Women filmmakers dominate the short films category for this year’s Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival.
Eight of the ten short films which will be screened over the festival were made by Irish women.
A collection of outstanding films, which capture pressing human rights issues take pride of place in this year’s short film category, reflecting very much the Guth Gafa ethos. All seven documentaries have been shortlisted for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Human Rights Film Awards in the past two years.
Niamh Heery’s Harmanli: Trapped on the Fringe of Freedom explores life for asylum seekers in a Bulgarian camp, while The Room by Roisin Loughrey goes behind the doors of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar, Co Mayo to reveal the small moments of magic that happen in an art class for long stay patients who have an acquired brain injury.
Hold on Tight by Anna Rodgers looks at the complexities of public expressions of affection for same sex couples.
Dearbhla Glynn’s focus on violence against women in the Congo in her prize winning short, The Value of Women in The Congo, reveals not just the experience of the victims of this violence but the perspective of the perpetrators.
Trish McAdam’s No Enemies, interprets the inspirational 2009 speech by Chinese human rights defender, Lui Xiaobo, read in part by Seamus Heaney and Salman Rushdie and set against spartan graphics.
Others in this category include Chaja and Mimi, which profiles an 83-year-old friendship between two German women and the Spanish Machine Man, which elegantly explores the role of manual human labour in a globalised 21st century world.
A trio of Irish shorts that capture the essence of the human spirit on film will also be shown, each telling wonderful stories of older people facing new and often uncomfortable challenges. They include the world premiere of Tanya Doyle’s Waterlilies, which focuses on a group of people in their sixties learning to swim. Guth Gafa is also delighted to be hosting the Irish premiere of Briony Dunne’s, The Orchard Keepers, a profile of an aging herbalist in the Sinai desert. Hillary Fennel’s Hearing Silence, meanwhile profile’s professional musician, Elizabeth Petcu struggle to express her creativity as her hearing diminishes.