This November, Galway hosted its 16th annual Junior Film Fleadh, an event that showcases Ireland’s most talented young filmmakers.

 

The event runs for four days and plays host to a wide range of events ranging from film screenings, to workshops to informative talks and seminars. I had the pleasure of attending two of the festival’s events; “From Page to Screen”, an interesting and in-depth look at the phenomenon and success that is the film adaptation and “The Hothouse Short Film Panel”, a panel discussion given by a group of young film makers who collaborated with the Fresh Film Festival and the Arts Council to produce a ten minute short.

“From Page to Screen”, a talk given by Liam Burke, a Film Studies lecturer at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, explored how many films find their origins in pre-existing literature such as books, plays and comic books, throughout the hour long discussion Liam gave his audience a close look at how film adaptations are nothing new and can even be traced back to the birth of cinema.

The talk was given in a sort of time line format, going from the very first films of the 1890s to today’s most recent releases, in doing this the audience learned that adaptations have been in existence for decades, and that they are often the highest grossing and most exciting films to be produced; be it Shakespeare or Superman, many blockbusters of the past 100 years or so have been adapted in some way. The talk also looked at how changes made to original stories can be a good thing and that some changes made in film adaptations even ended up defining some stories, two very interesting examples were that Dorothy’s shoes in the Wizard of Oz were originally silver and that in the original Superman comics, Superman couldn’t fly!

After the “From Page to Screen” talk, I headed over to the Town Hall Theatre to attend the “The Hothouse Short Film Panel”, a discussion headed by four members of the Hothouse Group; a group comprised of 12 young filmmakers who all worked together to create at ten minute short which will be debuted at this year’s Fresh Film Festival in March. This interesting and interactive discussion gave those in attendance a comprehensive look into what it takes to be a young filmmaker; members of the Hothouse Group gave their own personal insight into film making, as well as their experiences during making their film “Captured”. We learned of the fun they had coming together creatively and the difficulties they encountered along the way (the biggest of which seemed to be a troublesome singing turtle!), as well as some helpful tips and advice for budding young film makers.

The Galway Junior Film Fleadh is an invaluable forum for promoting the Arts not just in Galway but throughout Ireland, the festival offers so many opportunities to those interested not just in film, but in any kind of broadcast media. It's just too good to miss.