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Galway 2014: Irish Tribute – Brown Bag Films

This is a guest post from the 26th Galway Film Fleadh by Carol Mulligan. All our Fleadh 2014 coverage will be here.

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Steve Woods, one of the Galway Film Fleadh’s founders, kicks off this event by introducing the two men behind Brown Bag Films – Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell. Woods himself introduced the pair to each other some 20 years ago when they were his students. Cathal and DOC (as he is affectionately known) instantly credit their former teacher Woods with instilling in them a passion for animation. The passion of these three men is infectious and there is a familial sense that the audience is on side before ever the first reel is shown just on the basis that they all clearly love what they do.

Steve Woods introducing Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell of Brown Bag Films (pic via @BrownBagFilms)

Steve Woods introducing Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell of Brown Bag Films (pic via @BrownBagFilms)

What followed was a carefully selected range of shorts, presented in chronological order, with Cathal and DOC prefacing each one with context and tidbits of information about how each film came to be. It is this banter that makes the event and creates the overarching narrative of this retrospective.

Two shorts stood out for me – Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and Bird Food. Granny O’Grimm is a hillarious glimpse into the life of an adorable, curly haired tot whose bedtime is habitually ruined by her grandmother who writes herself and her own agenda into the traditional “Sleeping Beauty” tale. The short ends with the terrifying line that she’ll “see her in the morning… with the help of God”. Well worth seeing. Bird Food is a charming, quirky imagining based on the terrifying and intimidating behaviour of tiny birds. Loved it.

Hand on heart, I went to see this collection of animation shorts on a whim, because I know and like the Give Up Yer Aul Sins clips I’ve seen on Youtube. I left with the happy, warm, fuzzy feeling that sometimes great things happen in the world when the right people come together. Brown Bag Films – you’ve won me over and I will be keeping my eye out for you… with the help of God.

[youtuber id=”cIDv1jJhoxY”]

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