GALWAY FILM FLEADHLE Farst Irish Film Festival returns in person

Joyride with Oliva Colman and Charlie Reid

Bj quinn

The Galway Film Fleadh returned last July for a live edition, in person and to the cinema after online and outdoor events in the past two years. From July 5 to 10, this year festival -goers, bouncing between the Town Hall Theater and the Pálás, were able to see the best of Irish and international cinema in its place.

The festival started in style with the world’s highly anticipated Joyride by Emer Reynolds. The film meant a change of rhythm for Reynolds, a filmmaker who, after going from editor to director, worked exclusively in the documentary – especially known for her biopic the Farthest and Phil Lynott, winner of an Emmy Award, Songs for While I’m Away. . His first dramatic feature film, Joyride, tells the story of Joy (Olivia Colman, who won the Oscar of Irish co -production The Favorite in 2018), a woman struggling with maternity, who finds herself on the run with Mully ( The CHARLIE DE KILDARE REID), a teenager with an emptiness in the shape of a mom in his life. As they tear the road during their wild and tumultuous journey through Ireland, we follow these playful “outlaws” in search of their dreams. Unfortunately, Colman could not go to the world premiere, but the newcomer Reid received a delighted ovation for his impressive first performance. “He totally blown me away,” Colman told Guardian last June. “He clearly understood everything.”

Another beginner director, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, an Irish talent best known for her work in front of the camera, proves that she has style to burn with It is in Us all, which was a treat on Saturday evening at the Town Hall Theater. Written and produced by Campbell-Hughes, it is in US all features Cosmo Jarvis (Calm with Horses) and Rhys Mannion (Water Under the Bridge). A formidable man who does not care about anything is forced to face his self -destructive nucleus when a violent car accident involving a sexually loaded boy who embodies life, challenges him to face his truth. “It was a process of so many years of learning and experience on the set of artistic creators – a curation of a decade,” said Campbell -Hughes. “I have so many people to thank. All the actors and the team that have contributed to the fact that it happens in the strangest. Heroic years. What interests me in the storyteller is, is To be able to show something that has a gradient … and that is not linear.

One of the most popular and acclaimed films by criticism of the festival was Nothing compares by Kathryn Ferguson, an intimate documentary that traces the phenomenal ascent and the hectic career of the singer Sinéar O’Connor. Focusing on the words and prophetic acts of O’Connor over a period of five years (1987 – 1992), Nothing Comparians presents a cinematographic portrait of the author of a musical icon through a contemporary feminist lens. “When Sinéad broke into my conscience, I had the impression that a door had been opened,” Ferguson told Women and Hollywood. “Here is a daring Irishman who said things that others did not think they could say and she said them out loud.” During the questions and answers that followed the screening, the director said that making the film “was a phenomenal archiving process, it was like looking for a treasure”. And you can really see this treasure on the screen; The director frees himself from interviews with a talking head in favor of a simple voiceover, illuminating the screen with an archive images collage that spice up the clips and concert sequences that we know too well. The film was a success during its beginnings at the Sundance Film Festival, and now, after winning the Prize for the best Irish documentary in Fleadh, we feel that the sky is the limit for Nothing comparies.

The festival was closed by Carol of the Bells, a period drama whose history of survival in the middle of the occupation in Ukraine before and after the Second World War took on a new resonance in the middle of the current war. The film was presented by director Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko, who spoke on stage the tears in eyes; For three months, she has taken refuge in Galway. “Everything in the film is happening now.”

The winner of the best Irish film was Lakelands, written, directed and produced by Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney. Lakelands won the Fleadh’s Best Marketplace Project Award in 2021 and returned to Fleadh this year for its world premiere. The film follows Cian, a young Gaelic footballer who has trouble accepting an injury ending his career after an attack during an evening. Cian undertakes a search for its own identity in a small town where Gaelic football is a religion, and identity is defined by what you can do on the field. With the beginnings as directors of Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney, and a cast of emerging Irish stars, including Éanna Hardwicke (Vivarium, Normal People, Smother) and Danielle Galligan (Netflix’s Shadow and Bone).

Another highlight, The Sparrow, written and directed by Michael Kinirons, won the prize for the best first Irish feature film. The Sparrow follows Kevin Coyne, who lives in a dysfunctional home where to cry the death of his mother is prohibited by his father Larry, an ex-soldier. Kevin is also used to living in the shadow of his brother Robbie, then he is surprised when Hanna, a newcomer to this West Cork parish, seems to prefer his company.

That’s all ! Another Fleadhbulous Film Fleadh in Books. After two years of COVID compromise, the 2022 festival not only marked a return to the cinemas, but the return of the Buzz Fleadh, a five -day party celebrating fresh and convincing voices in Irish cinema today.

Gerald R. Schneider