Doc Day Afternoon – Film Selection

As usual, Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival is bringing you award-winning films from the four corners of the world, made by some of the best documentary makers working today – this time sadly we’ll be on an internet link with you because of Covid, but still presenting the personal insight of the directors in Q&A’s and other chats.

So join us on Sunday 13th December for our first-ever virtual Guth Gafa event – Doc Day Afternoon. Seven films from Ireland, China, Ukraine, France, Lithuania, Germany and the USA will screen from 2pm until midnight with live-streamed Q&As and panel discussions. Don’t forget to register for Guth Gafa’s Doc Day online by filling in our registration form here

From the United States, we bring you Truth or Consequences, a complex narrative about space travel and nature, set in the desert of New Mexico. This film is a stark warning to us, we who consume, that time is running out. Closer to home, Tribe of Gods, the story of Tory island off Donegal, as told by its monarch Patsy Dan Rodgers, is delivered partly in traditional music form sketching the history of island life. Blessed and cursed by its separation from the mainland, the island has inspired pirates and politicians over the years to claim her as their own. Of course, if identity is something that intrigues you the Chinese film Mirror, Mirror on The Wall takes a long incredulous look at plastic surgery, courtesy of Dr Han, the prince of reconstructive surgery in China. Nothing like streaming a boob-job live to boost his ratings on social media – yes…we did say live!  

6000 Miles away in South Africa the shenanigans of greedy public officials accused of having their hands in the till play out in Shameela Seedat’s hard hitting Whispering Truth To Power. Don’t let the title fool you, referring as it does to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela whose quiet respectful way belies the power of an intellectual giant – talk about an iron fist in a velvet glove! This is a film for those who can’t stand bent cops, cronies, and corruption.

To Eastern Europe now for the award-winning The Earth is Blue as An Orange, a surreal film about the war in Ukraine, featuring twin narratives in a film within a film. Somehow, making a film about the war they’re involved in takes the curse off the violence the family witnesses.

Finally, we have Feels Good Man – not your average film about a frog because for starters there are no princesses to be kissed, no lily pads and no ponds, but almost everything else on Earth is there. So imagine you drew a frog, taking a pee with his pants down around his ankles, as part of a gang of young characters who inhabit a comic – so far so good, but once your charming amphibian is swimming in cyberspace is he still yours? Meet Pepe the frog and a cast of thousands who explain how the memosphere works

It’s a fabulous line up, and alongside the films, we have a series of live-streamed and pre-recorded events, including a panel discussion with filmmakers ‘duos’ – couples who make films together and cover multiple roles (directing, editing, producing, camera and sound,) whilst also managing their personal lives together. Our Doc Duos Session runs on Sunday afternoon, and the films include the above-mentioned Whispering Truth to Power (director, Shameela Seedat and producer/ cinematographer/editor, Francois Verster), Tribe of Gods (writer/editor, Mirjam Strugalla and director/cinematographer/producer, Loic Jourdain) and local Meath film, School Life with Guth Gafa festival co-directors, Neasa Ní Chianáin (co-director/cinematographer) and David Rane (co-director/sound/producer).

School Life is a film about families large and small: the charming story of a couple; two teachers whose lives have for over forty years revolved around the kids of Headfort School. Quirky and iconoclastic, the two are determined to teach the kids real lessons – of joy, hope and compassion.

So please join us for our first online Guth Gafa event – we anticipate there will be many more – and don’t forget to sign up here as places are limited.

As always, a huge and heartfelt thank you to our main sponsors, The Arts Council of Ireland, Meath County Council Arts Office, Creative Ireland and the BAI, and a big thank you to all the filmmakers who have made these films and have given their time to participating in our Doc Day. And finally, a thank you to our Guth Gafa team of staff and volunteers without whom Guth Gafa would not happen.