Galway Film Fleadh 2021 blends online, outdoors and in cinema screenings

The programme for the 33rd edition of the Galway Film Fleadh has been revealed tonight. This year one of Ireland’s biggest film festivals returns, offering an intriguing mix of Irish and international cinema from July 20 – 25th. The Galway Film Fleadh 2021 will offer a selection of films and events on the big screen, outdoors, and online.

The Pálás Cinema in Galway will be on hand for this year’s Fleadh, reopening from July 16th in time to support the festival and enable audiences to enjoy a selection of the festival’s films in traditional cinematic fashion. In addition, up to 200 audience members will be able to attend the socially distanced outdoor film screenings in Galway, with weather cover and headphones provided, should the need arise. Those outside of the county can still get involved, as once again this year the festival will be streaming their selection online via their website.

The Galway Film Fleadh 2021 will open with the European Premiere of Here Before, a taut and sophisticated psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland, starring Andrea Riseborough (Mandy, Birdman) as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief. Here Before is the feature debut of television writer and Belfast filmmaker Stacey Gregg.

The Closing Night Film of the Fleadh will be the World Premiere of Untold Secrets, a new documentary that gives voice to the survivors of Irish Mother & Baby Homes, in particular the testimony of one survivor, Anne Silke, who was fostered out of the Bon Secours Mother & Baby Home in Tuam. Undoubtedly close to home, Untold Secrets is directed by Galwegian/Spanish filmmaker, Teresa Lavina.

Speaking about this year’s move to a hybrid event, the Galway Film Fleadh Director of Programming Will Fitzgerald said:

“Outdoor summer is here, finally, for everyone. Cultural programming and events for all ages have been underserved in the reopening narrative thus far, but for six glorious day this July, there will be a window into all corners of the world from Galway. It will take you to over 20 countries, fantastic worlds, as well as back in time and show you a glimpse of our own not-too-distant future. You’ll be reacquainted with your fellow film fans, and introduced to exciting new voices in filmmaking. And if you’re still not feeling up to travelling, you can take part from the comfort of your own couch.”

Included in this year’s programme of films will be Censor, the highly anticipated horror inspired by the video nasties of 80s Britain, starring Ireland’s own Niamh Algar. Irish language drama Foscadh also catches the eye. Set in the mountains of North Conamara and based on the book ‘The Thing About December’ by Donal Ryan, this coming of age story stars rising star Donal Ó Healaí. A screening of Wolfwalkers will also take place as Gaeilge at this year’s festival.

With eleven World Premieres set to take place, forty-five new films, and over 100 short films in the Fleadh’s usual shortcase of the best of Irish and international shorts, the 2021 edition of one of Ireland’s biggest festivals is looking to be a comeback with a bang. You can peruse the complete catalogue of screenings in this year’s programme HERE.

The festival’s famous Marketplace will be remaining online this year to better facilitate participation. This industry connecting event co-ordinates pre-scheduled meetings between filmmakers with projects in development and/or completed films and invited Film Financiers, Distributors, Sales Agents, Broadcasters, Film Funds and Major Producers.

Speakers for this year’s Fleadh Forum, the festival’s symposium for filmmakers and industry professionals to explore and discuss ideas in audio-visual industry.

The Galway Film Fleadh is funded by the Arts Council. An industry staple and a celebration of cinema, it will be great to see the festival taking a blended approach this year as it welcomes back audiences. Following the full programme announcement, tickets for all the festival’s films are available now via the Film Fleadh website.

About Luke Dunne

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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