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.
We continue our look at the short films of the Fleadh with New Irish Shorts 4, which screens at 10am on Friday July 10th. The programme features 6 shorts that seek to investigate the strength of the human spirit and its perseverance against all odds. Audiences are taken from their rooted past to the dilemmas of modern and possible future life.
The first film in this programme is an intriguing collaboration between two of Northern Ireland‚Äôs foremost young filmmakers Michael Lennox and Stephen Fingleton. Written by Fingelton and directed by Lennox the short, Awaydays is a prequel to Fingelton‚Äôs debut feature The Survivalist (which has its ROI debut at the Fleadh). Fingleton was Oscar shortlisted for his short film SLR last year, with Lennox going one step further, receiving an Oscar nomination for Boogaloo and Graham. That short also won a BAFTA Award for Best British Short Film. Awaydays is set in the same universe as The Survivalist and sees a cruel and misunderstood father attempt to prepare his two young sons for the bleak future he is certain is coming, where only the strongest will survive. The film stars Stuart Graham (Hunger), Paula McFetridge (Five Minutes of Heaven), Corey McKinley (’71), Marcus Okane, and Zisko Mayanser Zulu. Awaydays is the first of two short films featured in the Fleadh from producer Brian J.Falconer.
Film two is the first of two short films to be produced by Collie McCarthy‚Äôs Dublin and London based production company Forty Foot Pictures, Stephen Kenny‚Äôs Coil. The film stars Joe Mullins (Pilgrim Hill) as a lonely priest in a small rural community, who has his world turned upside down when a strange trinket is left anonymously at his front door. This offering sparks in him an uneasy curiosity leading Patrick towards a dark encounter with the occult.
The third film of Shorts 4 is Kelly Campbell and Michael McDonough‚Äôs Quarantine. Set during the Irish Famine of 1845 the film is a love-story adapted of the poem Quarantine, by Eavan Boland. Lalor Roddy (Hunger) stars as an unnamed man, who carries his wife, played by Olwen Fouere (This Must Be the Place), from the workhouse to the sanctuary of their home. The directors also act as producers on the film, along with Emmaline Dowling. McDonough acts as cinematographer, with Campbell on script duties. Editing is handled by The Hallow‚Äôs Nick Emerson.
Film number four is Sandboy from writer/director Vittoria Colonna Di Stigliano‚Äôs (4 Bhanrion). The film is set in a sleepy Californian desert where there‚Äôs an abandoned junk yard, in which sits an abandoned RV and an abandoned young woman haunted by a secret. A rich cast features Josh Burrow, Crikett Enos, O-Lan Jones, Komel Malhi, Neel Malhi, Wallis Murphy-Munn, Americo Rossi, and Eric Smith. The film is produced by Colonna Di Stigliano, Lindsay Campbell, and Rachel Lysaght of Underground Films.
The fifth film is something a little different, from director Vincent Gallagher. A mix of live-action and animation, Love is a Sting tells the story Anabel Shine, a hyper-intelligent mosquito who flies into the home of Harold Finch, a struggling children’s book writer, and attempts to communicate with him. Noted Irish actor Se√°n T. √ì Meallaigh (Charlie) stars as Finch, with cinematography from Evan Barry, and a script from Ben Cleary. The RT√â/Filmbase funded short comes from Fail Safe Films producer Ian Hunt Duffy.
The sixth and final film in the strand is Kevin O‚ÄôFarrell‚Äôs Looks Like Rain. The film, which was one of two winners of the Galway Film Centre/RT√â Short Film Award, is set to the backdrop of the 1960’s, and tells the story of a boy’s banishment to the back yard as his mother races against the elements to get food on the table. The film stars Aoibhinn McGinnity (Love/Hate, Poison Pen) and Garrett Lombard (Stella Days, Pure Mule). Looks Like Rain is produced by Dave Leahy and Liam Ryan for Warrior Films.