Friday, July 14, 2023

The First Galway Film Fleadh

Summer in Galway is never complete without a series of cultural festivals. From theatre to visual arts, music and more, streets and venues across the city become busy with festival goers enjoying the atmosphere and events. The Galway Film Fleadh has another packed programme, from shorts to feature films, new Irish documentaries and international offerings. For over three decades, the Film Fleadh has celebrated the best of film and brought many famous faces, local or otherwise, to the city. 

The first Galway Film Fleadh took place in 1989. Materials within the archives of Galway University Library show some of the original ephemera from that very first Film Fleadh. 

'Stop Press!' ran the headline of the press release announcing the screening of Venus Peter, the first screening by the Fleadh. Also the Irish premiere of the film, it was the last film to feature Ray McAnally. Set on the Orkney Islands, the film was directed by Ian Seller and also starred Sinéad Cusack and Peter Caffrey. 

Announcement of the first Galway Film Fleadh

Invitation to the Gala Irish Premiere of Venus Peter as part of the first Galway Film Fleadh. 1989

The Film Fleadh team consisted of Lelia Doolan, Miriam Allen, Bob Quinn, Joe McMahon, and Steve Woods, running from 19-24 July in association with the Galway Arts Festival. Venus Peter  was screened at the Claddgh Picture Palace. Speaking ahead of the opening of the Film Fleadh, Lelia Doolan stated that the Fleadh would feature a mix of Irish and European films, would focus on the issue of funding for film and would also include a first-time gathering of animators in Ireland, and a showing of their work. 

Press Release from the First Galway Film Fleadh. 1989. 

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