Every year the Galway Film Fleadh serves as one of the biggest and brightest celebrations of film in the Republic, a summer film festival with top programming and an enviable atmosphere. Film In Dublin’s hopes for a road trip to the Fleadh are dashed this year, with large gatherings non-viable and cinemas to remain closed until at least mid-August. However, the Galway Film Fleadh have made the decision to present the 2020 festival edition online, meaning viewers in the fair city of film, the hooker county and elsewhere on the island will be able to come together for a taste of that festival magic.
This year’s edition of the festival will be taking place online from 7th July at www.galwayfilmfleadh.com.
The Film Fleadh programme will present a diverse mix of features, documentaries, animations, shorts, and interactive cinema events. Though the scale will by necessity be smaller than the real deal, organisers have paired with a streaming service to provide a secure and easy-to-use online experience.
‘Coming Together’ is the appropriate theme of the 2020 Fleadh. Twelve guest curators from festivals across Europe will contribute to the event to maintain an international inclusion. Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and Galway Film Fleadh ware set to present the official launch of Peripheral Visions, which will see the Irish premieres of European films from France, Poland, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Canada.
Speaking about the announcement to move online, Film Fleadh Programme Director, Will Fitzgerald said:
Moving the Fleadh online doesn’t mean replicating the event in a digital space but reimagining it to be the best online experience possible. There will be a reduced, more focused programme because we don’t want to split audience attention when we don’t have a physical event space keeping us all together. We want to give every film their moment in the spotlight and make every selected film part of a united conversation.
Our short film programme will continue to drive the discovery of new talent and springboard new voices towards international recognition and Oscar® consideration. With regard to our Short Film Programmes we have clarified that our winning Best Short Film Live Action and Best Short Animation will go straight on to the long list as per previous years. To give all hopeful filmmakers the best possible shot at this accolade, the festival have extended the Deadline for Short Film Submissions until Friday 22nd May.
‘Coming Together’ will be a key theme of this year’s festival, with twelve guest curators from festivals across Europe contributing to the event. Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and Galway Film Fleadh are delighted to present the official launch of Peripheral Visions, which will see the Irish premieres of European films from France, Poland, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Canada.
To maintain the social aspects of the Fleadh within the current circumstances, the festival’s online edition will feature live-streamed filmmaker Q+A sesssions, the inclusion of audience participation via social media and conferencing software such as Zoom, as well as live-streamed masterclasses, panel discussions, the Fleadh’s industry meetings, and more.
Films will be streamed via the Film Fleadh website, to audience members’ preferred devices including Smart TVs, laptops, phones and tablets. Films will be geo-locked to an Irish audience, with a limited amount of tickets to be sold to festival ‘attendees’.
The Galway Film Fleadh is supported by the Arts Council, Galway 2020, Screen Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Greasán Na Meán.
Stay tuned to Film In Dublin for more news on this year’s edition of the Fleadh.