Review of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh • New Irish Shorts 3

Deirdre de Grae picks out her highlights from the New Irish Shorts 3 programme at the 29th Galway Film Fleadh.


The shorts programme was introduced by Eibh Collins, the Galway Film Fleadh shorts programmer, an enthusiastic supporter of short film in Ireland. The seven short films in this programme shared the theme of relationships and included films by established and debut filmmakers. This selection of shorts all had very high production values, demonstrating the impressive standard of new Irish filmmaking. Two of these stood out in terms of character, story, and professionalism: For You, directed by Brendan Canty, and Gustav, directed by Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick.

For You (Brendan Canty)

Canty shows a clear filmmaking style and For You is a very mature short film, surprisingly his first of the format. He has extensive experience directing commercials and music videos, and was nominated for two MTV VMA awards in 2015, for Hozier’s Take me to Church. For You offers an intimate window into the life of a young woman living in high-rise Dublin flats, and her relationships with both her mother and boyfriend. The portrayal seems very realistic, with a mature, gentle performance from Gabby Murphy, balanced with Barry Keoghan’s undeniable, innate screen presence. Keoghan was shooting Dunkirk during the same time period, and For You was shot around his schedule. The shooting and editing style is reminiscent of Andrea Arnold’s work, notably Fish Tank (which screened at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2009), and Red Road, also set in high-rise flats. But more than the technical decisions, the depth of character and honest performance of the young female lead is testament to Canty’s directorial instincts and skill. Perhaps due to Canty’s music video background, I found myself mentally re-playing (the accomplished) ‘Get Out’ video by Frightened Rabbit (dir. Greg Davenport), which is similarly focused on the emotional turmoil of young women in an urban landscape. This is a very professional production, using highly talented and experienced crew. I would hope that Brendan Canty will devote more of his time to filmmaking alongside his commercial work, and look forward to his future feature films, hopefully in the Fleadh in the next few years!

For You was produced by Hinterland films.


Gustav (Ken Williams)

Directed by Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick, Gustav is a short comedy starring Seán T. O’Meallaigh, the premise of which centres around the notion of an ‘ear worm’-that phenomenon when a tune or song ‘gets stuck in your head’. The filmmakers have taken this notion literally, and in this short film, we realise that the composer Gustav Mahler has taken up residence in the lead character’s head. I had recently heard that an earworm is caused by not fully remembering the entire song and it can be ‘cured’ by listening to the whole song. The filmmakers played with the audience here and never played the end of the piece of music, even in the credits. I found this to be a very funny film, I am a music-earworm sufferer and could relate to the main character’s frustration. This is a laugh-out-loud, cleverly edited short. O’Meallaigh is perfectly cast and he is in his element playing this comedic role. As with all successful comedies, this film juggled the essentials of good editing and comedic timing with a sharp script.

Gustav was written by Ken Williams,  James Mather was DOP, Shane Callan was Editor. It was produced by Steven Daly of Brainstorm Productions.

Short films screened in this programme:

For You (dir. Brendan Canty), Gustav (dir. Ken Williams), Beside Himself (dir. Nick Rutter), Leap of Faith (dir. Mark Smyth), Peel (dir. Annika Cassidy), Seedling (dir. Stevie Russell), and Mum (dir. Anne-Marie O’Connor)



New Irish Shorts 3 screened on Thursday, 13th July 2017, as part of the 29th Galway Film Fleadh (11–16 July 2017).





















Screen Your Short at QFT, Belfast

For the month of August only, Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast is offering discounted rates on cinema hire to give filmmakers the opportunity to screen short films on the big screen.

£100 + VAT gives full use of the QFT2 screen (capacity 88) for one hour and £150 + VAT gives full use of the QFT1 screen (capacity 220). QFT’s projectionists can screen films on 35mm, Digital Video, Beta/Beta SP or DVD. Other options for hiring QFT are available all year round.

For more information, availability and prices, please contact Stuart on 028 9097 1199 or email

To visit the QFT website, please click here:


First Ever LG Life’s Good FilmFest

This inclusive new film contest creates a forum for inspirational HD shorts with $100,000 in prize money up for grabs. Unlike most contests of its kind, the Life’s Good FilmFest has no entry fee, no VIP access and no pretence – it truly is a film contest open to any and all.

