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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.

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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.

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Getting to take part in an actual, factual film festival this month in the Galway Film Fleadh was a revitalising tonic in a difficult time. We can’t wait to attend cinemas again in person in the fair city of film and beyond, once it’s safe and secure for all staff and audiences to do so, but it was great to have a festival on demand to take in films from home and abroad and we’ve put together a little round up of some of the films we took in during the Fleadh.

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Directors: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane Running Time: 95 minutes
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The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the world premiere of Irish documentary The 8th. With subject matter so closely tied to the recent national psyche of the country, going as it does through the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment which constitutionally banned abortion in the Republic, it can be difficult to assess Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane’s documentary on it’s own merits. Functioning similarly Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s Marriage Referendum doc The 34th, the film plays out as a matter of historical record, but the filmmakers do allow the heavy emotions of the time their rightful place, elevating The 8th beyond the newsreel footage.

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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.

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Screenwriter and director Sarah Ingersoll has got a fair bit of miles in while learning her craft. A graduate of The Glasgow School of Art, Sarah’s has a background in visual art and photography which informs her writing and filmmaking. After directing her first student film in 2016 through the Galway Film Centre, Sarah went on to study screenwriting at The New School in New York. In 2017 her feature script The Keeper was selected as a finalist for Best Inception and Best Overall Script at the Oaxaca Film Festival. Sarah’s short screenplay The Bridge was chosen for the 2018 GFC/RTE Short Film Commission and under the direction of Mark Smyth, the short premiered earlier this month at Galway Film Fleadh. The film tells the story of Cormac who after the sudden death of his parents must choose between returning to his home village in the west of Ireland to care for his estranged younger brother, and a bright future in Canada. She is a recipient of the New Writing Development Loan 2018 from Screen Ireland. Also in July, the iffy Short Film Festival screened Somebody, Somewhere, Who Looks After Critters,  Sarah’s debut documentary short which focuses on the life of Alex Scade runs a one man animal sanctuary from his self-built cabin on the edge of the Beara peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Film In Dublin spoke with Sarah to talk screenwriting, directing and the Jurassic Park vibes of emus. Read more…

 

New Irish feature The Belly Of The Whale starring Pat Shortt (Garage, Calvary) will be released in Irish cinemas on Friday 7th December. 

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