31st Galway Film Fleadh Returns to the City

Galway Film Fleadh have announced their 2019 programme, which includes 95 sensational International and Irish feature films. The festival returns to Galway on the 9th of July and runs until the 14th. 

As an international Film Festival renowned for being an Irish launching pad for cinema talent, this year’s programme continues to reinforce that reputation with a carefully curated selection of features from 36 countries including 10 World Premieres. An impressive 30 films are feature directorial debuts and over 40% of films are by female filmmakers. The festival prides itself on being a beacon for new voices and emerging talent in the film industry.

This year’s festival includes an unmissable programme of New Irish Cinema, featuring a number of World Premieres from talented Irish directors. This home-grown programme includes the very best in dramatic and comedic features in addition to a range of fascinating documentaries which cover a range of topics across politics, the arts, culinary innovation, and human rights.

Pálás Cinema
Pálás Cinema

New Irish Cinema Highlights include Jihad Janea, a compelling debut documentary from emerging Irish filmmaker Ciaran Cassidy which paints an intriguing portrait of the online post-9/11 world. Finky, directed by Dathaí Keane (An Klondike), is a boldly original, stylish Irish-language drama about a musician and puppeteer who finds his way into a hellish circus troupe. Breaking Out, a documentary filmed over 10 years about the larger-than-life musician Fergus O’Farrell who, undaunted by his diagnosis with muscular dystrophy, continued to tour and compose music for the Oscar® winning film, Once. The documentary has a special connection to the Film Fleadh, as it was the festival to give Once its World Premiere in 2006. 

Speaking at the programme launch, Director of Programming Will Fitzgerald talked about the line-up by relating a story about watching Agnès Varda’s last film, which plays on the closing day of the Fleadh: “This year’s Fleadh is as much about celebrating cinematic accomplishments as discovering new talent. Inspired by the Gleaner herself, I’d been taking a trip down cinema lane, gleaning some of the highlights. This year’s Fleadh has got tributes to Varda, cinematographer Robby Müller, an animated biopic of Luis Buñuel, documentaries on the composer Scott Walker and the making of Alien, and more.”


The 2019 Film Fleadh features a culinary cinema strand including the World Premiere of Stage: The Culinary Internship, a shocking restaurant exposé the reliance of Michelin star restaurants on unpaid internships, among other films including The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution, championing the work of female chefs in the restaurant industry. The festival will present a series of political documentaries in a section titled The Film Fleadh Goes to Washington, featuring incredible insight and archive footage. These include Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President which is presented in two parts plus Active Measures, an well-researched look at Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and Dark Money, which follows the money trail behind U.S. politics and a shocking fly-on-the-wall portrait of Steve Bannon called The Brink.

The programme also brings back its selection of music-related films including opening night late film Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love about the late Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen. This strand will also feature Once Aurora, Every Night’s a Saturday Night and Heyday: The Mic Christopher Story, spotlighting artists AURORA, Rolling Stones’ sax player Bobby Keys and the late Irish singer/songwriter Mic Christopher respectively.

Extra Ordinary
Extra Ordinary

On the closing night, the hottest ticket in town is for the Film Fleadh Awards Ceremony, which includes the sought after Bingham Ray New Talent Award, for which five filmmakers across the fields of directing, producing and acting have been nominated. The 2019 nominees are directors Mike Ahern (Extra Ordinary), Enda Loughman (Extra Ordinary), actor Lola Petticrew (A Bump Along the Way), actor Lauryn Canny (Darlin’) and director Tristan Heanue (Ciúnas (Silence).

The 31st Galway Film Fleadh takes place from 9th-14th July in the Town Hall Theatre and Pálás cinema, Galway. Tickets and further information for all films and events are now available at Galway Film Fleadh


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