The 28th Galway Film Fleadh has launched its official line-up for the festival, which runs July 5th to 10th. This year is an absolutely monumental one for Irish films, particularly for irish feature films, as 18 play at the festival.
The Last King
Cinemobile – Wednesday, July 6th – 17:15
Irish-Norwegian co-production The Last King, is set in medieval Norway which is ravaged by civil war, and the king’s illegitimate son is guarded in deep secret. He is a boy half the kingdom is out to kill, and whom two men have to protect with their own lives. This is the story of an escape which changed the history of Norway forever. Oscar-nominated director Nils Gaup (Pathfinder) directs Jakob Oftebro (Kon-Tiki) and Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), with Thorbjorn Harr (Vikings) and Pal Sverre Hagen (Kon-Tiki) co-starring. Lesley McKimm co-produces for Irish based Newgrange Pictures (My Name is Emily), with Stein B. Kvae and Finn Gjerdrum producing for Norway’s Paradox Film 3 AS. The film is also co-produced by Nordisk Film and Proton Cinema+Theatre with funding from Norwegian Film Institute, Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, and Eurimages.
Dead Along the Way
Town Hall Studio – Wednesday, July 6th – 19:30
Dead Along The Way is a gritty crime comedy and follows the antics of two wedding videographers who are desperately trying to hide a corpse before a wedding. The cast includes an impressive mix of established and emerging talent, including Game of Thrones actor Ciarán Bermingham, who played Mord in the phenomenally successful HBO series. It will also feature character actor Tom Lawlor, who is father of famed Love/Hate star Tom Vaughan Lawlor. Tom Snr also appeared in Love/Hate as a priest. Drogheda born Niall Murphy (Dracula Untold) stars in the leading role of Whacker McGrath. Other cast members in Dead Along The Way include Ben Condron, Donna Patrice, Kevin McCormack, Sinéad O’Riordan, Gail Brady, Jeff Doyle, Cora Fenton, Elaine Kennedy, Tara Downes, Zeb Moore, Gerard Lee, Paula Lee and John Magee. Director Maurice O’Carroll produces alongside his wife Elaine, and the duo have teamed up with Sinéad O’Riordan of ORion Productions.
Property of the State
Town Hall Theatre – Wednesday, July 6th – 20:00
Based on the true story that shocked Ireland in the 1990’s, Property of the State tells the tale of a disturbed young man by the name of Brendan O’Donnell. The story is witnessed through the eyes of his sister Anne Marie, as piece by piece she threads together the events that ultimately lead to the harrowing murders of a young mother, her child and a local priest. Anne Marie lived through it all, she became the sister of a murderer and the sister of a man described as the most evil man in Ireland. She had not committed a crime, and yet she was guilty by association. The film stars Aisling Loftus (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Anne Marie, Patrick Gibson (Cherry Tree) as older Brendan, with David Rawle (Moone Boy) as a younger Brendan. The cast also includes Elaine Cassidy (The Program), Hazel Doupe (Ripper Street), Finbar Lynch (Suffragette), and B.J. Hogg (Puckoon). Property of the State was written by Susan Morrall, with production from Terence Ryan for Opix Pictures, Alan Latham for GSP Studios, Jo Gilbert, James T. Ryan, and Ken Tuohy.
Town Hall Theatre – Wednesday, July 6th – 22:00
The Randomer is a modern Irish comedy about sex, love and babies. The film follows Meg, a free-spirited woman who enjoys the perfect life. She has a great job only minutes away from her city apartment, with trendy bars, cafés and nightlife on her doorstep. Life without kids is a blast, until she starts to think the unthinkable: she wants a baby. Now it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for just one night. The Randomer is the Filmbase Master Students’ 2016 feature film, with all elements of the film produced by the members of the class, from pre-production to post production, marketing and distribution.
Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 18:00
Set in Sardinia, during the bombardment of World War II, Annetta is an Accabadora, a woman who helps people die with dignity, a practice existing in Sardinia until the 1950s. She searches for acceptance and love with a deep desire to change her destiny: living alone with death, a path written in stone by ancient traditions. Annetta agrees on her sister’s deathbed to abandon her niece, so she cannot be fated to become the next Accabadora. The film is a reverse coming of age story as Annetta finds love in the arms of a foreigner Albert where she finally finds intimacy in love and life. The film is directed by Enrico Pau, with cinematogrpahy from Piers McGrail, and music by Stephen Rennicks. It is produced by Film Kairòs, Mammoth Films, and Rai Cinema, in association with Windmill Lane is world renowned for its recording studio, music video production & commercials, VFX work and audio for Film, TV and Animation. Pictures, with the support the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannan Na hÉireann.
Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 20:00
In View is the story of the implosion of Ruth Donnelly, a happy married and accomplished Garda detective whose drunken indiscretion while pregnant led to the loss of her baby at birth. Blaming Ruth and unable to cope, her husband takes his own life leaving Ruth alone. Five years later Ruth’s life of burdening guilt is dominated by rage, alcoholism, depression and self-loathing, leaving her to eventually conclude that there is only one way for her to make amends with the world. The film, which is directed by Ciaran Creagh, features a star-making turn from Caoilfhionn Dunne (Love/Hate) in the lead, supported by Ciaran McMenamin (One Hundred Mornings), Stuart Graham (Hunger), Maria McDermotteroe (Veronica Guerin), Aoife King (Mammal), Eoin Quinn (limp.) and Gerard McSorley (In the Name of the Father). In View is produced by Dave Byrne of Underground Cinema.
Town Hall Studio – Thursday, July 7th – 20:30
Gerard Walsh’s second feature, South, tells the story of a young man, named Tom, who is struggling with his father’s recent passing. After finding a photograph of his estranged mother, he decides to seek out the only family he has left. Red Rock actor Darragh O’Toole stars as Tom, with support from Emily Lamey (Every Breaking Wave), veteran screen star Joe Rooney (Monged, Father Ted), and Andie McCaffrey Byrne (A Day Like Today, Love/Hate). McCaffrey Byrne was one of the leads in Walsh’s excellent debut A Day Like Today, which featured at the 2014 IndieCork Film Festival and the 2015 Galway Film Fleadh. The film had a 9 day shoot last September in locations around Dublin and Galway. Matthew Toman of Bankhouse Productions produces, with cinematography from Kevin Treacy (The Death of a Projectionist), and original music by Sean Riddick.
Town Hall Theatre – Thursday, July 7th – 22:00
Tiger Raid, which stars Brian Gleeson (The Stag, Standby) and Damien Molony (Clean Break), is a dark thriller featuring two mercenaries who journey across the desert while undertaking a kidnapping in Iraq. The film is adapted by Gareth Coulam Evans and Mick Donnellan from Irish writer Mick Donnellan’s acclaimed play of the same name. It was produced by Dublin-based Samson Films and London’s Story Films with support from Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry..
A Date for Mad Mary
Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 18:00
A Date for Mad Mary tells the story of ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle returns to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is the Maid of Honour. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ for the wedding, on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary is determined to prove her wrong. She throws herself into the local dating scene, in the hope of finding a nice guy who’ll look good in a tux. But finding a date in a town where everyone knows your name, and your reputation, is not going to be easy. The film stars an ensemble of young Irish actors including Seana Kerslake, Charleigh Bailey and Tara Lee as well as established talent including Denise McCormack and Norma Sheehan, and is written by brothers Darren & Colin Thornton. A Date for Mad Mary is produced by Ed Guiney (The Guard, Frank, Lobster, Room) and Juliette Bonass (Glassland, Get Up & Go) and Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, working across production, distribution, and exhibition. Element Pictu... More as executive producer. The film, which is backed by the Irish Film Board, Element Pictures Distribution, BAI and TV3
Town Hall Studio – Friday, July 8th – 18:30
Trampoline director Tom Ryan’s second feature, Twice Shy, is another small and intimate story that follows a young couple who embark on a road-trip from Ireland to the UK as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. Twice Shy stars Shane Murray Corcoran and Iseult Casey in the lead roles of Andy and Maggie. Over the course of the roadtrip, the film uses flashbacks to build up their relationship and show how they ended up making the choice to terminate the pregnancy. The film benefits from a strong supporting cast, with Ardal O’ Hanlon, Pat Shortt, and TV stars Mary Conroy (Ros na Rún), and Paul Ronan (Love/Hate) all featuring. Veteran stars O’Hanlon and Shortt play the main characters’ fathers, with the script being written with the two in mind.
