The 24th annual Foyle Film Festval drew to a close on Sunday night with the Irish premiere of ‘Shame.’
Audience figures revealed this year’s programme, which took ‘Days That Shook The World’ as its theme, proved one of the most successful ever. Scores of events from film screenings, workshops and exhibitions by international and Irish film-makers proved popular during the five day event.
This year’s festival will be fondly remembered for the introduction of the ‘Legenderry Award.’
The inaugural award was presented to Irish screen legend Brendan Gleeson. Not only did Gleeson star in one of the main feature attractions ‘The Guard,’ but he also had entered a short film ‘Noreen’ in the Light in Motion competition.
Mr. Gleeson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in Film Award at the screening and panel discussion of ‘The Guard’.
Speaking at the festival, Brendan Gleeson said: “I’m delighted to be here at the festival in Derry and to receive this award. I have a special affection for Derry as my agent and friend is a Derry woman and she’s responsible for my career taking off the way it did. I’ve spent a lot of good times up here in the North West and I’m delighted to see the City of Culture accolade awarded to the city for 2013. It’s sure to be a great thing”.
The LIM Awards were announced on Sunday night just before the screening of ‘Shame’. The winners of the LIM Awards for Best International Short, Irish Short and Animation will now qualify for consideration in the short films category if the Annual Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run.
The winner of the Best Irish Short was Claire Dix for her short film ‘Downpour’. Lasting just four minutes ‘‘Downpour’ was praised for its creative interpretation of a short film narrative.
Best International Short was Japanese filmmaker Mitsuyo Miyazaki for her film ‘Tsuyako,’ a passionate short about duty, love, freedom and family, while the winner of Best Animation was ‘A Morning Stroll,’ a UK Animation directed by Grant Orchard.
The Foyle Film Festival also hosted Belfast film-maker Terry George for a special screening of his masterpiece ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ George, has also written ‘In the Name of the Father’ and ‘Some Mother’s Son.’
Other highlight events of the festival included documentaries on local subjects such as ‘Bernadette Notes on a Political Journey’ directed by Lelia Doolan which attracted a large crowd to its screening and Q&A session hosted by Margo Harkin. Another local story ‘The Carrowmeenagh Evictions’ written by local historian John A. McLaughlin also attracted a large audience to its screening. The film commemorated the tragic events at Carrowmeengah village in Donegal in 1881 when 13 tenant families were evicted over three days.
Workshop events in scriptwriting, costume making, casting direction and short film marketing were well attended and the children’s weekend Christmas screenings and Harry Potter events enjoyed a great response.
Speaking at the closing festival event ‘Shame’ at the Omniplex, festival director Bernie McLaughlin paid tribute to all who took part in the festival saying:
“I am really delighted with how well this year’s festival has gone and for the great support and response from the people of Derry and to the visitors who came from all over to see our programme. Congratulations to our LIM Award winners and special thanks to our guests Terry George, Brendan Gleeson and all our filmmakers, photographers, artists and facilitators who exhibited and took part in Foyle Film Festival. Thanks also to Northern Ireland Screen, Derry City Council, our associates in the Strand Omniplex, Derry Crystal, the Tower Hotel, Desmond Motors, The British Council and BBC Radio Foyle for all their support. To our great festival team here at the Nerve Centre also, thank you”.