagh and their son Ben, who is expecting a little brother or sister. A very pregnant Bronagh disappears one night after putting her son to bed, with Ben waking up to find a despondent dad and a baby girl, Saoirse. Fast-forward six years and Ben’s entrenched dislike of Saoirse has only grown, his sister yet to utter a word, his closest companion his scruffy sheepdog Cu.

Saoirse discovers a shell in Ben’s possession, left to him by their mother, which whenever she plays it produces magical properties and summons a flock of fairies. After a late-night adventure by Saoirse into the sea to explore these new-found wonders, her grandma decides the lighthouse is no safe place for children and takes them away to live with her, with Ben and Saoirse determined to remain by the ocean with their father.

Expertly integrating aspects of Irish mythology and a modern-day setting and characters, Song of the Sea is throughout its run an engaging and visually enchanting story. Screening as part of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, elements of Celtic mythology unfamiliar to the many who view the Oscar-nominated animated feature are rendered all that more engaging for both their vivid portrayal and demonstrated relevance and fusion within a current setting.

Tumbling down a rabbit hole of folklore, Ben encounters many magical, skilfully drawn creatures as he attempts to reunite himself and his sister with the ocean; both he and his father discovering the mythical secrets of their own family and home. The well-chosen style of animation is both descriptive and colourful but not overly complicated, creating images that are instantly charming as well as graphically striking when deployed for the more exuberant characters Ben meets along the way.

A memorable and endearing animated entry at this year’s festival, Song of the Sea sets itself above countless other children’s films by ably appealing to both kids and much older cinema-goers on so many wonderful levels at once.

Song of the Sea screened as part of this year’s Sydney Film Festival and The Galway Film Fleadh

Glen Falkenstein writes film reviews, features, commentary and covers local festivals and events. Glen lives in Sydney. He tweets @Glenfalkenstein


Short Films ‘Joseph’s Reel’ & ‘Coil’ Screen at Fleadh

JR Still 1
Forty Foot Pictures‘ Joseph’s Reel and Coil are both screening at the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July).
Michael Lavers’ Joseph’s Reel premiered at the Palm Springs Shortfest 2015 last week. Before passing away, an elderly man is given the chance to relive one day of his life. A figure known only as the Projectionist (Alice Lowe) offers a cantankerous Joseph (Robert Hardy) the chance to return to his favourite memory, so long as he follows the script of the day as it happened. But on choosing the day he proposed to his wife Rose in the 1950s, he is faced with a difficult choice – relive a perfect moment, or risk what little is left to steal a new one?

Steve Kenny’s Coil starring Joe Mullins (Pilgrim Hill) introduces us to Patrick, a lonely priest in a small rural community who has his world turned upside down when a strange trinket is left anonymously at his front door. This offering sparks in him an uneasy curiosity leading Patrick towards a dark encounter with the occult. His attempt to uncover what’s going on forces him to confront his own waning faith as he edges closer to the sinister threat of his mysterious tormentor.


Coil screens at 10am on Friday, 10th July at the Town Hall Theatre as part of the New Irish Shorts 4 programme.


Joseph’s Reel screens at 12pm on Friday, 10th July at the Town Hall Theatre as part of the New Irish Shorts 5 programme.



Irish Western ‘An Klondike’ to Close Galway Film Fleadh

Tom & Séamus


An Klondike has been selected as the Closing Film for the Galway Film Fleadh. An Klondike is the first Western to be made in Ireland and tells the story of the Connolly Brothers; three Irish emigrants who travel from Montana to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s in the hope of striking it rich. The film follows the Connolly brothers to the town of Dominion Creek where they become embroiled in a deadly feud with Jacob Hopkins, the man who runs the town. When Séamus Connolly shoots Jacob’s son in a duel, Jacob vows revenge.

The film is produced by Galway based company Abú Media and producer Pierce Boyce states: “With An Klondike we have created an ambitious, character-driven drama that has international appeal, but with a distinctly Irish edge. The series will be bilingual with the majority of the dialogue in Irish. As they would have done at the time, the Irish characters speak to each other in Irish and speak with the American and English characters in English. The film has already attracted international interest and has secured an international distribution deal with Content Media.”

The film’s director Dathaí Keane said: “I’m delighted that An Klondike has been chosen to close the Fleadh. I’m from Galway myself and have been coming to the Fleadh since I was in school, so to premiere my first feature here is a real honour. The film was shot entirely in the West of Ireland and the landscape plays a vital role in establishing the visual tone of An Klondike. The desolate pine forests and lakes of Connemara are a perfect backdrop for the story we are telling. The terrain in certain parts of the West is identical to the regions of the Yukon where gold was discovered. So it’s very fitting that An Klondike make its debut at the Galway Film Fleadh”.

