The 2015 Galway Film Fleadh , July 7th to 12th, includes 11 programmes featuring Irish short film, two of these are for local films, with the other 9 featuring films from throughout the island. In addition the festival will host a Short Film Slam on the closing day of the festival, where the first two minutes of each short film will be played and then the audience will vote on whether or not to watch the rest. In addition the Fleadh will feature the One Minute Film Festival , a film festival within a film festival that showcases the best in super-short filmmaking, where every moment counts.
For our look at the short films of the Fleadh let’s start at the very beginning‚Ä¶a very good place to start. Programme one, which screens at 10am on Wednesday July 8th, features five films which look, with differing viewpoints, at the nature of relationships.
First up is writer/director Ellen Bytyqi‚Äôs comedy 69 & Dead. The film sees a young man attempt to save his grandparents marriage by sending Viagra to his grandfather. When this backfires spectacularly and his grandfather dies, young Daniel must put his grief on hold and spend the wake hiding evidence that could link him to the fatal pills. Bytyqi is a recent graduate of the National Film School at IADT Dun Laoghaire. The film is backed by NFS and features veteran Irish star Frank Kelly, as well as Emmet Byrne (Idle), with music from Denis Kilty, and Chelsea Carolan acting as producer. The film is shot by Alan Hopkins, who worked with Bytyqi and Carolan on Megan Wood‚Äôs The Beauty of Ballybrack.
The second film in Programme 1 is Fat Freddie’s Drop, written and directed by Alan Markey. The film is a coming of age drama about a teenage boy, Eric, and his prized goldfish, the titular Fat Freddie The pair have¬†built up a large internet fan-base with a¬†short¬†series of internet videos titled ‚ÄòFat Freddie‚Äôs Drop‚Äô, but the online¬†success fails to¬†impress Eric‚Äôs parents, who worry about¬†him hiding away from the real world, making ‚Äòsilly little goldfish videos‚Äô up in his room. The film is the first from Tonlegee Films, and was shot over 4 days in Dublin and Dundalk, with a crew of 15 and cast of 7. Se√°n Burke stars as Eric, with Peter Johnson and Therese Ballantine as his parents. The cast is rounded out by Graham Earley, Dylan Jennings, Jasmin Gleeson, and Sophie Malaika. Blaine Rennicks (Sineater) is cinematographer, with David O’Reilly (Stalker) as Editor. Marie-Claire Hoysted (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) and Markey act as producers, with Gavan Duffy co-producer. Music comes from Gavin McCaffrey and Sergio Milani.
The fourth film in the programme is Braid, from writer/director Eve Banahan. The film is a bittersweet drama about a girl, who in dealing with her mother‚Äôs death, gets caught up in the numbing distraction of sex and alcohol. Katie Honan stars in the lead, with support from Lochlann O’Mear√°in (Poison Pill), Brandon Noble, and Emmet Byrne (making his second appearance of the programme). The film is supported by NFS @ IADT and is produced by Mia Ferguson, with cinematography from Eileen Timmons. The pair previously worked together on Conor Hamill’s powerful short drama Luke.
Last but not least is the Kilkenny set Bodies, from UK director B. Welby-Delimere and the film school students from The Arts University Bournemouth. The film is a black comedy, and focuses on the fracturing co-dependant relationship between two funeral directors, one stuck in the past, still grieving the loss of his wife, while the other feels pressure to take over the family business. Kilkenny native Rory Fleck Byrne stars, as well as acting as a producer on this film, which underwent a successful crowd-funding campaign last year.