Like virtually every writer/filmhead in Dublin, I'm going down to the Film Fleadh in Galway this weekend. Yes, tomorrow the IFI will be deserted. Its cinemas will have tumbleweed blowing down the aisles... Basically, it's a recession and this is cheaper than going to Telluride.
Now, last year was my first time at the Fleadh and I made some rookie mistakes. I stayed at a holiday house 40 minutes drive away. This was partly to save money but I ended up spending a ton of time on the road driving (it lashed rain non-stop so I saw the windscreen wipers more than I ever expected) and a lot on petrol and parking. Not to mention the fact that I couldn't drink, which really sucked. And I didn't book tickets earlier enough for the movies, which meant that loads of stuff was booked out.
Learning from that, I'm staying at a hotel two minutes from Eyre Square. I'm getting a bus there and back. And I've booked tickets for four movies online.
So leaving my life lessons over with, here are the things I'm looking forward to this year:
Meeting people and talking movies - obviously. The Playwrights and Screenwriters' Guild are having drinks at McSwiggans tomorrow at 5pm so if you're a writer and you're going to Galway, make sure you come along. IFTA are also having a drinks reception on Saturday at The Rowing Club.
Movies! I'm going to see Chris Rock's hair extravaganza Good Hair, Alicia Duffy's dark drama All Good Children, a thriller called Outcast and the escort agency comedy Sensation. I'm also debating about getting tickets for some of the collections of shorts and P.J. Dillon's drama Rewind.
A talk by former Film Board chair, RTE director, Artistic Director of The Abbey and general raconteur Lelia Doolan, which is taking place at 2pm on Saturday. Looking forward to some of the stories...
If you're going to the Fleadh, have a great time! And if not, start planning next year's trip!