As part of the production the mining town of Dominion Creek was constructed on the grounds of the Glengowla mines outside Oughterard in Co. Galway. Production Designer Padraig O’Neill and his team spent months researching and designing each building that makes up the town.

The Connolly brothers are being played by Owen McDonnell, Dara Devaney and Sean T. Ó Meallaigh. Other cast members include Siobhán O’Kelly, Séamus Hughes, Steve Wall, Ned Dennehy, Robert O’Mahoney, Megan Riordain, Bríd Ní Neachtain and Native American actor Julian Black Antelope.

An Klondike is written by Marcus Fleming, director of photography is Colm Hogan, costume designer is Triona Lillis and music is by Steve Lynch. An Klondike was financed by BAI, TG4 and Section 481.


An Klondike screens at 8.30pm on Sunday, 12th July.

Director Dathaí Keane and members of the cast will attend.

Check our preview of Irish films screening at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh here

The 2015 Galway Film Fleadh runs from 7 – 12 July.

Check out the full programme here


Galway Film Fleadh 2015 Line-Up Announced



The Galway Film Fleadh has announced its programme for 2015, which this year features thirteen World Premieres alongside European and Irish Premieres plus its usual feast of film.

Irish films screening this year include a number of first features from debut directors, such as Mark Noonan’s comedy-drama You’re Ugly Too, starring Aidan Gillen who is released from prison to care for his niece; The Survivalist, a post-apocalyptic drama from Stephen Fingleton; and Traders from Rachel Moriarty and Peter Murphy, exploring the depths a group of young professionals go to, to preserve their wealth and status in recession-hit Ireland. The festival kicks off with a screening of Simon Fitzmaurice’s My Name is Emily.

The 2015 Fleadh will also showcase new work from directors like Johnny O’Reilly, who delivers a visual love poem to his adopted city and the interweaving lives of its denizens in Moscow Never Sleeps; Irish filmmaker Cathal Black presents a new short film Butterfly; and the Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar®-nominated animation Song of the Sea finally comes to Ireland.

Fans of Irish documentaries will enjoy Mary McAleese and the Man Who Saved Europe, in which the former president is our guide to the legacy of St. Columbanus; and Older Than Ireland, which tells the story of Ireland through interviews with thirty centenarians who are older than the state itself.

For details on these screenings and much more, including masterclasses, Q+A’s, panel discussions and musical accompaniments, check out


 The Galway Film Fleadh runs 7 – 12 July


Galway Film Fleadh to hold Free Outdoor Concert


The Galway Film Fleadh, in partnership with the Esker Festival Orchestra and Galway City of Film will present a Free Outdoor Concert of film scores on Wednesday 8th July at 1pm at the Spanish Arch, to celebrate Galway’s status as a UNESCO City of Film.


The Esker Festival Orchestra is a 60 person ensemble made up of talented young musicians from all across Ireland. They will perform a selection of classical film scores by popular composers such as John Williams, Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer. This Free Outdoor Concert will be an unmissable opportunity to hear music from movies such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Lord of the Rings and more, performed by a 60 piece symphony orchestra!


In December of last year, after a competitive evaluation process, Galway was officially designated a UNESCO City Of Film. This is a permanent global designation and an internationally recognised standard of excellence for Galway. The title of City of Film also includes membership of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, which seeks to develop international cooperation amongst cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development.


The Esker Festival Orchestra was set up in 2014 to provide a high quality, beneficial and meaningful musical opportunity for young professionals. The orchestra was set up to allow talented young musicians from across the country to perform together, socialise together and to promote and develop orchestral music in Ireland by nurturing the talents of its emerging musicians.


The Galway Film Fleadh takes place from Tuesday 7th to Sunday 12th July. The open air concert is just one of many events in a programme that promises to be filled with a feast of cinematic pleasures including public interviews, masterclasses, Q+A’s with filmmakers and extra-sensory screenings. The full programme for the 27th Galway Film Fleadh will be launched on Tuesday 23rd June at 6pm in the Veranda Bar of the Radisson Blu Hotel.

The Open Air Concert of Music from the Movies takes place on the second day of the Film Fleadh, Wednesday 8th July at 1pm by the Spanish Arch.


