GALWAY, Ireland — The jewel in the crown of this year’s ninth Galway Film Festival (July 8-13) on Ireland’s western seaboard is the world premiere of Neil Jordan’s “The Butcher Boy.”
Jordan’s gothic adaptation of Pat McCabe’s macabre book will both close the festival and conclude a full retrospective of the director’s work from 1982’s “Angel” to 1995’s “Michael Collins.” Jordan himself will be in attendance at the fest or as the locals call it, Fleadh (pronounced “flah,” Gaelic for fest).
The theme of this year’s Fleadh is “Perspectives of War,” with the opening film another world preem: Tommy Collins’ “Bogwoman,” set during the turbulent years of the Northern Irish civil rights movement.
An impressive lineup is provided by Ingrid Sinclair’s Zimbabwean war of independence drama, “Flame,” winner of this year’s Human Rights Intl. Film Festival; Oscar-nominated “Prisoner of the Mountains”; plus two pics from former Yugoslavia, Srdan Dragojevic’s “Pretty Village, Pretty Flames” and “The Perfect Circle” by Ademir Kenovic.
Eight other pics shown at the Fleadh this year will be either fully Irish features or films shot in Ireland using indigenous actors, crew and locations.
These include Johnny Gogan’s “The Last Bus Home,” “Angela Mooney Dies Again,” starring Mia Farrow, Patrick Bergin and Brendan Gleeson (a co-production from John Boorman’s Merlin Films and Roger Corman’s Concorde Anois Irish studios), and Philippe Rousselot’s “The Serpent’s Kiss,” shot in nearby County Clare. Pic’s Greta Scacchi will attend the screening.
Helmer Anthony Minghella will return to deliver a directing masterclass in Galway, where, in 1989, Druid Theatre staged his play “A Little Like Drowning.” Lenser Jack Cardiff will be in attendance to discuss his work.
As the only Irish festival on the market, the Galway fest this year has assembled a heavy-hitting panel of more than 25 execs from public broadcasters and distributors as well as from independent and major producers.