THE GALWAY Film Fleadh kicks off today and, with it, the careers of some of Ireland’s most eager young filmmakers.
This year’s attendees will witness the premiere of two feature films made by the 34 students of the Filmbase MSc in Digital Feature Film Production based in Dublin; Poison Pen and The Light of Day.
In its third year and co-run by Filmbase and Staffordshire University, a cornerstone of the course is the production of two industry-standard feature films to be ready in time for submission, entry, and screening on the summer film festival circuit at home and abroad.
Scripted by Eoin Colfer, best known as the author of the Artemis Fowl series of novels, Poison Pen will receive its premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh when it is screened at the Town Hall Theatre this Friday July 11 at 4pm.
This romantic-comedy follows washed-up Booker Prize-winning author PC Molloy, who is blackmailed into writing for April Devereaux’s gossip magazine Poison Pen. Molloy becomes caught up in a world of stars and their secrets but soon finds the spotlight begins to turn onto himself as he struggles to keep his own secrets, including his feelings for his new boss April, off the front page.
Poison Pen stars Lochlann O’Mearain (The O’Briens), Aoibhinn McGinnity (Love/Hate), Lauryn Canny (Amber), Susan Loughnane (Love/Hate), Paul Ronan (One Hundred Mornings), and Mary Murray (Magdalene Sisters).
The Light of Day is a hilarious mockumentary set against the backdrop of low-budget horror filmmaking. The exclusive documentary footage follows the doomed crew of cheap vampire flick, First Bite is The Deepest, as they struggle to make their film. With a hapless director, inexperienced crew, world-weary producer, a star with a peanut allergy, and the worst product placement deals in history, there is more horror behind the scenes than in the film. Things get truly perilous when the film’s private investors pull out halfway through shooting forcing the crew to cut costs, and safety, in an effort to complete their low-budget epic. Now it is up to the only two sane people on the production, director of photography Michael Mathews, and writer, Sarah Clarke, to salvage the shoot.
Penned by Filmbase graduate Chris Brennan, The Light of Day stars Jack Hickey, Aidan Lawlor, Lorna Larkin, Dermot Magennis, Carl Shaaban, and Niamh Algar.
The Light of Day will screen this Thursday July 10 at 11pm.
The films were facilitated largely by the resources already available at Filmbase, however, the students undertook a major fundraising campaign called the Filmbase Film Race, where they had to raise €25,000 in 30 days before filming was due to start last March. The funds went towards paying for locations, casting, transport, catering, costumes, props, and set design.
Previous films produced by Filmbase through the course were Keys to the City and How To Be Happy, which both premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh and have gone on to sell-out festival screenings worldwide, and are now securing distribution.
Both films will receive their world premieres this week at the Town Hall Theatre, with all cast and crew in attendance. For tickets see www.galwayfilmfleadh.com For more information on Poison Pen see www.poisonpenfilm.com See the trailer for The Light of Day here: