Galway Fleadh & Fair Kicks Off With Loach's Latest
by Adam Burnett
The 16th Galway Film Fleadh opens today with a program showcasing the best of Irish cinema, along with films from around the world. Ken Loach's latest "Ae Fond Kiss" will open the festival, and Paddy Breathnach's "Man About Dog" will close Galway.
The six-day event features 20 Irish features, documentaries, and animated films and 120 shorts. Amoung the Irish films to be screened are Stephen Kane's "Starfish," Tamar Simon Hoffs' family drama "Red Roses & Petrol," Margo Harkin's Belfast drama "You Looking at Me?," Lance Daly's second feature "The Halo Effect," Alan Gilsenan's road movie "Timbuktu," and Pete Travis' recreation of an actual IRA bombing "Omagh." Films by first-time Irish filmmakers include Lenny Abrhamson's "Adam & Paul," Ciaran O'Connor's human-traffiking story "Capital Letters," and Corkman Joseph Murphy's hometown-filmed "Grey."
Irish documentaries to be included are Colum Stapleton's look at The Church of the Eclectic Universal Flowing Light "Empire of Juramidam," Hillay Dully's look at Ireland's high suicide rate "Tollain Dhubha," Vinny Cunningham's anatomy of a riot "Battle of the Bogside," and Desmond Bell's investigation of Irish miners in the United States during World War I, "Rebel Frontier."
Notable films not coming from Ireland include Jonathan Demme's "The Agronomist," Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni's "The Story of the Weeping Camel," Brett C. Leonard's "Jailbait," and Guy Maddin's "The Saddest Music in the World." The festival will also offer programs of classic and new British films and a Latin American series. Ken Loach's latest "Ae Fond Kiss" will open the festival, and Paddy Breathnach's "Man About Dog" will close Galway.
The Galway Film Fair, one of the festival's most popular features, will be returning this year. The Galway Film Fair arranges meetings between filmmakers with projects in development and invited film financiers, distributors, and producers. Participating financiers this year include IFC Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, United Artists, Beyond Films, Fortissimo Film Sales, and Renaissance Films. The Fair will also host a one-day seminar entitled "Film Financing: Terms and Conditions Apply," discussing such issues as "hard" and "soft" money agencies, the decline of television-funded film, and the market for Irish film in England and America.
Galway's Fleadh will honor classic Hollywood actress Maureen O'Hara this year. There will be a special public interview with O'Hara, as well as screenings of her films "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Quiet Man." Other special guests will be Stanley Tucci, who will host a masterclass to discuss the craft of filmmaking, and Paul Laverty, screenwriter of "Sweet Sixteen" and "My Name is Joe," who will lead a scriptwriting workshop.