Perry Ogden's Pavee Lackeen took the bestfirst feature award at the 17th Galway Film Fleadh, promising a strong run atinternational festivals, including Toronto, over the coming months.

Informed by his work as a stills photographerbased in Ireland for several years, Ogden's film is an intimate andnaturalistic story of the small dramas in the day-to-day lives of a realTraveller family living on the margins of Dublin's increasingly multi-ethnicand affluent society.

Other awards at the festival included:

·Best Irish short: Billy McCannon for Recoil, a psychologicaldrama centered on a police interrogation and the atrocity that preceeded it.

·Best feature-lengthdocumentary: Mystelle Brabbee for HighwayCourtesans

·Best first Irish short: Brian O' Neill and Paul Bushe for A Taxing Night

·Best Irish short documentary: John Mallonfor Idir Dhá Shaol

·Best Irish short animation: Eoghan Kidney for Stars

·Best First Irish shortanimation: Aidan O'Donovan, ColmTobin and Kevin Nolan for What Have the Brits Ever Done For Us'

The winner of the new pitching award forscreenwriters was Keith Brogue for his project Rugby Days.

This year's event was reckoned to be one ofthe stronger festival programmes of recent times and the last under thedirection of Sally Ann O'Reilly, who is stepping down after five years toconcentrate on her work as a script editor.

One new Irish film, Element Films' BoyEats Girl, was withdrawn from the programme at the last minute while theproducers appeal the Irish film censor's decision to give the film an 18scertificate.

This year's sidebar events were particularly well attended,especially the day-long 'Real Deal' conference which was somewhat overshadowedby the unfolding tragedy in London, and the later open forum hosted by theIrish Film Board which ventilated many of the industry's concerns and signalleda new climate of openness and communication with the agency.