FOLLOWING THE Government announcement that cinemas will remain closed until August 10, and large gatherings will not be permitted for some time, the Galway Film Fleadh has decided to move its 2020 festival online.
The Fleadh has partnered with a leading streaming service to ensure Fleadh 2020 will be "a secure and easy-to-use online experience". While the festival will be on a smaller scale than normal, it will still have a diverse mix of features, documentaries, animations, shorts, and interactive events.
The Fleadh will run from Tuesday July 7 to Sunday 12. Films will be streamed via www.galwayfilmfleadh.com to audience members’ preferred devices including Smart TVs, laptops, phones, and tablets. As a further security measure, and to preserve something of the national flavour of the Galway Film Fleadh, films will be geo-locked to an Irish audience, with a limited amount of tickets sold.
“Moving the Fleadh online doesn’t mean replicating the event in a digital space, but reimagining it to be the best online experience possible," said Fleadh programme director Will Fitzgerald [pictured above]. "There will be a reduced, more focused programme, because we don’t want to split audience attention. We want to give every film their moment in the spotlight and make every selected film part of a united conversation.”
‘Coming Together’ will be a key theme of this year’s festival, with 12 guest curators from festivals across Europe. Also, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and Galway Film Fleadh will present the official launch of Peripheral Visions, which will see the Irish premieres of films from France, Poland, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland (North and the Republic ), and Canada.
The 2020 Fealdh will also include the festival's ever popular short film programme, where viewers can discover emerging film-making talent. The winning Best Short Film Live Action and Best Short Animation will go straight on to the Oscar long list as per previous years. Submissions to the Short Film category are still being accepted and the deadline has been extended to Friday May 22.
Part of the joy of the Fleadh has always been how much of a social event it is. To keep that spirit alive, while maintaining social distancing and adhering to Government guidelines, there will be live-streamed filmmaker Q+A’s; audience participation via social media and Zoom; live-streamed masterclasses; panel discussions; industry meetings, and maybe even a virtual Rowing Club.