Scannáin Ghaeilge ag an bhFleadh i nGaillimh

One of Ireland’s best and brightest film festivals kicks off next week as once again out west the Galway Film Fleadh will be taking place. The 36th edition of the film festival will be taking place from 9 – 14 July between the Town Hall Theatre and Pálás Cinema, with a whopping 94 feature films from Ireland and abroad set to screen between outstanding shorts and some of our industry’s most anticipated networking and workshop events. The 2024 Galway Film Fleadh Programme is now available, and as always the festival will be the buzz ground zero for the best Irish features over the coming year.

Festivals are a great celebration of our local talent, our stories and our culture. Just over a third of the features at the Fleadh will be Irish, and of those, there are set to be a number of films as Gaeilge. After the international success story that was An Cailín Ciúin, it’s invigorating and essential to see more films in our native language. If you’re a gaeilgeoir heading to Galway, here are some of the films you should check out.

KNEECAP

The big picture pick, as the high-profile rap trio’s film makes its eagerly anticipated Irish debut. Based on the origin story of the innovative Irish-language rap group, the film tells a fictionalised account of how Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí came together, with a particular emphasis on the Irish of it all, as rapping as Gaeilge gives the boys not only a unique voice for cultural and political expression.

An Taibhse

Catching headlines as Ireland’s first Irish language horror feature, An Taibhse offers eerie intrigue amidst he bleak landscape of post-famine Ireland. The narrative centres around Éamon and his daughter, Máire, who undertake the care of a remote Georgian Mansion through the harsh winter. Their task, initially serene, veers into terror as they encounter inexplicable phenomena.

The film explores the depths of human resilience in the face of unspeakable horror, presenting a nuanced portrayal of survival and the complex ways the mind adapts to protect itself.

Iarsmaí

Colonialism is scrutinised in Damian McCann’s film. Museums and institutions in Ireland and abroad are actively decolonizing their collections and practices – partly because of Rhodes Must Fall and Black Lives Matter campaigns, and partly because of the emergence of a more progressive approach to dealing with problematic histories. Iarsmaí (Remnants) looks at Ireland’s role as a colony, and as a colonising influence in turn, through the issue of stolen skulls in TCD, and the presence of looted indigenous material from Australia in the Ulster Museum in Belfast, and from Benin City in the National Museum in Dublin. The film features the return of 13 stolen skulls from TCD to the island of Inishbofin, off the Galway coast.

Froggie

Weird auld puppets, tense sibling relationships, what could be more Irish than this?

Brothers Fiachra and Tadgh peaked at the age of seven when they appeared on national TV, singing with their homemade puppet, Froggie. 25 years later, they are still singing the same ol’ song when their show gets cancelled.

The world is pulling the brothers apart. Fiachra’s biggest fear – that his brother will abandon him, and he will have to take a dreaded “9-5” – is closing in. To make matters worse, Froggie is stolen. A ransom video appears online. The thief will release Froggie when the puppet achieves 1 million followers. Fiachra and Tadgh must team up to rescue their childhood puppet by helping Froggie to become famous once again. 

Froggie is an independent bilingual comedy about brotherly love and the struggles of the artistic journey.

Fidil Ghorm

Our final fiction in Irish here is an earnest account of the power of music. Fidil Ghorm tells the story of 10-year Molly who believes that if she learns to play the fiddle like her dad, she can wake him up from a coma. When he is moved to a rehab centre, she overhears her mother say that it would probably take a miracle to wake him. Molly becomes curious and asks ‘what is a miracle?’ Her mother tells her that ‘it’s a kind of magic’ and Molly’s world of imagination goes into overdrive. In the rehab home she meets Malachy, a grumpy man, who plays the fiddle beautifully and she is told that he has “magic in his hands”. They eventually make a connection and thus begins her journey to find the magic in the music that she believes may heal her Dad.

Burkitt

An Irish language documentary, Burkitt is about the life of surgeon Denis Burkitt who discovered Burkitt’s lymphoma. First time filmmaker and cancer survivor Éanna Mac Cana weaves the patterns and parallels between lives, utilising his own recordings as an in-patient, as well as Burkitt’s own extensive archive of photographs and films. This remarkable film examines the non-linear impact of trauma, colonialism and the ethics of medical work.

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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