Call For: Volunteers for Galway Film Fleadh



The Galway Film Fleadh, which takes place from Tuesday 7th July until Sunday 12th July 2015, is now accepting volunteer applications for this year’s festival.


Volunteering at the Galway Film Fleadh offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with the running of an annual film festival, become a part of the Film Fleadh team and gain a unique insight into an important aspect of the film industry. Not to mention the fun to be had and friends to be made by working at ‘One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’, as voted by Moviemaker Magazine.


Successful volunteer applicants could be asked to work in one of several areas:

  • Assisting with workshops and industry events
    • Transportation
  • Guest registration
  • Working with the Publicity / Marketing team
    • As part of a film crew – camera work, sound recording, editing etc.
    • Taking tickets / Ushering
    • Sales



If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, you can find more information and an application form on the Galway Film Fleadh’s website:


You can also email


Or message the following:



‘My Name Is Emily’ Opens Galway Film Fleadh

Emily & Arden laughing

The Galway Film Fleadh, which takes place from Tuesday 7th July until Sunday 12th July, has announced that it will open with the World Premiere of the debut film from award winning director Simon Fitzmaurice, My Name Is Emily.


Managing Director of Galway Miriam Allen says “we’re honoured to screen MNIE as the opening film for our 2015 Festival.  After watching the film we were moved to tears, not only due to powerful film-making but also by Simon Fitzmaurice’s own inspirational story”


Shortly after his second short film The Sound of People premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, director Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with MND, the debilitating disease for which the viral ice-bucket challenge raised awareness last September.  Now completely paralysed, Fitzmaurice typed the script for the film, as well as his best-selling book It’s Not Yet Dark through the movement of his eyes and iris recognition software.  This is also how he communicated to direct the film during a six week shoot last year.


Simon says “I’m deeply honoured that The Galway Film Fleadh has invited My Name Is Emily to open the festival.  Everyone involved with the making of this film has worked so hard and I cannot think of a better reward and a better place for our film’s world premiere”


It’s Emily’s 16th birthday and for the first time in her life, doesn’t receive a birthday card from her Dad.  After meeting a fellow outsider at her new school, Emily and her handsome ally, Arden, decide to embark on a road trip adventure across Ireland to find her missing father.  They are an odd couple, this pale girl and the boy in the velvet suit, and along the way, they find love as well as some hard and unexpected truths.


My Name Is Emily is a life-enhancing story starring Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter), Michael Smiley (The Lobster, Kill List, A Field in England) and newcomer George Webster (City of Dreamers, Blood Moon) and boasts an amazing soundtrack including James Vincent McMorrow who composed a song specially for the film, Lisa Hannigan, Cat Dowling, Liza Flume, Hudson Taylor, Lisa Mitchell, Printer Clips and Jake Bugg.


On being offered the role of Emily, Lynch said, “After I read the script, it was all I could think about for weeks; it is so different to anything I’ve read and so real and dynamic.”  Michael Smiley commented, “It’s one of the most beautiful scripts I’ve read in a long time” and the film also features Simon’s long-time collaborator Martin McCann (’71, Clash of the Titans).


My Name Is Emily will be distributed by Eclipse Pictures and was produced by Newgrange Pictures and Kennedy Films, alongside Scandinavian co-production partners Garage Film and Paradox.  The film was financed by IFB, BAI, Section 481 and TV3 with co-production finance from Film i Väst and SVT in Sweden.  Production funding was completed via a crowd-sourcing campaign; vocal proponents of which included Jim Sheridan, Lenny Abrahamson, Colin Farrell, Sam Neill and Alan Rickman, who supported the film not just because of the adversity faced by Simon but due to the cinematic talent he displayed in his earlier work and quality of script.




My Name Is Emily will receive its World Premiere on Tuesday 7th July at 7:30pm in the Town Hall Theatre, with cast and crew in attendance. For tickets, further details and information, log onto



Marketplace Submissions Open for 2015 Galway Film Fair



Applications are now being accepted for the Marketplace at the 2015 Galway Film Fair, the industry arm of the annual Galway Film Fleadh.


A unique opportunity to meet with the world’s leading financiers in an intimate and informal atmosphere, allowing new talent to be discovered and long term partnerships to be made.

The Marketplace at the Galway Film Fair (9th-11th July 2015) takes place during the Galway Film Fleadh (festival) 7th-12th July 2015 and co-ordinates pre-scheduled meetings between filmmakers with projects in development and/or completed films and invited Film Financiers, Distributors, Sales Agents, Broadcasters, Film Funds and Major Producers.

