American Beauty star to be Galway Film Fleadh guest of honour

An American beauty: Annette Bening.

An American beauty: Annette Bening.

Annette Bening, the three times Oscar nominated actress, will be the main guest at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, where she will give the Actors’ Masterclass and take part in the public interview.

Also attending the Fleadh this year will be Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot, and Ronald Harwood, who wrote the script for Being Julia.

Annette is best known for her roles in Bugsy (1991 ), Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! (1996 ), Being Julia (2004 ), and above all in the magnificent American Beauty (1999 ), where she gave a career-defining performance as the domineering real estate broker married to a man in a mid-life crisis.

For her characterisation of the tightly wound, image conscious, suburban overachiever, Annette earned nominations from the Academy Awards as well as the Golden Globes. She earned further plaudits for Being Julia when she starred as an actress caught up in a May-December romance with a young social climber. That bravura turn earned her a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination.

Annette has also worked with Irish actors and directors, starring alongside Aidan Quinn as a psychic with connections to a killer in Neil Jordan’s In Dreams (1999 ).

Annette Bening will be the subject of the Galway Film Fleadh Public Interview on Sunday July 11 at 3pm in the Town Hall Theatre.

As well as scripting Being Julia, Ronald Harwood has also written the screenplays for The Browning Version (1994 ), Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist (2005 ), and The Pianist (2002 ), for which he won an Academy Award.

His screenplay for Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, won him a BAFTA and the Prix Jacques Prevert Du Scenario, 2008, for Best Adaptation. In 2008 he was also awarded the Humanitas Award in recognition of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

The Screenwriters’ Masterclass with Ronald Harwood takes place on Wednesday July 7 in the Radisson Hotel. Being Julia will be shown at the Fleadh on Wednesday July 7 at 3.50pm; The Pianist will be shown on Saturday July 19 at 12.15pm; and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly will be screened on Sunday July 11 at 12.15pm.

The English theatre and film director and producer Stephen Daldry is best known for his first three films - Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader - and the only director to be nominated for an Oscar (all for Best Director ) for his first three films

Billy Elliot won more than 40 awards worldwide and received three Oscar nominations. The Hours won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and an Oscar for Best Actress for Nicole Kidman. His most recent feature, The Reader, earned five Oscar nominations including Best Director and Best Picture and won Best Actress for Kate Winslet.

Stephen Daldry will give the Directors’ Masterclass on July 10 in the Radisson Hotel. His films will also be screened at the Galway Omniplex during the fleadh - The Reader on Wednesday July 7 at 12 noon; The Hours on Thursday July 8 at 12.15pm; and Billy Elliot on Friday July 9 at 12.15pm.


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