The Young Offenders
Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 20:00
Inspired by Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure of €440 million off the coast of Cork in 2007, The Young Offenders follows two Cork inner-city teenagers, Conor and Jock, as they embark on a 160km road trip on stolen bikes in the hopes of finding an unrecovered bale of coke. The film is directed by first-time feature writer/director Peter Foott and introduces new talents Alex Murphy and Chris Walley. Well known stand-up comedian PJ Gallagher (Naked Camera) and Hilary Rose (Republic of Telly) also star in the comedy. Produced by Julie Ryan, it is a Vico Films production with Cormac Fox and Michael Doherty as executive producers. Creative talent includes Director of Photography Patrick Jordan (Talking to My Father, Leave), and Editor Colin Campbell (You’re Ugly Too), with music from Ray Harman (Love/Hate, Patrick’s Day).
A Dark Song
Town Hall Theatre – Friday, July 8th – 22:00
Liam Gavin’s feature debut, A Dark Song, follows Sophia, a young woman who insists on renting an old house in the remote countryside so that she can hire an occultist. She needs him to perform an ancient invocation ritual, the Abramelin, to summon up Sophia’s Guardian Angel so her wish can be granted. She wishes to talk to her murdered child, a desire that consumes her. A Dark Song features Patrick’s Day star Catherine Walker in the lead, with Sightseers‘ Steve Oram as the occulist hired in to help her. Frank star Mark Huberman and Poison Pen‘s Susan Loughnane offer strong support. A Dark Song was filmed in locations around Dublin and Wicklow in the summer of 2015. Viva cinematographer Cathal Watters shot the film, with Connor Dennison as production designer. Bowsie Workshop assisted on the practical effects. Post-production is taking place at Windmill Lane Pictures with editor Anna Maria O’Flanagan and Patrick’s Day composer Ray Harman. David Collins and Cormac Fox produce for Samson Films, with Tim Dennison producing for UK production company Tall Man Films. Funding comes via the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann and Ffilm Cymru Wales.
Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 14:00
History’s Future, from director and artist Fiona Tan, was co-written with film critic Jonathan Romney. It stars Irish actor and writer Mark O’Halloran (Adam & Paul) in the leading role, alongside Denis Lavant (Holy Motors), Johanna ter Steege (Spoorloos), and fellow Irishman Brian Gleeson (Standby). History’s Future fuses fiction and documentary into a visual essay charting an amnesiac’s odyssey into regaining memory via a Europe in turmoil. By the time his journey ends, MP (O’Halloran) has learned to survive, newly armed with an understanding of how we live today. History’s Future is produced by Cormac Fox for Irish based Vico Films, Floor Onrust for the Dutch based FamilyAffair Films, and Benny Drechsel for Germany’s RohFilm. It is financed with the assistance of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Netherlands Film Fund, Mondriaan Fund, Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung, Fonds 21, MEDIA, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Dommering Foundation, and the Ellipsis Foundation.
Town Hall Studio – Saturday, July 9th – 16:30
Staid, the feature debut of best selling author and playwright, Paul O’Brien. Hidden away in a small town, four people who are tied together by new and old relationships, tangle, fight, sing, talk, smoke, drink, argue, laugh, leave and return – while stumbling towards the reality that their lives are finally changing whether they like it or not.
The Siege of Jadotville
Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 20:00
The Siege of Jadotville is an Irish-South African co-production and is directed by Richie Smyth. The film stars Jamie Dornan, Guillaume Canet, Jason O’Mara, and Mark Strong, and is based off Kevin Brodbin’s screenplay. It follows an Irish military commander in a stand-off with French and Belgian mercenaries in the Congo in the early 1960s. Alan Moloney (Byzantium) will produce for Parallel Films, with financing coming from Bord Scannan na hEireann/the Irish Film Board.
