Informative plattform of International Federation of Film Societies- Féderation Internationalle des Ciné-clubs- Federación Internacional de Cine Clubes
“Cinema in our country is important not only for business profit of our cinema companies, is important because our culture is reflected in it, it explains like we are. Every film has a little piece of us. For this reason is necessarily that young people can learn cinematography. For this reason is important The Galway Film Fleadth, because is a party of Irish cinematograpic talent, and this year is its 25th edition”
More o less theses were the words of Mr. Michael Higgins, President of Ireland, in his Galway Film Fleadth closing ceremony speech, placed on the Tower Hall, main theatre of Galway city, July 14th.
This speech emocionated not only to Irish people, who clapped him with great feeling,
as well to foreign people as me, that I lose some words when I listen english. These words are the words that I think that every politician should keep in his mind if he is the leader of his country. In spite of this my thought about cinema situation in Spanish State, in this moments, is the oposite side in comparision with Ireland. Now the culture is considerated as a luxury from a tax point of view by the spanish conservative government. The sector is in a deep depression. But I will not write about this in this article.
I must reconozise that I don’t knew nothing about Mr. Michael Higgins before this speech. Now, I know that he was elected head of Ireland Government in 2011 November, and his career is large and he is President of Labour Party and he was senator anb Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht years ago.
However, this brilliant speech of Mr. Michael Higgins is a flavourful cherry of the top of cake, for definining what is Galway Film Fleadth. A Festival where people is so important as the projected cinema. This a rarity in internacional panorama. Filmmakers and spectactors are mixed in the same space and emocional experience position. All of them belong to same community, where protocols and distances are reduced. All of them are in same level, one point of view: speaking and watching cinema.
I have belonged, from 12th to 15th July, as a Jury Member of DON QUIJOTE AWARD, prize that is given from International Federation of Film Societies in different festival around the world since sixties of 20th century. This award is a complementary of other official awards of each festival. And the fact of giving this award to a film, doesn’t mind category or genre, means this film must have special characteristichs. The characteristichs that define the global film societies movement. DON QUIJOTE AWARD winner transmits a missage, must
incorporate the values that trancend beyond screen, to be universals, and above all, would be films that with this award help them to be distribute to all film societies of around the world.
2013 Galway Film Fleadthedition, DON QUIJOTE AWARD has evaluated IRISH SHORT ANIMATION FILM category. The jury has been compounded by David O’Mahoney, d’ACCESS CINEMA Ireland, Stefan Hunziker, KINO BALLASTBRYGGA film society from Mandel, Norway, and myself, Joaquim Roqué from Amics del Cinema de la Vall de Ribes, film society from Ribes de Freser, member of Calatalonian Film Societies.
The category had 21 works of different nature, kinds of technical production ways or kinds of transmitted messages. Most of them proceded from Irish schools of cinematography or animation learning centres. Raw talent, most of cases for ending the finish polish. Different kinds of technical animation: 3D modelling, 2D animation by computer, stopmotion, animated illustration hand made, etc.
The award went to CODA. A short animation film from Allan Nolly. It explains the process of one soul, since the dead man time to the Death accompaintment to the other side.
Simple illustrations animate carefully, explain, transformering itselves in a constant movement. The Death simbolize a dual thing, the origin, like a protective mother, and the death mate. Human soul resists to leaving this world, the Death conforts it in to follow this path.
We have given a Special Metion to Two Wheels Good, a documentary from Barry Gene Murphy, which it trasmitts love an good feelings from people aroun Ireland to their bicicles. This little documentary uses illustrated animation as a poetic resource. And this this different. It’s a clear example how documentary can us a animation as a resource to explain stories.
In my own personal point of view, other works has captivated my attention. For this tecnhical work: Curruid, Innisfree, Complicit, Mr. Ace, The Ledge End of Phil o The Missing Scarf. For their message and dialogues: The Neighbours, Grey, Reflections o Furniture – Murder and Love.
Otherwise, after two intense projections days, I have known other talented Irish films as aThe Safehouse, The Ghost Train, Breakfast Wine, Men and women, SLR or Torn.
However, if I must to define which is the spirit of the Fleadh, I haven’t doubt of it. It’s the special relationship between people and cinema.
I show you and example, the Offline Film Festival organizators. Offaly is an Irish cout, placed in Midlands. There happens a Festival, where the main prize, isn’t a tradicional award, it’s a rental package to the winners. They help to filmmakers to produce their films, and find locations, rental equipment, professional crew, etc. All things that they need. Important productions, including Oscar nominees, have been produced with the Offaly Film Comission.
One anecdote sumarize the feeling from irish people for their own cinema. 13th July, saturday, I was in a BBQ queue, organized by Offline Film Festival. I look a woman who are cooking and serving hamburgers to guest people. She looked as an actress that I had seen minutes before on Town Hall Teatre. When my turn became, I asked her if she was an actress. She stared me, and she began to be blushed. “Yes, sometimes”, she answered. And after that, She began to explain me the possibilities of Offline Film Festival and Offlay to produce films.
I can’t imagine filmmakers of my country in that situation, because, generally, they are, tightened and proud, and put distance in this events. In Ireland, this barriers are broked, and cinema is more humanized and without social classes or social levels, between filmmakers and the rest of the world.
I have lived other moments where filmmakers, organitzators and festival participants coexisted in the same place. This caracteristhic converts the Fleadth in a unique festival.
We have suberb hosts who they help us to enter to the Irish cinema. They are the people of ACCESS CINEMA, David, and Maeve. They do an excellent work to do everything possible for showing the best cinema around Ireland. They are the example of the open personality of Irish that surprise me pleasingly.
And It’s so curious, because everythind that I have perceived in my own skin, it’s that I think that cinema should be and the main role of local film societies, is the same thing that told Mr. Michael Higgins in his clousure speech. Politics near to reality. Utopian?
Not in Galway, in The Fleadth is true.
Text by Joaquim Roqué: The Fleadth brokes barriers between filmmakers and spectators