The 29th Galway Film Fleadh runs from 11–16 July 2017 and includes over 80 features, with 16 world premieres, plus event screenings, panel discussions, masterclasses and more. As always the Fleadh boasts a wealth of Irish talent that takes in feature films, documentaries, special presentations, animation and a robust short film line-up of almost 100 Irish shorts. Below we take a peak at the brilliant buffet of Irish film on offer.
Song of Granite (Pat Collins)
Tuesday 11th July / Town Hall Theatre / 19:30
Enigmatic and complex, Joe Heaney was one of the greats of traditional Irish singing. Shaped by the myths, fables and songs of his upbringing in the west of Ireland, his emergence as a gifted artist came at a personal cost. Featuring performances from Lisa O’Neill, Damien Dempsey, Seamus Begley and sean nós singers Micheál O’Confhaola and Pól Ó Ceannabháin, the film is an intense exploration of music and song.
Rocky Ros Muc (Michael Fanning)
Wednesday 12th July / Town Hall Theatre / 18:00
The story of Galway boxer, Sean Mannion, who went on to challenge for a world title crown. From the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc in County Galway, to the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the mean streets of Boston. Rocky Ros Muc examines spirit inside the ring and troubles outside, the reality of emigration and its impact on identity.
Making It (Eamonn Norris)
Wednesday, 12th July / Town Hall Studio / 21:30
Family man, Mike McMahon loses his job and enters a filmmaking competition to win a big cash prize. With little talent and large ambitions, his efforts soon land him in hot water with both sides of the law.
Writing Home (Nagham Abboud, Alekson L. Dall’Armellina, Miriam Velasco)
Wednesday, 12th July / Town Hall Theatre / 22:00
Funded by a string of international bestsellers – of dubious literary merit – Daniel Doran’s luxurious London life consists of parties, book launches, red carpet events, women and even bigger parties. When his estranged father falls ill, Daniel reluctantly returns home to the rural Irish village of Darlingford. In a small town with no room for celebrities, Daniel must suddenly face the reality of family politics, the old flame he walked out on and the friends and community he left behind. Now an outsider in the town he never felt part of, Daniel is determined to escape back to cosmopolitan London at the first opportunity. But, in a modern comedy about rediscovering your past, Daniel will soon learn that, while there’s no substitute for a good cup of coffee, there really is no place like home.
Writing Home is the Filmbase Masters students’ 2017 feature film.
It Tolls for Thee (Andrew Gallimore)
Thursday, 13th July / Cinemobile / 12:15
Through an intriguing conspiracy of circumstance and courage, Irishwoman Mary Elmes found herself centre stage in two of the major theatres of warfare in the twentieth century. During the civil war in Spain, Mary Elmes took the children away from the bombs raining down from German and Italian bombers. Yet within a few years the world was plunged into an even greater conflict and the first industrial scale attempt to eradicate an entire people had begun. Once more, ‘doing nothing’ was not an option for Mary.
Narrated by Winona Ryder and featuring a wealth of personal archive as well as contributions from those who were spared the death camps because of Mary Elmes, this is a story of unadulterated goodness set in a world of seemingly all-consuming darkness.
Jaha’s Promise (Patrick Farrell,Kate O’Callaghan)
Thursday, 13th July/ Town Hall Theatre / 14:00
A feature documentary about the life and struggles of Jaha Dukureh, the Gambian anti-FGM activist.
In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America (Maurice Fitzpatrick)
Thursday, 13th July / Town Hall Theatre / 16:00
A feature documentary which includes interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, many US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major. Inspired by Martin Luther King, rising from the riot-torn streets of Northern Ireland to enlist American Presidents from Carter to Clinton, this is the story of the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize-winner John Hume to harness and leverage US support to help to secure peace in Ireland. Narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan, the film chronicles John Hume’s approach to politics in Northern Ireland in co-ordination with senior political figures in the US. At a time of political instability, this is a timely film examining steady leadership and international co-operation.
Maudie (Aisling Walsh)
Thursday, 13th July / Town Hall Theatre / 18:00
Academy Award® nominees Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky, Blue Jasmine) and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) star in the true story of Maud Lewis, who overcame the physical challenge of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to become one of Canada’s premier folk artists.
