Film about bachelor farmer surprise hit of Film FleadhJuly 17, 2012 - 7:00am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
A film made by a 24-year-old from Co Kerry, who borrowed €4,000 from his local credit union to fund it, proved to be the surprise hit of the 24th Galway Film Fleadh which finished up on Sunday night.
‘Pilgrim Hill’, produced and directed by Kerry man Gerard Barrett, walked away with the Bingham Ray New Talent Award as there was hardly a dry eye at the Town Hall Theatre following its screening on Friday evening.
The story of isolation and loneliness in rural Ireland captured the hearts of film-makers and enthusiasts from all over the world who came to Galway for the hugely successful six day festival.
Another huge hit was ‘Good Vibrations’, winner of the Best New Irish Feature Award, based on the story of a music store which provided the youth of Belfast with an alternative during the divisive Troubles of the 1970s. It received a standing ovation at the Town Hall on Saturday night.
This year’s Film Fleadh featured an unprecedented 13 world premieres, seven European premiers, and seven Irish premieres, highlighting the broad base of talent in Irish cinema despite the current economic downturn.
It attracted buyers in search of hidden gems from significant film festivals in Toronto, London, Rotterdam, Berlin, London, and Busan (South Korea), underlining the important international role which the Galway Film Fleadh now plays in showcasing new material to a global audience.
Box office takings were significantly up on 2011 for a festival which has a glowing international reputation for the quality of the work shown and its informal, festive atmosphere.
“It was a very strong programme of films and there seemed to be something for everyone,” said the Managing Director of Galway Film Fleadh, Miriam Allen, yesterday. “We are a very small team here, but we’re already looking to our 25th festival next year.
“People now aim to get their films finished for, and showcased at, Galway and it has become a very important international festival for the film industry. It is amazing to think that programmers from all over the world are coming here to find films for their festivals.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.