I’m a big fan of shorts and the Galway Film Fleadh is one of the best places to see them. The joy with shorts is that if they’re shit at least it doesn’t last too long. Thankfully this is rarely the case at Galway and this year was no different.
Below I’ve picked some of my highlights and hopefully they’ll become available online once the festival circuit is done and dusted.
IFB World Premier Shorts
Lousie Bagnell’s beautifully told story about an elderly lady suffering from Alzheimers would bring tears to a glass eye. A carer is helping her sort a room out which causes her to float back into her memories and when she comes to it’s often afraid and unsettled. Smartly choreographed it shows that when a short is constructed correctly it puts most features to shame.
An ingenious way of uniting the dead of the 1798 rebellion killed by The Redcoats and The Disappeared who were murdered at the hands of the IRA. Trevor Courtney has a skeleton narrate the hopes of all those longing to be found and given a proper burial. Strikingly shot I would like to see a making of documentary about this film.
Comedy is often the hardest genre to pull off as most of the time it isn’t taken seriously enough. A young traveller boy is crazy about Back to the Future and has set about fashioning his own Deloren out of bits of scrap and a broken down car. Steve Kenny has the tone set just right and when we realise why the little fella is trying to build his own time machine it makes the film all the more memorable.
We meet Greta an athlete with a visual impairment who competes for Ireland in track and field. She hails originally from Lithuania and never had it easy but her unwavering commitment and high spirits make her a tonic for the soul. Robert Maguire has done a fantastic job in capturing a unique individual and lights up the screen in the process.
A great part of any documentary is telling you something you didn’t know. I had never heard of Taxi Watch, a company set up by a Kilkenny taxi driver when he saw a man about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. With suicide being such a massive issue in Ireland and still quite taboo Throwline comes at a perfect time. The taxi drivers keep a watchful eye on people when they are most vulnerable and even if it’s just being an shoulder to cry on it makes a massive difference. Mia Mullarky has done great work by spreading the word and casting more light on a very dark area of Irish society.
Tit for Tatt
Mairéad Ní Thréinir brings us into the lives of two women who are trying to reclaim ownership of their bodies from the effects of breast cancer. Both women have decided to get tattoos over their breast cancer surgery scars and talk us through what it means to have survived a disease which could easily have claimed their lives. Both poignant and celebratory in equal measures Tit for Tatt gives you pause for thought and makes you marvel at the resilience of these women.