A pre-selected group of Irish and European producers with feature films/documentary projects will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of these companies. A project book will be available for all decision makers and in the case of completed films viewing facilities will be available.

The Marketplace’s unique selling points:

  • Transatlantic Bridge
  • Intimate and informal atmosphere
  • Privileged access to the world’s leading financiers
  • Showcasing new European and International cinema to leading Film Buyers, Distributors and Festival Programmers.

Alongside the Marketplace many other industry events take place at the Galway Film Fair including conferences, seminars, masterclasses, debates, workshops and much more.


For further details and application forms, please visit or email






Call For: Feature Submissions for Galway Film Fleadh


Illustration: Adeline Pericart

The Galway Film Fleadh has announced that feature submissions are now being accepted for the 2015 edition of the festival, which will run from 7th – 12th July.


In 2014, the Film Fleadh screened 18 World Premieres as well as countless European and Irish Premieres, many of which have gone on to secure distribution or be picked up for further international outings. Films screened at the Fleadh frequently follow on to Toronto, Berlin, Sundance, Tribeca, Venice and London.


The 2015 Film Fleadh will be the festival’s 27th edition and as well as the usual exchange of bringing innovative World Cinema to Ireland, while propelling Irish filmmakers onto an international stage, the festival boasts an impressive industry market – the only one of it’s kind in Ireland – as well as many other developmental and networking events, collectively termed the Galway Film Fair.


Details on submissions for the Film Fair as well as Galway’s Academy Award accredited Short Film Programme will be annonced in the new year. Meanwhile, the earlybird deadline for feature entries is Friday 27th February at 5pm. The entry fee is €30. The regular deadline is Friday 27th March at 5pm, the fee for which is €40.


The full list of rules and regulations for submission to the Galway Film Fleadh, as well as the application form are available on




Poison Pen – Review of Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh


Diarmaid Blehein gives us the juicy gossip on Poison Pen, the first feature film script by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer. The film premiered at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

PC Molloy (Lochlann O’Mearain) is a Booker Prize-winning author who hasn’t published a book in fifteen years. He spends his days teaching classic poetry to uninterested college students and avoiding completion of his second novel. However, his circumstances change suddenly when his publisher is bought by the owners of a celebrity gossip magazine, Poison Pen, a genre of writing he openly despises. Much to his indignation, the magazine’s boss, the beautiful and ruthless April Devereaux (Aoibhinn McGinnity), hires him to interview celebrities for a column she hopes will add a touch of class to the scandalous rag. Facing legal action if he refuses, Molloy grudgingly takes on the job and sets about trying to get fired. But he soon finds himself becoming very involved on both sides of the game.

Eoin Colfer, famed author of the Artemis Fowl  book series, turns his hand to screenwriting and creates a quirky comedy that sucks us in to the grizzly world of magazine journalism, while at the same time entertains us immensely. It is very refreshing to see a film set in London which has an Irishman as the central character who doesn’t fall victim to any kind of stereotype. He is a man who just happens to be Irish.

O’ Mearain gives a delightful performance as the bookish, snobbish, tweed- wearing Molloy, whose cynicism of his new workplace and its members proves for some genuinely amusing moments. McGinnity is equally convincing as the ambitious, gossip-hungry boss, who gradually melts once Molloy starts to deliver the dirt. The film also features a strong supporting cast. Ryan O’ Shaughnessy is hilarious as one of Molloy’s loud-mouthed students whose ambition to be a famous rapper makes him stop at nothing to attract media attention including posing as his teacher’s gay partner. Lauryn Canny of Amber fame also holds her own as Molloy’s daughter, Sally, who aspires to be a model just like her deceased mother, much to her father’s dismay.

What’s most impressive about the film is its ability to be funny without resorting to awful crassness, which sadly seems to be what many contemporary comedies are doing in order to generate a laugh. The subject matter is strikingly relevant with the power and freedom of the British press being currently under scrutiny in light of the Leveson Inquiry. Indeed, despite the many laughs the film succeeds in conjuring, there is a deeper message trying to get through, particularly through the character of Shona, a famous singer with whom Molloy finds himself confiding in during an interview.

With Poison Pen, directors Jennifer Shortall, Lorna Fitzsimons and Steven Benedict have delivered a clever, quirky, thought-provoking film which succeeds in revealing the human side to the people we read about on a daily basis as well as that of those who set out to exploit them.

Click here for our coverage of Irish Film at the 26th Galway Film Fleadh  (8 – 13 July, 2014)