In a new first, in its 32-year history, the 2020 edition of the Galway Film Fleadh will take place entirely online.
Taking place from July 7th to 12th, the Fleadh will present as its Opening Night film the Irish Premiere of The 8th, the Screen Ireland-supported documentary telling how Ireland overturned one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. From directors Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy and Maeve Boyle, The 8th focuses on some key pro-choice campaigners as they battled for the hearts and minds of the Irish people in the run-up to the 2018 referendum.
Other Screen Ireland-supported titles will receive World Premieres at the festival, including Philip Doherty’s black comedy Redemption of a Rogue; The Winter Lake, directed by Phil Sheerin from a script by David Turpin (The Lodgers); actor/director Eoin Macken’s new feature Here Are the Young Men, adapted from the book by Rob Doyle; and co-production The Castle, Lina Luzyte’s coming-of-age drama about a Lithuanian teenager living in Dublin.
In documentary, the unique cultural exploration of renowned American folklorist Henry Glassie, is chronicled in Henry Glassie: Fieldwork by director Pat Collins, marking its Irish Premiere, while Grace Sweeney’s The Sheriff focuses on the timely issue of American law enforcement, receiving its World Premiere.
Tom Sullivan’s debut, Arracht, a period drama set on the eve of The Great Famine, will also screen in the line-up, along with Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor's Rose Plays Julie, Paddy Slattery's Broken Law and Peter Mackie Burns' Rialto.
The Film Fleadh recently announced the addition of its Best Short Documentary Award to its already existing Oscar® qualifying categories in Best Short Film (Live Action) and Best Short Animation. The 2020 programme features ten short film programmes. Screen Ireland shorts screening in these categories include Rory Bresnihan's Stir, and award-winning documentary short films Cara Holmes' Welcome to a Bright White Limbo and Gar O'Rourke's Kachalka.
This year’s jury includes actors Michael Smiley, Fionnula Flanagan, Keith Carradine, Ruth Negga, Liam Cunningham, TG4 Commissioning Editor Laura Ní Cheallaigh, director Allison Anders and screenwriter Kirsten Smith.
During the festival, Q+A’s will be live-streamed, with audience questions taken from social media. Panel discussions will be hosted as webinars. And live-streamed In Conversation events with celebrated filmmaking talents will all feature, with the full roster set to be revealed between now, and the festival’s Opening Night on Tuesday, July 7th.
Galway Film Fleadh Programme Director Will Fitzgerald said, “I hope everyone is as pleasantly surprised as I was at the breadth and diversity, and opportunities for discovery, we managed to pack into this digital programme. I’m grateful to all of the filmmakers who have taken this leap with us, and who are on this journey with us now. We’re bringing the Fleadh to the masses, for a change. I’m looking forward to making each of their films part of a national conversation from July 7th to 12th.”
All selected films will be available to rent from the Film Fleadh’s website, and can be viewed across multiple devices. Viewers can watch the Fleadh films on their television via video-casting or through an HDMI connection to their portable device. Tickets will be incentively priced from as low as €5. But there will only be a limited number available for each film. Says Fitzgerald, “This will be the most accessible the Film Fleadh has ever been before. But crucially, there are only as many tickets available as there are seats in the Town Hall Theatre. So for audience members who are reading this – book early, and book often!”
To browse the full programme or to book tickets, visit www.galwayfilmfleadh.com.