On Sunday, July 12 2020, the 31st edition of the virtual Galway Film Fleadh came to a close after another outstanding year of Irish and international film premieres, screenings, workshops and discussions. The annual awards ceremony took place online before the closing film Arracht

The big winner on the night was writer/director Philip Doherty’s Redemption of a Rogue, which won Best Irish Feature and Best Irish First Feature. The dark comedy musical, which stars Aaron Monaghan, Aisling O’Mara and Kieran Roche, will be released by Wildcard Distribution later this year.

Redemption of a Rogue

Pat Collins’ Henry Glassie: Field Work won Best Irish documentary. The film is an immersive and meditative documentary set among the rituals and rhythms of working artists across Brazil, Turkey, North Carolina and Ireland, that takes its inspiration from the celebrated American folklorist. The film will be released by Eclipse Pictures later this year.

Galway Film Fleadh boasts three Oscar-qualifying short film categories, with documentary joining animation and fiction short this year for the first time. The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short went to James Fitzgerald’s The Invisible Boy, with the James Horgan Award for Best Animated Short going to TOT directed by Fiona McLaughlin, Tom Getty & Aimée Kirkham Priester, and the Best Short Documentary being awarded to How to Fall in Love in a Pandemic by Michael-David McKernan.

I’m just blown away. Thanks so much to everyone involved. It’s been a long journey getting the film from script to screen and I just want to thank everyone that made it possible.

James Fitzgerald, Writer/Director – The Invisible Boy
The Invisible Boy
The Invisible Boy

During the last six days, your sterling programme has transported us to other worlds, but you remained true to yourselves in being a platform for Irish film showcasing the work of filmmakers at all stages of their careers. 

Maureen Kennelly – Arts Council Director


International Short

  • Best International Short DocumentaryNo Crying At The Dinner Table by Carol Nguyen
  • Best International Short Drama –  White Eye by Tomer Shushan
  • Best International Short AnimationTo the Dusty Sea by Héloïse Ferlay

Irish Short

  • Best Debut Short Fiction – Jesse Gilbert for Ballast
  • Best Debut Short Animation – Leo Crowley for Dead Hands of Dublin

Oscar Qualifying Awards

  • The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short in association with Network Ireland TelevisionThe Invisible Boy by James Fitzgerald
  • The James Horgan Award for Best Animated Short TOT directed by Fiona McLaughlin, Tom Getty & Aimée Kirkham Priester
  • Best Short Documentary in association with TG4 – How to Fall in Love in a Pandemic by Michael-David McKernan


  • Winner of the Pitching Award – Alice McDowell for Rain Song

Bingham Ray

  • The Bingham Ray New Talent Award in association with Magnolia PicturesEdwina Casey

Peripheral Visions Award

  • Peripheral Visions Award in association with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture: River Tales by Julie Schroell

Irish Features

  • Best Irish Documentary – Henry Glassie: Field Work
  • Best Irish First Feature – Redemption of a Rogue
  • Best Irish Film – Redemption of a Rogue

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