Tomorrow July 19th, this year’s edition of the Galway Film Fleadh begins. The biggest film festival out wesht is offering a blended approach to its programme this year, mixing online screenings, outdoor showings (and their timing couldn’t be better) and a number of in cinema…cinema for 2021. The Film Fleadh has always had a highly well regarded programme of short films, presenting the best of Irish filmmakers on the up and exciting international insights in cinematic snapshot, and the 2021 programme is no different.
Check out our preview of just a few of the Irish shorts that will be screening as part of the Galway Film Fleadh 2021.
There are a whopping seven straight up blocks of Irish shorts available from the 20th to the 25th as part of this year’s Film Fleadh festival. These seven sets are divided mostly into categories for fiction and documentary, with an additional bundle of family friendly fiction if you want to share something short with the kids before getting into the family features. It also includes a selection from Screen Ireland of world premieres, funded under the agency’s Frameworks and Short Stories schemes. The Frameworks projects included in this line-up are co-funded by FÉ/SI and RTÉ.
Also teaming up with the Fleadh this year is Bow Street Academy, with the festival providing a showcase of acting talent through the Actor As Creator short film collections. Screen Ireland and the academy will be presenting ‘The Actor as Creator’ collection of shorts to provide a diverse range of creative voices within the Irish screen acting community.
Kamila Dydyna’s Debutante is one of the shorts at the festival that has landed on the Film In Dublin radar. The film explores the fictional story of a devout teenage girl who must testify in front of her congregation’s judicial committee after committing the sin of having premarital sex with her boyfriend, and is inspired in part by the director’s own experiences in Poland.
Of a lighter persuasion is Sparkle, directed by Gerard Walsh (South) with a script from Andie McCaffrey. Based on true events (!), the short tells the story of an undervalued housewife, who is jolted back to life upon discovering the new electrifying fitness fad of aerobics. But when the government tries to enforce a ban on it, she must fight to keep her Sparkle.
Dublin Oldschool director Dave Tynan will have a new film available in the shorts programme also. The Colour Between focuses on Annalise and Chris, who are bringing up their infant son surrounded by love and care. When Chris brings terrible news home, everything becomes under threat. A film about family and an interracial couple under fire. Annalise is at heart of it all. Similarly Guard Up, one of the short films we caught earlier this year at the Dublin International Film Festival, is well worth a watch, an emotional account of an Olympic-bound boxer who believes his future is in doubt when his true identity is revealed. Films like these show a picture of modern Ireland through an honest lens.
The Fleadh is a festival that regularly provides a platform also for films as Gaeilge and this year’s shorts are no exception. Portráidí Criathraigh by Joe Lee & Ríonach Ní Néill provides an insight into Portráidí Criathraigh, a work of art created by Seán Ó Flaithearta in a bog in Ros Muc in the Connemara Gaeltacht. The two characters being commemorated were chosen and chosen by the people of Ros Muc.
You can check out the full programme of Irish shorts at the 2021 Galway Film Fleadh below.