New Irish films from directors Shimmy Marcus, Karl Golden and Sean Walsh dominate Galway Film Fleadh's initial line-up for its fifteenth edition on July 8-13.
These comprise the debut features, Headrush, with Wuzza Conlon, Laura Pyper, Steven Berkoff, and Huey Morgan directed by Shimmy Marcus; The Honeymooners with Jonathan Byrne and Alex Reid directed by Karl Golden and BL,.M, an adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses with Stephen Rea, Hugh O'Conor and Angeline Ball, directed by Sean Walsh.
In addition to these premieres, two other new Irish debut features are believed to be under negotiation and the Fleadh will also show a preview screening of Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin starring Cate Blanchett as the murdered campaigning journalist who put Ireland's drug gangs on the front page of her newspaper.
Irish feature film content is rounded off by two films seen at the Dublin Festival in March, Germany-based Eoin Moore's third feature, Pigs Will Fly, and Liz Gill's second feature, the breezy Goldfish Memory which will be released later in the year by Irish distributor Eclipse Films.
Moore's film usefully crosses over with the first of the regional focuses of this year's Fleadh - Germany - which will also include Wolfgang Becker's Goodbye, Lenin!.
The second regional focus looks at South Korea and includes Oasis by Lee Chong Dong (recently appointed South Korea's Minister for Arts & Culture), Chihwaseon (Drunk On Women & Poetry) by Im Kwon-Taek, and Flower Island by Son Il Gon, who will be a guest of the Fleadh.
The international content of the Fleadh is further bolstered by Baltasar Kormakur's The Sea from Iceland, Josef Fares's Kops from Sweden, Piotr Trzaskalski's first feature Edi from Poland, Vladimir Michhalek's Autumn Spring from the Czech Republic, and Gyory Palfi's Hukkle from Hungary.
The Fleadh's special guest this year will be Agnieszka Holland who will give the Director's Masterclass and introduce a selection of her films - Oliver, Oliver, Washington Square, Europa, Europa and Julie Walking Home.
Traditionally strong on documentary content the Fleadh will screen the premiere of Pat Collins and Fergus Daly's documentary on Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Kiarostami - The Art of Living.
It will also host the first theatrical screening of Angus McQueen's documentary, The Last Peasants, about rural life in Romania. Local company Abu Media will screen The Human Shield, on recent events in Iraq. And the long shadow of the Vietnam war is captured in The Friendship Village, about a Vietnam veteran who set up a residence for victims of Agent Orange.
In addition to the international pitching event that is the Fleadh Fair, a range of yet to be announced seminars and debates will take place and new Irish talent is usually revealed in the extensive range of short films on view. The films opening and closing the event will be confirmed at a later date.