Seven TG4 commissioned films will feature at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. The Galway Film Fleadh – Ireland’s leading film festival – is a six day international film event held from the 11th-16th July. Now in its 29th year, the festival aims to bring together audiences and filmmakers within an intimate environment, and share a common experience- the wonder of cinema.
TG4 films include Song of Granite which is the opening film at this year’s festival on the 11th of July. It portrays the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney. The beautiful yet harsh landscape combined with the myths, fables and songs of his Connemara childhood helped shape this complex and gifted character. Directed by Pat Collins, the film is produced by Alan Maher and Jessie Fisk of Marcie Films.
The following night features Rocky Ros Muc which examines the spirit inside the ring and the troubles outside, as well as the reality of emigration and its impact on identity. In the mid-1970s Seán Ó Mainnín left Galway for Boston. From humble beginnings, to competing for a world title boxing crown; from the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc in Connemara to the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the mean streets of Boston. Rocky Ros Muc is Seán Ó Mainnín’s story; his life, boxing career, and the ups and downs of both. This is a story of survival, determination, honour and strength. A Below the Radar production in association with ILBF, MG Alba and BAI. Directed by Michael Fanning. Produced by Máire Bhreathnach. Writer and associate producer Rónán Mac Con Iomaire.
Director Tom Colliin’s historical drama Athrí/Penance debuts on Saturday the 15th, a story with a background of the Easter Rising 1916, but set primarily in more recent times. Firebrand priest Father Eoin O’Donnell is convinced that only violence will force Britain out of Ireland. He influences young, impressionable Antaine to fight. When events spiral out of control, Antaine accidently kills his mother while trying to escape the local police. Fr. Eoin realises that he had too much influence on the boy. He runs away to Derry, many miles away, to seek penance. Starring Peter Coonan, Terry Byrne, Barry Barnes & Diona Doherty. The film was written by Greg Ó Braonáin and Tom Collins, with Collins producing alongside Edwina Forkin ( Zanzibar Films). Funded by Northern Ireland Screen, The Irish Film Board, TG4 and BAI.
Hurling legend Ger Loughnane reveals the fascinating Irish links to the Canadian obsession with ice hockey in Poc na nGael on Sunday. Early Irish immigrants created the sport, a game born from hurling, a sport dear to Ger’s heart. He discovers how hurling evolved into hockey. The sport the Irish created also helped to establish them in Canadian society. The Irish were essential to developing the game that quickly swept the new nation of Canada. Directed by Éamonn Ó Cualáin with contributions from Ger Loughnane, Brendan Shanahon & Geraldine Heaney. Script by Sam Kingston, Niall Murphy & Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin. Producers Éamonn Ó Cualáin & Sam Kingston.
It Tolls for Thee is screening on Thursday. Through an intriguing conspiracy of circumstance and courage, Irishwoman Mary Elmes found herself centre stage for two of the major theatres of war in the 20th century. During the civil war in Spain, Mary rescued children from the bombs raining down from German and Italian planes. Within a few years the world was plunged into an even greater conflict and once more, ‘doing nothing’ was not an option for Mary. Narrated by Winona Ryder and featuring a wealth of personal archives as well as contributions from those who were spared the death camps because of Mary Elmes, this is a story of unadulterated goodness set in a world of seemingly all-consuming darkness. Director & script Andrew Gallimore, narrated by Winona Ryder, producer Lucia Gavin.
Ag Trasnú an Atlantaigh Dhuibh/ Crossing the Black Atlantic showcases on Friday. Scarcely can there be a body buried in Irish soil that hides a more intriguing tale and presents a more challenging legacy than that of Tom Molineaux (1784-1818). Having saved his owner’s plantation by winning a fist-fight, Molineaux sailed to England where he challenged the heavyweight champion in a contest that is still considered one of the most shameful episodes in British sports history. Molineaux was cheated of the title and of all his money, so the first American sporting hero fled to Ireland. Co-directed by Des Kilbane & Andrew Gallimore. Produced by Orla Higgins & Des Kilbane- Desk Productions.
Also showing on Friday is Turas na hAilse. Twice a week, cancer patients from Donegal board a bus and travel five hours and 200 kilometres to receive radiotherapy in University Hospital Galway – their nearest treatment centre. In Galway, they take residence in Inis Aoibhinn, a haven away from the hospital. Turas na hAilse / The Cancer Journey follows them as they journey together, exhibiting resilience, generosity and spirit under difficult, but unifying, circumstances. Produced by Hawkeye Films and Phantom Limb Productions.
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont said “It is very gratifying to see so many TG4 films being showcased at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Since TG4 launched, drama in Irish has been at the heart of our vision for audiences and our drama producers have consistently won international and national awards.’