Cinemobile – Saturday, July 9th – 20:15
Moon Dogs is a coming-of-age road trip story that follows Michael (Jack Parry Jones) and his step brother Thor (Christy O’Donnell) on an epic road trip south from Scotland, meeting Irish free spirit Caitlin’(Tara Lee) along the way, whose charms lead to them both falling in love with her. Moon Dogs is a Scottish-Irish co-production with Kathy Speirs of Up Helly Aa Limited, and directed by BAFTA nominated director Philip John (Being Human, Downton Abbey), written by Scottish duo Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle. The film was edited by Irish editor Tony Kearns, with all picture, sound post production and VFX taking place at EGG Post Production in Dublin. Moon Dogs is funded by the Irish Film Board, Creative Scotland, Ffilm Cymru Wales, and the Irish and UK Producer tax credits.
Town Hall Theatre – Saturday, July 9th – 22:00
The fourth feature from Mark O’Connor, Cardboard Gangsters, which O’Connor co-wrote with Love/Hate star John Connors, sees his frequent collaborator Connors take the lead as Jaythe head of a gang of drug dealers attempting to take control of an are of Darndale controlled by Jimmy Smallhorne’s Derra. The pair are joined by Kierston Wareing (Fish Tank), Fionn Walton (What Richard Did), Damien Dempsey (Between the Canals), Denise McCormack (Love/Hate) Paul Roe (Adam and Paul), Stephen Clinch (Between the Canals), and Corey McKinley (’71), with support from Aaron Blake O’Connell (Bully), Gemma-Leah Devereux (How to Be Happy), Toni O’Rourke (Noble), Fiona Hewitt Twamley, Paul Alright, Ryan Lincoln, and Ciaran McCabe (Bully). UFC fighters Cathal Pendred and Nathan Kelly also make cameo appearances. Cardboard Gangsters is produced by Richard Bolger for Five Knight Films, in association with O’Connor’s Stalker Films. The film is funded by the BAI, Filmbase, and TV3, with TV3 acquiring the broadcast rights to the film.
Town Hall Theatre – Sunday, July 10th – 20:30
Set in the world of people with intellectual disabilities, Sanctuary is a touching and funny love story about Larry and Sophie, two people who long to be together in a world that does everything to keep them apart. Larry, has Downs, Sophie, has severe epilepsy. The two are attracted to each other and, through a care worker Tom, they sneak away to a hotel room during a supervised trip to the cinema. What do they do once they are there? How do they express a love that dare not speak it’s name? Are they aware that in Ireland they are about to break the law? The film is based on a script by Christian O’Reilly, which he adapted from his own play, which was originally commissioned and produced by Blue Teapot Theatre Company. The multi-award-winning theatre company is known for its work with people with intellectual disabilities, and all the principal cast come from there. Sanctuary is a world first for actors with intellectual disabilities. Following on from pioneers such as Jaco Van Dormael’s as Le huitième jour and Galvao’s Colegas this film features nine wonderful actors with ID.The film stars Kieran Coppinger and Charlene Kelly in the leads, with support from Michael Hayes, Emer Macken, Paul Connolly, Frank Butcher, Patrick Becker, Jennifer Cox, and Valerie Egan. The film also features Stephen Marcus, Amy-Joyce Hastings, Tara Breathnach, Caroline Grace-Cassidy, and Christopher Dunne. Edwina Forkin produced the film for Zanzibar Films, with Russell Glesson as DoP, Julian Ulrich as editor, Eleanor Woods on production design, and music from Joe Conlon. Sanctuary was made with financial assistance from the Irish Film Board, the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, and RTÉ.
The 28th Galway Film Fleadh runs July 5th to 10th, 2016. More information can be found on the official website, Facebook page, and Twitter. Tickets for all of the above documentaries,a nd teh rest of the incredible line-up are now on sale.