Film Fleadh puts the focus on home produced workJuly 6, 2012 - 7:00am
THE Galway Film Fleadh, which runs from Tuesday next, July 10 until Sunday, July 15, is screening an unprecedented number of Irish films and several have strong local connections.
These include Songs for Amy, filmed in Galway and New York, which won Jury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking at California’s Newport Beach Film Festival recently. It will be screened on Wednesday next, July 11 at 9pm in the Town Hall.
Songs for Amy is a darkly comedic love story, set in the West of Ireland and New York about a musician, Sean O’Malley (Sean Maguire) who writes an album for the girl he loves in an attempt to redeem himself after a night of bad behaviour. The album takes him on roller-coaster journey, where he is both helped and hindered by his misfit band mates.
It was directed by BAFTA and EMMY nominated director, Konrad Begg, who will attend the screening.
Songs for Amy was written and produced by Kinvara based Fiona Graham, who is excited at showing it locally.
“Galway is a character in the film with its culture and beauty woven into the story. It feels like we’re bringing the film home.”
The soundtrack of Songs for Amy includes material by Ultan Conlon and Jim Mckee, rock band Alabama 3, Patrick Bergin and Eleanor Shanley, as well from Tom Paxton and Jono McCleery.
Music is the theme of Natural Grace – Irish Music and Martin Hayes, a full-length documentary on Care fiddle player, Martin Hayes which will be screened at the Town Hall Theatre, also on Wednesday at 5pm. It’s the work of Connemara based film maker Art Ó Briain.
The film, which was shot over two years, is a musical journey into the heart and style of one of contemporary Ireland’s great traditional fiddlers, Martin Hayes. Travelling with him from Clare to the US and to Japan, Art Ó Briain captures Martin Hayes in informal and concert settings. Its Galway screening is the world premiere of the film and the Feakle fiddler will attend.
Of interest to all film fans locally is the Fleadh’s tribute to Galway based Frank Stapleton, a filmmaker, who was a leading light of Irish cinema in the 1980s and 90s until his career was cut short by Multiple Sclerosis. It is screening five films from Dublin-born Frank.
Dr Browne Also Spoke, a discussion between Noel Browne and Michael D Higgins, which was first shown in 1992, will be on Wednesday at 12 noon in the Town Hall. It will be followed by The Whole World in His Hands, a documentary filmed 10 years after Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland.
On Friday, July 13 Frank’s first feature film, The Fifth Province, in which the central character of Tommy walks a tightrope between fantasy and reality, will be screened. It was described by the Sunday Times at the time as “a comic masterpiece” and it’s in the Omniplex Screen Six at noon.
On Sunday, Frank’s1996 film Poorhouse, a half-hour drama set during the Great Famine, will be shown in the Cinemobile at noon. It’s the story of an old man’s relationship with a young woman in a workhouse. It will be followed by Poorhouse Revisited, directed by Michael Higgins. Poorhouse Revisited came about after the discarded film rushes were discovered outdoors in Dublin 15 years after the original Poorhouse had been made. . The fine cast of both versions includes Derbhle Crotty, Johan O’Hara and Birdy Sweeney
These are a selection of the Irish works on offer – in total there are 13 world premieres, seven European premieres and seven Irish premieres, including Shadow Dancer, the final film of this year’s Fleadh.
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.