Leonard Cohen for Malin’s Village Green!

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LEGENDARY singer songwriter Leonard Cohen will be appearing on the village green in Malin as part of the Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival next month.

A documentary film on the life of the music giant, Leonard Cohen:I’m Your Man, featuring close-up interviews with the singer and performances of his songs by singers who were influenced by him, will be shown on a giant outdoor LED screen on the 17th century green on Saturday night, May 18.

The outdoor screen, a first for Guth Gafa, is one of five screens which will be created around the village green over the four day festival which gets underway on May 16.

Over the course of the festival the tiny village will be transformed into a film mecca, with over 30 award winning documentaries from 15 countries being screened.

Many of the film makers will be there to talk about their work and the population will swell to at least 20 times its normal size.

Included in this year’s bill are the current two best documentary films in the world, ‘First Cousin Once Removed’, winner of the Best Feature Documentary competition at IDFA, the largest and most prestigious documentary festival in the world, and ‘Searching for Sugarman’, winner of the Oscar for Best documentary at this year’s Academy Awards.

Now in its seventh year, Guth Gafa, which translates from the Irish as Captive Voice, is continuing its commitment to human rights driven films with a programme that shines the spotlight on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Films about musical genius, human fragility, isolated communities fighting for survival and hope in the depths of pain, dominate the programme..

Audiences will be taken on a virtual world tour to locations as varied as Switzerland, Israel, Azerbaijan, Africa, India and Cambodia and to places as wildly contrasting as a North Korean labour camp (Camp 14) and a remote village in the Arctic Circle (Village at the end of the World).

In the remarkable ‘Wrong Time Wrong Place’ John Appel examines the role played by coincidence and fate in the 2011 terrorist attack on Oslo and Utoya in which 77 lives were lost, by speaking to survivors.

The charming ‘Winter Nomads’ tracks shepherds, Carole and Pascal as they embark on a 6,000 kilometre trek through Switzerland with a flock of sheep in a winter grazing ritual as old as time.

‘The Summit’ by Irish film maker, Nick Ryan focuses on the world’s most dangerous mountain, K2 and the 2008 tragedy which claimed the lives of 11 climbers including heroic Irish mountaineer, Ger McDonnell.

“If we were to try and define a theme for Guth Gafa 2013, it would be about Place, Family and Memory,” explains Festival director, David Rane.

“Some of the films in our programme this year tell difficult stories of suicide, torture, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and evictions but they are told so beautifully, with such passion that we cannot but be moved,” he said.

Guth Gafa has also become a hotbed for discussion, a forum for young filmmakers and a social gathering where audiences will be entertained by some of the county’s and country’s finest musicians.

After six successful years in Gortahork, this year, Guth Gafa is putting down new roots in the beautiful Inishowen peninsula.

As part of its partnership with Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013, a series of satellite film and film related events will take place in Derry.