Meeting on the Edge of Europe: 9 Filmmakers from Northern Europe participate in Galway Film Fleadh

‘Attending Galway Film Fleadh was a great experience in how to market your films and make new contacts. The Masterclasses really helped me in my creative thinking and I finally got inspiration to finish my latest feature film script,’ according to Joonas Pirttikangas of Hepola Films, one of the Finnish filmmakers who took part in the Galway Film Fleadh. ‘I also had the opportunity to attend the premiere of ‘Michael Inside’ which went on to win Best Irish Feature and discussed filmmaking with the Director Frank Berry.’

Nine filmmakers from Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Northern Ireland were supported by the Western Development Commission (WDC), NUI Galway and their international partners in ‘a creative momentum project’ to participate in the Galway Film Fleadh.  The project showcases and connects creatives working across Europe’s Northern Edge.  As Ireland’s leading film festival, the Galway Film Fleadh was an amazing opportunity for these international filmmakers to meet and do business with film and TV professionals from Ireland and further afield.

Six of the filmmakers took part in ‘The Marketplace’ where they had scheduled one-to-one meetings with TV executives, film financers, production companies and distributors to pitch film and TV projects in development. ‘We came here excited and moderately optimistic. We were seeking funding for our documentary Drift, and a possible co-producer. We were very happy with our meetings as the feedback was positive.  Although no promises were made, we are engaging in further conversations with a few of the producers,’ says Birna Pétursdóttir, of Icelandic production company Fluga Hugmyndahus.   ‘What we thought was amazing, was the willingness amongst almost everyone to give advice and pointers. That was extremely valuable for us.’

To make sure they got a good taste of what the West of Ireland’s film and TV industry has to offer, the group were also treated to a tour of the Telegael production offices and studio in An Spidéal. All the filmmakers spoke about their work at the ‘Screen Industries on the Periphery’ seminar organised by NUI Galway.

‘The Galway Film Fleadh was a great chance for us to connect with other filmmakers from around the world, people with similar ideas on low budget moviemaking, as well as people who’ve been in the business for a long time,’ says Simon Bergström of Sweden’s Mountain North Pictures. ‘The whole experience broadened our view of the business of making films, that will be very useful as we move on to bigger productions in future. After the Fleadh we drove along the entire western seaboard in four days, the first real step in the photography/on-the-go-filmmaking project that we’ll be doing right around Europe.’

‘a creative momentum project’ is co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme.  One of the project’s main activities is the website to showcase Arts, Crafts, Design and Media & Technology companies working across Europe’s Northern Edge.

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Note for Editors:

The nine filmmakers supported to attend the Galway Film Fleadh were:

a creative momentum project is a three-year (2015-2018) transnational project with a total budget of €2m.  It is co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020.  The NPA is a cooperation between nine programme partner countries; Finland, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The NPA 2014-2020 is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non EU partner countries.

 a creative momentum project is operated by six partner organisations:

  1. Western Development Commission (WDC), Ireland
  2. National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Ireland
  3. North East Iceland Cultural Council, Iceland
  4. Armagh City, Craigavon and Banbridge Borough Council, Northern Ireland
  5. Technichus Mid-Sweden Ltd, Sweden
  6. Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland

It is being implemented in five regions:

  1. North East Iceland
  2. Mid-Sweden
  3. Northern Finland (Lapland, North Ostrobothnia)
  4. South East of Northern Ireland (Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Ards & North Down Borough Council, and Newry, Mourne & Down District Council areas)
  5. West of Ireland (Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare)

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