Tag Archives: Arts Council

Talking to My Father rejected by Galway Film Fleadh.

talking_titleI entered my new fea­ture doc­u­men­tary ‘Talk­ing to My Father’ to the Gal­way Film Fleadh. I will blog lat­er about the film but for now I will tell you it had a very nice debut at the recent Dublin Film Fes­ti­val and has been accept­ed to a very pres­ti­gious show­ing in New York in Octo­ber. The film was fund­ed by the Arts Coun­cil Reel Art scheme and nor­mal­ly these films do the rounds of Irish fes­ti­vals and hope­ful­ly are enjoyed and the reviews they get helps them trav­el beyond these shores. There­fore I was sur­prised when I got a sim­ple rejec­tion let­ter from the Fleadh with the usu­al thank you for enter­ing etc etc.! I felt sad, bad and mad and won­dered should I enquire fur­ther or just let it go. I am used to the dis­ap­point­ment one gets when you have a film turned down at inter­na­tion­al fes­ti­vals but 9 times out of ten the Irish fes­ti­val say yes as they are com­mit­ted to new Irish work. I decid­ed to email the Fleadh and ask why it was reject­ed? Was it not liked, bad qual­i­ty, unsuit­able, what­ev­er!. I sent an email! Sur­pris­ing­ly I got a reply say­ing that the Fes­ti­val cura­tor Gar O’Brien liked my film very much but as there was a short­age of screens avail­able they had decid­ed to only show pre­miers. I have been rais­ing my voice over the last years in protest at Irish Film Fes­ti­val com­pet­ing with each oth­er about pre­miers , argu­ing that the the local audi­ences they are serv­ing should come first in their list of pri­or­i­ties and not be denied the chance to see new Irish work.  I was also sur­prised when I entered the Fleadh that they had a rule that the film could not be entered into best doc­u­men­tary sec­tion if it had been shown at any fes­ti­val before! Non­sense! If a film is the best film, so what if it has been shown before. Anoth­er fes­ti­val  Stranger Than Fic­tion in Dublin will not screen a film if it has been screened already in Dublin! Again an exam­ple of Fes­ti­vals gone mad with their quest to be unique. Any­way, back to ‘Talk­ing to My Father’.  I replied to the Fleadh that their rea­son for rejec­tion was inad­e­quate and queried as to why did they ask for entry fee  if they knew they were only show­ing Pre­miers. With a few dis­creet enquiries I found out that my film was actu­al­ly accept­ed for the Fleadh and sched­uled to be screened but  that when a cer­tain cin­e­ma with­drew their venue they had  had an emer­gency meet­ing and dropped my film and I sus­pect a few oth­ers, but nev­er alert­ed us as to why we were reject­ed.  I sug­gest that the Fleadh should have con­tact­ed the film­mak­ers and brought them into the prob­lem and I for one would have been hap­py to screen my film in a local bar, , or even out­doors. The the Fleadh and the film­mak­ers would have been mak­ing a point! The Gal­way cin­e­ma goers would not be denied. I am dis­gust­ed at the treat­ment my film has received. No mat­ter what actions peo­ple may take, I have to fight for my film regard­less! The biggest insult the Fleadh threw my way was to just say it was reject­ed but not give any rea­son why until I inves­ti­gat­ed. Need­less to say I am a great admir­er of the this fes­ti­val and have screened many films there in the past but I must say in my esti­ma­tion the present guardians are los­ing sight of the spir­it of what a Fleadh is. Over and out. Thank you for read­ing Sé Mer­ry Doyle.

Since this post Phoenix Mag­a­zine fea­tured an arti­cle on the Fleadh.Phoenix

Phoenix cover