No Party for Billy Burns (Padraig Conaty)
Thursday, 13th July / Town Hall Studio / 18:30
Billy Burns is a would-be cowboy lost in the dreary fields of Cavan. Stranded at home with his grandfather and ridiculed around town for his innocent ways, Billy works for local ranchers, saving his money for a trip up to the big city, maybe to never come back… When Billy falls in with local thug Ciaran and his long suffering girlfriend Laura, he finds the adventure and excitement he always looked for, but the local crew pick on the weak, and their cheap thrills and rough and tumble kicks find Billy broken and bruised, with little left to lose…
Pilgrimage (Brendan Muldowney)
Thursday, 13th July / Town Hall Theatre / 20:15
In 13th century Ireland a group of monks must escort a sacred relic across an Irish landscape fraught with peril.
The Limit of… (Alan Mulligan)
Thursday, 13th July / Town Hall Theatre / 22:00
James Allen is a man in control. He lives alone and works as a banker. He does his best to look after his widowed mother. What he doesn’t know is that the bank he works for is about to repossess her home. When the stress of this provokes a family crisis, James begins to question his whole life and to glimpse the ruthless, manipulative black heart behind the glossy veneer of the banking world. He decides to take action. Meanwhile, Alison Leonard, his beautiful co-worker, has her own agenda, which puts her on a collision course with James. Her actions trigger a dark spiral of deceit, revenge and death. The film explores limits imposed upon us by choices we make – limits set by our careers, desires, needs and even the choice of who we love.
Turas na hAilse / The Cancer Journey & As Human as I Am
Friday, 14 July / Town Hall Studio / 10:30
Twice a week, cancer patients from Donegal board a bus and travel five hours and 200 kilometres to receive radiotherapy in University Hospital Galway – their nearest treatment centre. In Galway, they take residence in Inis Aoibhinn, a haven away from the hospital. Turas na hAilse / The Cancer Journey follows them as they journey together, exhibiting resilience, generosity and spirit under difficult, but unifying, circumstances.
Sexual and gender minority groups around the world face many forms of discrimination and persecution. As Human as I Am documents stories and strategies from LGBTI communities in Nepal, Malawi and Fiji, as they campaign for recognition, protection and inclusion.
Butterfly City (Olga Černovaitė)
Friday, 14th July / Cinemobile / 12:15
The city of Visaginas was created from nothing in the 1970s in order to service a powerful Soviet nuclear power station. Literally designed and shaped like the wings of a butterfly, it was intended to be a window of Soviet progress to the West. After USSR disintegration, however, EU membership meant Lithuania has to close the plant, the city’s main industry. At a time of growing geo-political tension, and in an ambiance of mutual mistrust, what future for the 25,000 Russian-speaking townspeople?
The Farthest (Emer Reynolds)
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Theatre / 14:00
It is one of humankind’s greatest achievements. More than 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space – the first human-made object ever to do so. Slowly dying within its heart is a nuclear generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity. THE FARTHEST celebrates these magnificent machines, the men and women who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped.
Ag Trasnú an Atlantaigh Dhuibh / Crossing the Black Atlantic
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Studio / 13:30
Scarcely can there be a body buried in Irish soil that hides a more intriguing tale and presents a more challenging legacy than that of Tom Molineaux. Having saved his owner’s plantation by winning a fist-fight, Molineaux sailed to England where he challenged the Heavyweight Champion in a contest that is still considered one of the most shameful episodes in British sports history. Molineaux was cheated of the title and of all his money, so the first American sporting hero fled to Ireland. The story of how this freed slave turned champion boxer ends in a Galway grave is a brutal epic in its own right, but this film also holds a mirror up to a conveniently ignored aspect of Irish history – its role in the slave trade.
Condemned to Remember (Gerry Gregg)
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Theatre / 16:15
Irish Holocaust Survivor Tomi Reichental celebrates his 80th birthday in a Dublin Mosque and embarks on epic journey across a Europe in turmoil.
Release (Gerard Walsh)
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Studio / 18:30
After spending several years locked up for armed robbery, disgraced
boxer Andrew Keating is granted early release. As he struggles to find his purpose in life, he finds the sport of mixed martial arts and begins to thrive, but when his criminal past rears its ugly head, Andrew must face his demons in order to live his life.
The Drummer and The Keeper (Nick Kelly)
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Theatre / 18:00
The story of an unlikely but ultimately redemptive friendship between two very – and very differently – dysfunctional young men.
