The Galway Film Fleadh today announced at the Berlinale that William Fitzgerald has been appointed as the new festival programmer. He takes over from Gar O’Brien who has stepped down after seven years in the role. Fitzgerald will be responsible for curating the Film Fleadh’s annual line-up of feature films, which grows to include even more screenings in 2018, as the Fleadh expands into new arthouse venue Pálás, opening in Galway city centre this year.  The 30th Galway Film Fleadh will run from 10th – 15th July, 2018.

William Fitzgerald’s appointment comes after eight years in various roles with the Film Fleadh, including as short film programmer and festival publicist. He has also worked as a film publicist with the Foyle Film Festival in Derry and the Tribeca Film Festival and Irish Screen America festival in New York. Fitzgerald holds a BA in Film and Television from GMIT and an MA in Film Studies from NUI, Galway.

“One of the best and yet saddest parts of this line of work is the changing nature of the programmer role,” said Miriam Allen, Managing Director. “Gar made a terrific contribution to the Fleadh and to the Irish film industry over the last seven years and I’m sad to see him go. At the same time, we are all feeling invigorated here with the changes we’re making coming up to our 30th festival, and I can’t wait to see what Will brings to the table.”

“I’ve been doing the freelancer festival hop for a lot of years and returning to Galway every summer is always most exciting because it always feels like you’re starting on page one of a new journey with a lot of films and a lot of filmmakers,” said William Fitzgerald. “Galway is raw that way, the unique atmosphere of the festival and the market exposes filmmakers ambitions and passions and everyone gets caught up in it. To take over the reins from Gar, on the eve of the 30th Film Fleadh no less, is both an intimidating prospect and an incredible privilege.”

Feature film submissions for the 30th Galway Film Fleadh are currently open, with an early deadline of February 26th and a final deadline of March 30th. Submissions and further information on the festival can be found at


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