• arts festival parade 2011

    The annual Macnas parade during the Galway Arts Festival is always an event. Macnas is a street theatre company which has garnared an international reputation for its colourful and inventive parades. This year it did not disappoint with an extravaganza called This Fierce Beauty. One of the things I like about the parade is the typical relaxed Galway attitude, which means there are no barriers or cordons. People line the streets and are encouraged to keep back to a respectable distance by the stewards and the police, but without too much hassle. It started off with an intense red flare and smoke, and was followed by fabulous creatures propelled by…

  • troll hunter

    On Friday I went to the showing of the Norwegian monster movie TrollHunter (Trolljegeren, 2010), as part of the Galway Film Fleadh. It’s written by André Øvredal and Håvard S. Johansen, and directed by Øvredal. This film follows a well-worn path of supposedly being the raw footage from a documentary that three college students were shooting – all of this is explained up front in stark lettering before the film starts. I must confess to releasing a sigh upon reading this, as this is a particular trope of horror films that can grate upon my nerves. However, TrollHunter is a fine of example of how you can pull off this…

  • Golden Blasters 2011

    Golden Blasters

    Octocon, the Irish National Science Fiction Convention (15-16 October, 2011), has announced details of this year’s Golden Blasters Short Film and Short Script Festival. The Golden Blasters Short Film competition is now open to short film submissions from filmmakers from anywhere in the world. The science fiction, fantasy or horror films should be 12-15 minutes long, and can be live action, animation or a mixture of media. The shorts can be filmed on 35mm, 16 mm or video but entries must must be on DVD. Two copies will be required. A short-list of films will be selected prior to Octocon and will be screened for the attendees of the festival.…

  • Galway Junior Film Fleadh 2010

    Last year I was one of the judges for the Galway Junior Film Fleadh pitching competition, and it was a brilliant experience. First off I was delighted that all four of the finalists were girls, and each of them had a great story idea. I was also impressed with how they dealt with having to be on stage and pitch their story to the jury and the audience. That’s a daunting prospect no matter your age! This year’s Junior Film Fleadh will take place from the 3 – 6 of November, and once again it’s running the script competition. Here are the details: The Junior Galway Film Fleadh, in association…

  • a weekend of horrors

    I’m back from my trip to London for the horror film festival FrightFest, and I had a lovely time. The weather was great, mostly, and I avoided the occasional showers. When I wasn’t watching movies, I strolled around Soho in the sun, bought a bowler hat, and met up with mates who’ve moved to the city. This year I tried a new strategy in relation to the festival: don’t watch everything. There have been FrighFests in the past where I have attended every single screening over the five days. It’s not recommended, and impossible now since there are two streams of programming. This year I skipped all the late films,…