Contestants can enter their submissions into one of four categories: Animation, Fashion and Music, Sports and Narrative. Each entry must be no longer than five minutes in length and express an uplifting, life-affirming message that best demonstrates the notion that ‘Life’s Good’. The winner in each category will be awarded $10,000 with the overall winner between the four categories winning $50,000. Each category winner will also receive a selection of LG home theatre products.

The entry deadline is 16th October, 2009 at which time each submission will be judged with category winners scheduled to be announced in early January 2010.

For full contest rules and more information about LG Electronics LG Life’s Good FilmFest, please visit


Democracy & Dialogue Short Online Film Competition

Make a short film on Democracy & Dialogue and you could win a state of the art Hi-Def camera and have your work screened at this year’s Darklight Film Festival.

What does democracy mean to you? When did you last vote? In a general election? The referendum? The European Commission Representation in Ireland and the Darklight Film Festival invite you to make a short online film on the theme of ‘Democracy & Dialogue’ – and what it means to you.

The winning entry will win a state of the art HD Digital camera worth €1800 and have their work screened this October at the 2009 Darklight Film Festival. Entries must be submitted by email by the 11th of September. Darklight will also be holding a free one-day workshop on Saturday 8th August, showing you how to make your own online films. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or experienced, you will be sure to learn something on the day.

For more information about the competition and to register for the workshop, please click here:


Wins for Short Film ‘Of Best Intentions’

The short film Of Best Intentions, written and directed by Brian Durnin and produced by Paul Holmes for Red Rage Films in association with BSÉ/IFB and RTÉ, has screened at festivals in Ireland, Australia, America, Italy, Germany and Russia. The film has also received awards in a number of categories, winning Best Short Film in both Kerry and Belfast, Best Music in the inaugural Fastnet Film Festival in Schull, Co. Cork and was most recently awarded Best Short Film and Best Cinematography for director of photography Ivan Mc Cullough at the Filmare Festival in Rome.

The film, which was part of the official selection for Tribeca 2009, utilises the story of renowned inventor Thomas Midgley to tell the tale of five characters whose well-intentioned actions all incur disastrous consequences. Of Best Intentions continues its festival tour over the summer as it has been selected to screen in the Monterrey International Film Festival in Mexico and the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland.

For more information, please click here:


Filmbase Training Short to Screen at Fleadh

My First Kiss, one of the 5-minute shorts produced by the students of the April 2008 Documentary Filmmaking Course at Filmbase in conjunction with Loopline Film, has been accepted by the Galway Film Fleadh 2009, as part of their Out on Film strand.

For more information about the film, which was directed by Dermod Moore, go to


Double Win for Cork Writer/Director

Cork writer/director Damian Mc Carthy has taken two awards for his short He Dies at the End. The film has been shown at many international film festivals including Film4 FrightFest in London, Shriekfest in LA, the Leeds International Film Festival, the Corona Cork Film Festival and has just won the festival prize at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, and the ‘Best Horror/Thriller’ award at the Indie Short Film Competition.


Play ‘He Dies at the End’ Short Film




Irish Short The Confession for Nationwide Release

On October 17th, Thomas Heffernon’s The Confession will be rolled out in 33 cinemas across Ireland screening with Ian Fitzgibbon’s A Film With Me In It, which stars Dylan Moran and Mark Doherty as out-of-work actors. The Confession will also be playing with the film at its Dublin premiere in Cineworld on 7th October 2008.

Parallel Films are the production company behind A Film With Me In It and it is being distributed in Ireland by Vertigo Films. The Confession was shown to Parallel Films by their Distribution Consultant Brendan McCall, who ran Buena Vista Ireland for a number of years before retiring last year.

Shot over three days in December 2007 on location in Whitefriar Street Church in Aungier Street, The Confession has played at 22 International Film Festivals so far, including the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Boston Film Festival. Worldwide sales for The Confession are being handled by Network Ireland, the leading distributor of short film content in Ireland.