Inspiring stories of real life heroes defying the odds to stand up for what they believe, dominate the programme of the 11th Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival. Taking place at Headfort House, outside Kells, Co Meath over the August Bank Holiday weekend (August 4th to 7th), the festival will feature 30 powerful stories from five continents, including 15 Irish premieres.
The programme, which is now live on www.guthgafa.com, features highlights such as Mama Colonel, about an extraordinary Congolese policewoman tackling violence against women; Gaza Surf Club which follows a group of surfers finding escape from battle-scarred Gaza and When God Sleeps, profiling an Iranian rapper who defies a fatwa to keep on performing.
Guth Gafa will also pay tribute to the work of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) – a collective of citizen journalists risking their lives to bring down ISIS – by presenting the 2nd Guth Gafa Human Rights’ Award to Abdal-Azis Alhamza, co-founder of RBSS, and the main subject of the award-winning film, City of Ghosts, one of two films about Syria which will be screened.
In an era of fake news, the world needs truthful documentary film more than ever. Many of our films invite audiences to walk in the shoes of some extraordinarily courageous people in some of the most troubled parts of the world.
David Rane, Festival Director
There will be a special focus on Autism with three very different films Life, Animated (US) Normal Autistic Film(Czech Republic) and Communion (Poland) casting a rare light on the lives of young people with autism.
Music films getting the big screen, surround sound treatment include Long Strange Trip, the four-hour epic on The Grateful Dead, and Whitney: Can I Be Me the tragic story of the rise and fall of Whitney Houston.
Making a triumphant return to the place it was filmed will be School Life (In Loco Parentis), the film made by festival founders, Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane. The film will be shown in the Adam Room of Headfort School, where some of the film’s most memorable scenes took place.
Also on the menu will be family-friendly films, children’s workshops, delicious food, a full bar and a festival club hosting live music acts on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Guth Gafa’s principal supporters include Meath County Council, The Arts Council, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, The Irish Film Board, Creative Ireland and Failte Ireland.