The Galway Film Fleadh, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, returns this July to deliver a multitude of diverse films from both Ireland and abroad.  The festival, a staple of the artistic scene in Ireland's cultural heart, has a great selection of films and events for cinephiles to enjoy and indulge in.  As well as being the festival's 30th anniversary, this year will also see many screenings take place in Galway's newest arthouse cinema Pálás, which opened earlier this year.  Another quality and luxurious hot spot for film screenings will no doubt serve to improve and spread the movie madness across the city.


Irrespective of refurbishments, the primary draw of the Film Fleadh is the films and the events, and this year is no different.  While many will be hoping to catch a glimpse of famous faces who will no doubt be in attendance, if you want with absolute certainly to meet and learn from one of Ireland's greatest acting talents, you need only attend an Actors Masterclass being delivered by Andrew Scott, known to many from his work as Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Moriarty in the hit BBC drama Sherlock, on Saturday July 14th, 10am-1pm.  Scott also has a movie screening at the festival, Steel Country, directed by Simon Fellows.  Steel Country tells the story of a small time truck driver (Andrew Scott) who becomes obsessed with the murder of a young boy in Western Pennsylvania.  For anyone familiar with Scott's mainstream work, you'll find it unusual for him to be cast in the role of protagonist/hero because of his hypnotically evil persona onscreen in roles such as Sherlock, Spectre, and Victor Frankenstein, but Scott is an incredibly versatile actor both on the big screen and small, which he proved most recently in the Irish film Handsome Devil. 

Continuing with Masterclasses, there will be a Screenwriting Masterclass overseen by Ed Soloman, whose screenwriting credits include Men in Black, Now You See Me, & the most excellent Bill & Ted series, on Friday July 13th from 10am-1pm.  For anyone interested in screenwriting, movie-making, or creative writing in general, this event is a must see.  Soloman will hopefully discuss the recently announced Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third entry in the series, more than 25 years after Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey; so if you're a fan of screenwriting, Keanu Reeve's breakout movie, or The Super Mario Bros movie (he co-wrote it), mark your calendar.


One of the more unique things about this year's film festival will be the debut of the first ever stop-motion movie produced in Ireland, Captain Morten and the Spider Queen.  Directed by Estonian newcomer Kaspar Jancis, and featuring a stellar Irish voice cast, including Brendan Gleeson, Pauline McLynn, Ciarán Hinds, and comedians Jason Byrne and Tommy Tiernan.  Captain Morten and the Spider Queen follows the story of a young boy who, after a chance encounter with a magician, finds himself the captain of his own toy ship.  Following on from the recent Oscar-nominiated success of Irish animated movies, such as The Breadwinner, Song of the Sea, and The Secret of the Kells, the ten million production price tag, as well as the Renaissance of stop-motion movie-making by studios such as Laika, who've reached huge success both critically and comercially with movies such as the fantastic Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline, and ParaNorman, there is a lot of anticipation and expectation on the shoulders of this movie.  You can catch it Saturday July 15th at 4pm in the Town Hall Theatre.

Last, but not least, we have perhaps the most publicised and hotly anticipated movie of this year's festival, Black 47.  Receiving mostly positive reviews after its initial screening at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival in February, this Western thriller, set during during the great potato famine of 1847, is set to close the festival Saturday July 15th at 8pm.  Directed by Lance Daly, and starring Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, James Frecheville, Freddie Fox and Irish stars Stephen Rea, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene and Barry Keoghan, Black 47 tells the story of Frecneville's character Fenney, a member of the British army who, upon returning to his home in the west of Ireland, finds his mother dead from starvation, his brother hanged by the English, and his sister in law and her children starving from the catastrophic event unfolding across the country.  Filled with a sense of anger and fury, Feeney sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for the injustices carried out.  The director has spoken at length about how important it was to bring this monumental moment of Irish history, which hasn't really been explored on screen before, to life.  While this will certainly have more of a build-in audience at home, particularly due to the subject matter, it'll be interesting to see if the movie can reach audiences outside of Ireland who are perhaps unfamiliar, or maybe just nominally familiar, with The Great Hunger.  Nonetheless, this is without doubt the highlight of the festival, and an absolute must see for anyone planning on attending.



Who am I?

My name is Stuart Kilmartin, and I hail from Galway, Ireland.

I studied English Literature at NUI Galway (B.A. & M.A.).  Spent many a moon reading Edgar Allan Poe & I can recite Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley, word for word; it's irrelevant, but I'm proud of it.

Deep-rooted passion for all things film and television.  For those who say David Lynch is too obscure, I agree; and yet, I love him.

I started this blog with the intention of getting my thoughts out there and to gain more experience in entertainment writing; and to prove that all those years watching movies weren't time wasted.

I've been writing for over a year now, and I've collaborated with ComicBuzz & Headstuff, where I've had a number of pieces published.  Check out some of my other published work here or 

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