- 15 Dec 20
The Christmas season is a time when we find comfort in watching films. Therefore the Galway Film Fleadh wants to bring audiences together; to share in the wonder, and the light, and the connection of cinema. The year 2020 has altered the trajectory of the film industry, so the Fleadh is reflecting on the road it has travelled.
The Galway Film Fleadh has announced Solstice – a selection of films that chart a journey from the First Wave of Irish cinema, right up to the millennium and the cusp of the modern day Irish film landscape. Many of the films presented are celebrated as pioneering Irish works which broke new ground. From December 15 to January 21, The Galway Film Fleadh will make these films available to audiences worldwide, to garner the attention they deserve.
The first film to be featured, is the first ever feature film in the Irish language, Poitín (1978), which was directed by Bob Quinn. He also directed the docuseries Atlantean (1984) which challenges preconceived ideas of ‘Irishness’ and Celtic identity. Anne Devlin (1984), Pat Murphy’s early Irish feminist masterwork, will screen from a recently digitally restored copy. Joe Comerford’s Reefer and the Model (1988) was the very first film to screen at – and helped give rise to – the Galway Film Fleadh. Margo Harkin’s 1990 debut Hush-a-Bye Baby, inspired by the 1983 addition of the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution, is ripe for revisiting in the wake of the amendment’s repeal in 2018.
Korea (1995), was the international breakout film from first-wave director Cathal Black (and acting debut of a young Andrew Scott). The Fifth Province (1997), The Gamble (1998) and Country (2000), represent some of the last, and finest films to be made from Irish film’s cottage industry roots, before the infrastructure was in place to support widespread distribution of Irish indie cinema. It is the Fleadh’s fervent hope that digital accessibility can afford them a new and appreciative audience, online.
Finally, Lelia Doolan who is a co-founder of the Galway Film Fleadh, presents her directorial debut which was nine years in the making, Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey.
Commenting on Solstice, Fleadh programmer Will Fitzgerald says: "When we held our first online festival in July, we felt the disappointment of our international followers who weren’t able to watch all the films because of the necessary geo-locking restrictions. So we reached into the past and put together a program that Irish film fans everywhere can enjoy with Irish Screen America and Irish Film London coming onboard as our US and UK partners respectively, to help us reach the widest possible audience amongst the global Irish community."
Fleadh CEO Miriam Allen added: "One thing we’ll all do over Christmas, is sit down to watch a film. We wanted to make sure audiences had films with intelligence, as well as emotion, on offer. I’m personally looking forward to catching up on some old favourites."
All films will be available to rent worldwide on GalwayFilmFleadh.com or the Galway Film Fleadh App from December 15th 2020 to January 21st 2021.