The Fleadh kicked off last night on a truly high note with festival board president, Kate O’Toole, welcoming Fleadh “floozies” one and all including a Fleadh floozy favorite, Fionnula Flanagan, who’s short film “Fearless” screens Friday. Next up was festival programmer, Gar O’Brien, whose enthusiasm for this year’s slate of films was palatable as he ticked off highlights and premieres, special guests and festival events.
Standing next to him was director John Carney (Once) to start the festival with a screening of his latest film Begin Again starring Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Adam Levine which opened in the states a few weeks ago to a very mixed bag of reviews…the consensus of the Fleadh audience would be “go see it” if applause and after screening discussions are anything to go by. And a quick apology for a late night Tweet noting that the soundtrack was downloadable…of course it is, we meant to say it was absolutely worth downloading, the music was wonderful throughout the film.
We also briefly met Joe Caslin, the artist behind this year’s festival program cover image which is part of a project called Our Nation’s Sons, that includes large scale drawings in public places in the hope of kick starting conversations about the needs of young people around the world especially those that have been marginalized by governments and society at large. Melding social issues, politics, public discourse and film isn’t a new concept here at the Fleadh, nor at other Irish film festivals, but it brings an interesting dimension to the program.
Definitely looking forward to Day 2…