Among festival staff, industry professionals and film entusiasts, Festival Programmer Gar O’Brien said at the launch “This year is without doubt a banner year for Irish film…alongside the usual mix of the best in world cinema and documentaries”.
The 24th edition of the festival, which takes place from 10-15th July, has a line-up that includes 13 World premieres, 7 European premieres and 7 Irish premieres. Among the big names, Pixar’s upcoming ‘Brave’ will screen at the festival alongside ‘Shadow Dancer’, the dramatic debut of Oscar winning filmmaker James Marsh (Man On Wire, 2008) starring Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson.
Irish films, Grabbers, Silence and a variety of shorts will all premiere at the festival as well.
The festival will no doubt gain greater attention this year after being awarded Academy Award Qualification status last November for it’s short film category. Irish short films have tended to do well at the Oscars, with 6 nominations and 1 win in the last four years, a number of which received premieres at Galway.
The festival has established itself as a heayweight on the festival circuit in recent years, with World premieres of Irish films Once (John Carney, 2006) and The Guard (John Michael McDonagh, 2010), both of which went on to enjoy international success. Once, a film about the love between two musicians, went on to screen at Sundance the following year and subsequently won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2006. The Guard has become the most successful Irish film financially since it premiered at the Fleadh last year, and lead to a Best Lead Actor – Comedy nomination for Brendan Gleeson at the Golden Globes this past January.
The festival also hosts a number of events, including a Film Fair, Pitching Award and a number of masterclasses. This year features events in Post-Production, Screenwriting and Directing. Lisa Albert, writer/producer of Mad Men, will also take part in a Television Writing & Development Masterclass.
The festival also attracts a number of internationally recognised stars. This year, Aiden Gillen (Game Of Thrones) is promised along with Guest of Honour, French actress Isabelle Huppert. Last year Angelica Huston and Martin Sheen both took part in the festivities. Previous year’s guests include Pierse Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Frears and Anthony Minghella.
More information available at www.galwayfilmfleadh.com