Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival Set to Bring an Exciting Array of Documentaries to Co. Meath


Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival Set to Bring an Exciting Array of Documentaries to Co. Meath

Posted: 19th July 2018

The 2018 Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival begins tomorrow, Friday 20 July and runs until Sunday, 22 July. Over the course of the weekend, the festival will present over 30 feature-length and short documentaries, with a selection of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland-supported titles among the line-up. Sinéad O’Shea’s A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot, Maurice Sweeney’s I, Dolours, Frank Shouldice’s The Man Who Wanted to Fly, will screen alongside Nora Twomey’s Academy Award®-nominated The Breadwinner.

Filmed over the course of five years and directed by Sinéad O’Shea, A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot, presents a shocking portrait of the complexities of a post-conflict society.

One night Majella O’Donnell took her teenage son Philly to be shot in both legs. Majella, Philly and his shooters are all part of the dissident Republican community in Derry, Northern Ireland.  The Troubles officially ended in 1998 but this dissident community is still at war. They do not accept the Good Friday peace agreement, the government or police. Some members are in armed groups. They respond to so-called antisocial behaviour with kneecap shootings, banishment and even murder.  All this happens within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.  How do you bring your son to be shot? What happens afterwards? 

A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot is produced by Ailish Bracken and Sinead O’Shea for Blinder Films, with co-producer Figs Jackman for Spring Films.  Joshua Oppenheimer, André Singer, and Katie Holly served as executive producers.

Maurice Sweeney’s I, Dolours presents one woman’s story of life and death in the IRA. In 2009, Dolours Price, militant IRA activist, hunger striker and vocal opponent of the peace process gave an interview on condition that it not be broadcast in her lifetime. For the first time her shocking story can be told, entirely in her own words. Dolours was a ruthless terrorist but also a charismatic, loving mother, sister, friend. She was passionate, fragile, dogmatic, tortured.

Apart from the insight into the IRA and the descent into hell of Northern Ireland this film offers a rare glimpse into the pathway to radicalisation of an intelligent young woman — the motivation and excitement leading to violence and ultimately despair.  It is a story which is is more relevant today than ever.  The documentary is produced by Ed Moloney and Nuala Cunningham for New Decade TV.

Offering a unique insight into a disappearing world, Frank Shouldice’s The Man Who Wanted to Fly, tells the story of eighty-something-year old bachelor farmer, Bobby Coote, whose lifelong dream to fly has remained with him since he left school at thirteen. Joined by his neighbour Sean, Bobby sets aside his own field of dreams by cutting out a runway and even building a hangar in a small rural community in Cavan.

Despite a lack of encouragement from his brother Ernie, Bobby has used his life savings to buy a plane in the hope of making his aviation dreams a reality — even if it the last thing he does. The Man Who Wanted to Fly is produced by Trisha Canning and Cormac Hargaden for Loosehorse.

The Breadwinner tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana, who gives up her identity to provide for her family and to try to save her father’s life. A story of self-empowerment and imagination in the face of oppression, the film also celebrates the culture, history and beauty of Afghanistan with a cast that includes many performers of Afghan descent.

Since its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) last September, The Breadwinner, has achieved immense success on the international stage, including garnering an Academy Award® nomination, ten Annie Award nominations; taking home the ceremony's accolade for Best Animated Feature, marking the first time a solo female director has won in this category. The title also won Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Original Song, and Achievement in Sound Editing at the Canadian Screen Awards as well as the AUDI-ence Award at the Dublin International Film Festival. 

Guth International Documentary Festival is Ireland’s largest independent documentary film festival. We focus on showcasing the latest award-winning International and Irish documentary films on thought-provoking subjects, and promoting the art of great story-telling, through film, to rural Irish communities. To view the full programme, please click here.