The Silver Branch (Katrina Costello)
Friday, 14th July / Cinemobile / 20:15
A creative feature length documentary on our ancient connection with landscape and the natural world, seen through the eyes and voice of Patrick McCormack a poet, farmer, philosopher and ordinary Irish man farming the Burren landscape in county Clare.
Michael Inside (Frank Berry)
Friday, 14th July/ Town Hall Theatre / 20:00
Michael McCrea, an impressionable eighteen-year-old who lives with his grandfather Francis in a Dublin housing estate, where he is caught holding a bag of drugs for his friend’s older brother, and sentenced to three months in prison. Researched and workshopped with former prisoners from the Irish Prison Service’s Pathways Programme, Michael Inside is an expression of many real-life experiences. The film takes a realistic look at the circumstances that lead to Michael’s conviction, his time in prison, and how prison affects his thinking and behaviour.
A Cambodian Spring (Chris Kelly)
Friday, 14th July / Town Hall Studio / 20:15
An intimate and unique portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent development that is shaping modern-day Cambodia. Shot over six years, the film charts the growing wave of land-rights protests that led to the “Cambodian spring” and the tragic events that followed.
Elián (Tim Golden, Ross McDonnell)
Saturday, 15th July / Town Hall Theatre / 14:00
On Thanksgiving 1999, a young Cuban boy named Elián González was found floating in the Florida Straits by himself after his mother drowned trying to seek refuge in the United States. Before long, the 5-year-old González became the centerpiece of an intense custody battle between his father back in Cuba and his relatives in Miami, which, in turn, brought attention to the long-brewing tensions between Fidel Castro’s Cuba and the U.S. Throughout the news coverage, though, one voice was too young to join the heated international conversation: that of Elián himself.
Aithrí (Tom Collins)
Saturday 15th July / Town Hall Theatre / 16:15
The Easter Rising, 1916. Fire-brand Father Eoin O’Donnell is convinced that only violence will force Britain out of Ireland. He influences young, impressionable Antaine to fight. When events spiral out of control, Antaine accidently kills his mother while trying to escape the local police. Fr. Eoin realises that he had too much influence on the boy. He runs away to Derry, many miles away, to seek penance.
In 1969, fifty years on, experienced gunman Antaine arrives in Derry and rekindles Eoin’s guilt about his influence over Antaine as a young boy. He begins to influence Fr. Eoin’s alter server Feidhlim.
Lost and Found (Liam Ó Mochain)
Saturday, 15th July / Town Hall Studio / 18:30
Seven interconnecting stories set in and around the lost and found office of an Irish train station. All segments are inspired by true stories, and have characters that come in and out of each other’s lives. Daniel tries desperately to hold on to his newly acquired job in the lost and found office. Eddie begs in the train station; every day he has a different story. Gabriel plans to surprise his girlfriend by proposing. A grandmother asks her grandson to retrieve a bracelet that she buried as a child in the garden of her childhood home in Poland. Moya visits a funeral home and signs the book of condolences not realising the consequences. Paudge, a cranky pub owner, keeps redecorating his bar, but no matter how many grand openings he has, the locals stay away. Sile has set a date for her wedding – not having a groom won’t stop her.
Limbo (Gerard Barrett)
Saturday, 15th July/ Town Hall Theatre / 18:00
Twenty-four hours in the life of a young Irish mother and child as they battle homelessness while living in emergency accommodation, searching for a stable life. Another day begins with another daily struggle. After receiving an eviction notice from the hotel they call home for now, the mother makes numerous attempts towards securing a place to stay for one more night. After exhausting all options available and as the possibility of them having nowhere to live becomes a reality once more, she begins to question the unstable life she is providing for her child, in a world where they have no place to call home.
Maze (Stephen Burke)
Saturday, 15th July / Town Hall Theatre / 20:00
Based on the true story of the 1983 mass break-out of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP Maze maximum-security prison in Northern Ireland. As Larry Marley (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), the chief architect of the escape, schemes his way towards pulling off this feat, he comes into contact with prison warder Gordon Close (Barry Ward). Initially Larry and Gordon are confirmed enemies, born on opposite sides of Northern Ireland’s political divide, but when Larry realises that Gordon may be unwittingly useful for his escape plan, a slow seduction begins. Larry intends to use and manipulate Gordon in order to get closer to his goal. What follows is a tense and intriguing drama in which an unlikely relationship is forged between two enemies that will have far reaching consequences for both of them.
