The Bleeding Pig Film Festival returns for its third edition from Monday 10th to Wednesday 12th September in its usual venue Keelings Pub in Donabate and there are some exciting new changes afoot this year. This year’s edition of the film side of the Donabate cultural event is committed to embracing women in film, with a focus on ‘F-Rated’ films.
The film festival, facilitated and supported by Bleeding Pig Cultural Festival, and managed and programmed by Emma Fagan who runs “Fillum” a company which promotes Irish independent film-makers. Speaking about the festiva, Emma described their aims:
“To bring independent cinema to the local community of Donabate and surrounding areas and to facilitate open discussion between film-makers and audiences”.
The festival has teamed up with FilmBath in the UK and have awarded 60% of the films on the programme the F-Rating. This rating applies to any film which is written and/or directed by a woman. The Tuesday evening slot for screening will be dedicated entirely to F-rated films.
The F-Rating was developed by Holly Tarquini, director of FilmBath (previously Bath Film Festival) and it is now expanding across the UK and Ireland, including at the Irish Film Institute, as well at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork, the Into Film Festival and the Queens Film Theatre in Belfast. The film rating system which highlights films made by and featuring women. Any film that is written and/ or directed by a woman is awarded the F-Rating stamp of approval. If a film answers yes to both these questions and features significant female characters on screen in their own right, then it is awarded a “Triple F Rating” . The aims of the F-Rating are to champion women in film for the outstanding work they do, encourage conversation around who tells the stories we see on screen and to act like a fairtrade stamp, giving the audience an opportunity to “vote with their seat“ as such and support women in film.
Women in Film
“Women in Film” which runs on Tuesday 11th September is a fully F-Rated programme. All of the films that will be shown during this screening have been written and/or directed by women, with some of them also having the Triple F rating/ In total over the course of the three nights, almost 70% of the films have been awarded the F-Rating.
Two animations by female film-makers will be featured; the multi award-winning Late Afternoon by Louise Bagnell of reputed animation studio Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny ( The Breadwinner and The Secret Book of Kells) and Closing Act , a student film by Ellen Grant graduate of Ballyfermot College. Both film are touching, yet uplifting depictions of old age and memory loss.
Mia Mullarkey’s multi-award winning short documentary Throwline follows a group of taxi drivers in Kilkenny, Ireland, who join together to form a suicide prevention group called Taxi Watch. Uniquely positioned to patrol the night, drivers keep vigil over the city’s streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn. This an important film, not to be missed.
A stunning visual piece called “Native” written and directed by Linda Bhreathnach and shot by Sean T O’Meallaigh stars veteren Irish actor Patrick Bergin ( Sleeping with the Enemy) and depicts stunning landscape of Connemara.
Spanish filmmaker and head tutor at Colaiste Dhulaigh, Leticia Agundo presents a poignant depiction of a group of swimmers at Sandycove in her documentary film Forty Foot. The film tells the history of the place through the personal stories and characteristics of the featured swimmers. More than a film about them braving the elements everyday, this is a film about having a great and surprising spirit in the face of aging, death and economic hardship
Peel is a short drama which sensitively portrays the effect that alcoholism can have on a family. It Written and directed by Annika Cassidy and stars Ally Ni Chiaran and Lauryn Canny so it also qualifies as Triple F-Rated.
Three films by writer Caroline Grace-Cassidy and produced by Park Pictures will screen thoughout the three nights. Reach ( Triple F-Rated) and I am Jesus stars actress Sarah Flood (Fair City). Sarah also co-wrote I am Jesus and starred in another Park Pictures film from last year’s festival Love at First Light.
The festival is also delighted to welcome lighthearted documentary An American in Ireland which was shot soley on smart phone by New Yorker Jacki Thrapp. Jacki’s short also screened at the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival at the beginning of this year.
Coláiste Dhulaigh – Student Film Selection
This year the Bleeding Pig Film Festival will screen a selection of student films from the BA Video and Film Degree course of Wolverhampton which is facilitated by Colaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education in Kilbarrick. The students had the opportunity to be mentored by film-maker Leticia Agundo and director Frank Berry (Michael Inside). The audience will vote on the Best Student Film and the winner will received a €250 voucher for Film Equipment Hire Ireland.
Recovery (directed by Síofra Quinn Gates and written and produced by Síofra Quinn Gates and Renate Canga)
A documentary with dramatised scenes, this short film takes the form of a number of voice overs from women who have suffered the trauma of sexual abuse and rape. Although it doesn’t shy away from the pain and psychological torture that these women face, what resonates most by the end of the film is a feeling of hope as each of them describe how they have begun their journey of recovery.The change of tone in Recovery is achieved through subtle and sensitive cinematography and visual cues representing a new life for the women who are never depicted as “victims” in the film. An important film that will hopefully get reach a wide audience.
The Beach ( written and directed by Darren Kelly) Winner of The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland Award for Best Director.
In this short film, Kelly has demonstrated a clear film-making talent especially in the art-house genre. The subject of the film is Rose, an old woman living alone with dementia who is plagued by “scratches in her brain” which she can’t decide are dreams or real memories. The film’s first shot is stunning, a painterly image of Rose, lying in bed in a dark room. The film progresses in the form of a poem in which Rose repeatedly muses about a trip to the beach. The scenes on the beach, populated in turn by a young child and then a woman, are bright and lucid and in clear contrast to the murky brown palette of the shots with Rose alone in her bedroom. Clíona Ruiséil( Writer’s Guild of Ireland) commented that it was a “beautifully written script with an intensely seductive sense of emotion and atmosphere”.
Shed Men ( directed by Kirsty Conway and produced by Louise Dolan) was joint winner of the Screen Producers Ireland Overall Production Award in which the film-makers are offered a placement on a professional production.
The Mens Sheds (based on a concept which began in Australia) took off in Ireland around 2009 and encourages men to come together and socialise while taking part in productive activities like gardening and woodwork. This short documentary follows the story of a number of men who frequent the the East Wall Men’s Sheds as they discuss earnestly and bravely the circumstances which lead to their joining the Men’s shed and the positive influence it has had on their lives. Some had partners who were ill or were recovering from a serious illness themselves and others simply sought an outlet to get away from life pressures or loneliness. It’s a testament to the professional and sensitive film-making that each of the men featured spoke so openly and all seemed comfortable on camera. The Men’s Sheds have been documented on film before. However by giving a closer and more meaningful insight into how the men value their time at the sheds, the film-makers are shining a light on men’s mental health.
Growing Strong (directed by Peter Melrose and produced by Adam Stanley) was joint winner of the Screen Producers Ireland Overall Production Award in which the film-makers are offered a placement on a professional production. A striking documentary about Oakgrove Integrated Primary school in Derry, where students from both nationalist and unionist backgrounds are exposed to various faiths and are taught to embrace all cultures. It will screen at this years Guth Gafa documentary film festival 20-22nd July.
A special feature film screening has also been announced for this year’s Bleeding Pig Film Festival. The award-winning, insightful and emotionally raw look into the Irish prison system, Michael Inside will be shown on the Wednesday evening, including a Q&A session with director Frank Berry.
It's an honour to announce that our #FeatureFilm on Wed 12th Sept is award-winning #IrishFilm "Michael Inside"
Writer/Director @frankberryirl will take part in an audience Q&A afterwards
We're delighted to welcome Frank+his film to #Donabate
Thanks to @WildCardDistribution ! pic.twitter.com/XkZAb5AyAK
— BleedingPigFilmFest (@BleedingPigFF) September 3, 2018