Irish Guests Galore at GFF18

At GFF18, we’ve been celebrating the Irish film industry, which has always been a big part of the festival’s programme. Highlighting its bright new talents to its most experienced, inspirational filmmakers with our strand Ireland: The Near Shore, our Irish events and guests have added insight and innovation to our programme so far. 

Q&As took place in the first few days. Firstly, director Maurice Fitzpatrick joined us for our screening of his documentary In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America. The lengthy discussion that followed allowed the audience to delve deeper into the complexities of John Hume and his role in the Northern Irish peace process. The event provided the audience and Fitzpatrick with a platform to talk about how he approached portraying him on film. 

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Director Maurice Fitzpatrick joins GFF18 for a Q&A following our screening of documentary In The Name of Peace: John Hume in America

Next up, director Rebecca Daly joined us for Good Favour. Ruminating on the film, an intriguing parable that unfolds with striking images and provocative questions, the Q&A allowed attendees to reflect further on possible answers to these questions. The film’s exploration of how people with different belief structures and cultural understandings react to events was examined, with focus on the clear difference between the expectations of the characters as a result of their faith and of those of the audience.

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Director Rebecca Daly takes part in a post-show Q&A following her film Good Favour

Director Nora Twomey also joined GFF for our screening of The Breadwinner, which is currently in the running for a Best Animation Oscar. Indeed, the film was produced by Irish film and animation and television studio Cartoon Saloon, whose previous two feature animations, The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, have also gained Academy Award nominations in this category. In showcasing Irish talent at GFF18, featuring Twomey’s film provided a window into how one of Ireland’s most successful studios works. 

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Director Nora Twomey joins GFF18 to discuss her Oscar-nominated animation The Breadwinner

Following on from this, attendees of The Near Shore: A Scottish and Irish Cine-Concert were offered a rich historical perspective on Scottish and Irish film, with a screening of silent films from both countries, accompanied by the traditional Irish folk trio of Patrick Carayannis, Rodney Lancashire, and Seamus Heron, alternating their performance with that of renowned avant-garde free improvisational pianist Paul Smyth. This unique collaboration between The Irish Film Institute and Glasgow Film Festival was supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Acts in Britain. 

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Left: Traditional Irish folk trio Patrick Carayannis, Rodney Lancashire, and Seamus Heron give a live performance as part of The Near Shore: A Scottish and Irish Cine-Concert. Right; avant-garde improvisational pianist Paul Smyth performs a live score for the silent films included in The Near Shore: A Scottish and Irish Cine-Concert

Our fantastic line-up of Irish guests and events continued on with our screening of Michael Inside, fresh from its win for Best Irish Film of the Year at the Irish Film and Television Awards. This powerful film was followed by a Q & A with director Frank Berry and up-and-coming star Dafhyd Flynn. The extensively researched film was developed with workshops form former prisoners, thanks to the Irish Prison Service’s Pathways Programme, leaving audiences with serious food for thought surrounding the affects of prison on disadvantaged communities.

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Director Frank Berry and Star Dafhyd Flynn join GFF18 for a Q&A following Michael Inside

The festival was also joined by director David Freyne, producer Rory Dungan and star Sam Keeley for our screening of The Cured, a low-budget zombie film set in Dublin, also starring Ellen Page. Freyne and Dungan discussed the gorilla element of getting a low-budget film made in Ireland. Conversation ranged from sourcing locations, to circumventing the usual channels in casting Page by getting in touch with her manager, to finding a fit in Oscar Nolan to play Page’s child, whose inexperience with acting allowed Freyne to find a spark of authenticity to nurture. Indeed, the Q&A revealed that Page and Nolan spent countless hours together in preparation for the role bonding and playing video games to build their relationship off camera.

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The Cured Director David Freyne, Producer Rory Dungan and Star Sam Keeley join GFF18 for a post-show Q&A

Additionally, the audience were treated to a tale of the real life horror Sam Keeley faced in delivering his performance. Coming home from shooting a scene in which he punched a zombie, Keeley realised that he had actually dislocated his thumb in doing so. In phoning his mother for advice, he was told that the thumb would be put in a full arm cast to set. In his dedication to continuity, Keeley took his role as an apocalypse survivalist to heart; taking a shot of whiskey, biting down and popping the thumb back into place himself, before heading out to spend the night in Dublin with friends. The film proved to be exemplary of the recent wave of Irish horror, adding its own unique perspective on the contemporary Irish cinema landscape. 

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Actor Sam Keeley regales the audience with the story of injuries sustained fighting zombies on the set of The Cured with director David Freyne and producer Rory Dungan at his side

Supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain.


In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America Q&A with director Maurice Fitzpatrick - Pete Copeland 
Good Favour Q&A with Director Rebecca Daly - Stuart Crawford
The Breadwinner Q&A with director Nora Twomey - Stuart Crawford
The Near Shore: A Scottish and Irish Cine-Concert - Kat Gollock
Michael Inside - Pete Copeland
The Cured - Stuart Crawford

At Glasgow Film Festival, we pride ourselves on being a festival that loves the movies and loves our audience. GFF18 is your festival - so talk to us and let us know what you're up to! Did you see one of our Irish entries? Did you take a GIF with our Social Halo? Tag us in your photos, posts and tweets - we want to hear from you! #GFF18

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