Bad Day for the Cut (Chris Baugh)
Saturday, 15th July / Town Hall Theatre / 22:00
A middle-aged Irish farmer, who still lives at home with his mother, sets off on a mission of revenge when the old lady is murdered.
Poc na nGael (Puck of the Irish) (Éamonn Ó Cualáin)
Sunday, 16th July/ Cinemobile / 14:15
Hurling legend Ger Loughnane reveals the fascinating Irish links to the Canadian obsession that is ice hockey. Early Irish immigrants created the sport, a game born from hurling, and a sport dear to Ger’s heart. He discovers how hurling evolved into hockey. The sport the Irish created also helped to establish them in Canadian society. The Famine Irish started with nothing but success on the ice rink and lead to success in business, employment, politics, etc. The Irish became an integral part of the rapidly growing country. Across the land, Irish teams and players were revered for their skill and tenacity on the ice. The Irish were essential to developing the game that quickly swept the new nation of Canada. Without the Irish influence, Canada would not have the game it loves and enjoys so much today.
Thanks to your Noble Shadow (James Creedon)
Sunday, 16th July/ / Cinemobile / 16:15
One of Ireland’s last missionary sisters, Sr. Paschal (Jennie) O’ Sullivan, returns to her homeland after 75 years in Japan. Just after her 100th birthday, her young cousin embarks on a year-long voyage retracing her life story in a bid to capture the end of an era in Irish history. What began as a simple interview became a life-changing journey for them both.
Return to Montauk (Volker Schlöndorff)
Sunday, 16th July/ / Town Hall Theatre / 20:00
It’s winter in Montauk, at the far end of Long Island. There are two deck chairs on the windswept beach. The chairs are waiting for two people who have, for a long time, been lost to each other. He is a writer and has come from Berlin. She is a New York lawyer. Many years before, they had a fling, but they were too young to know they had each met the love of their lives. Now they have come back to Montauk, filled with regret and hope. The bodies remember. For them, it feels like the next day after the last one they were together. They do not know if it is possible to reverse time. In Montauk, they find out.
IFI Local Films for Local People: Yet More Glimpses of Galway
Wed 12 July / Town Hall Theatre / 16:00
The Irish Film Institute returns to the Fleadh with a new raft of material from the IFI Irish Film Archive showing Galway on film from the 1940s to the 1970s. This colourful kaleidoscope features a raft of rarely-seen material, both amateur and professional, including films made by the National Museum of Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s – showing seaweed gathering in Connemara, tweed making in Oranmore and turf-spreading in Inverin; Gael Linn’s newsreel of the Rural Electrification scheme in Connemara in 1957; Radharc’s film about dating etiquette for young farmers in Glenamaddy in 1969; German ethnographer Heinrich Becker’s record of the Aran Islands (1950s); family films by Hugh Thomas Seale and lots more besides.
Science on Screen
Sun 16 July / Town Hall Studio / 10:00
Galway UNESCO City of Film with Galway Film Centre, in association with CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices and Science Foundation Ireland commissioned two films for the Science on Screen 2016 project.
New Irish Shorts 1
Wednesday, 12th July / Town Hall Theatre / 12:00
New Irish Shorts: Way Out West
Wed 12 July / Radisson Blu / 14:30
Little Cinema Showcase
Wed 12 July / Róisín Dubh / 18:00
New Irish Shorts 2
Thu 13 July / Town Hall Theatre / 10:00
New Irish Shorts 3
Thu 13 July / Town Hall Theatre / 12:00 /
New Irish Shorts 4
Fri 14 July / Town Hall Theatre / 10:00
New Irish Shorts 5
Fri 14 July / Town Hall Theatre / 12:00
New Irish Shorts 6
Sat 15 July / Town Hall Theatre / 10:00
New Irish Shorts 7: IFB World Premiere Shorts
Sat 15 July / Town Hall Theatre / 12:00
New Irish Shorts 8: Documentaries
Sun 16 July / Town Hall Theatre / 10:00
Sun 16 July / Town Hall Studio / 11:30
New Irish Shorts 9: Animation
Sun 16 July / Town Hall Theatre / 12:00
The 29th Galway Film Fleadh takes place from 11 – 16 July. Tickets and the full programme are now available online at www.filmfleadh.ie