Celebrity news, civic journalism, growth of digital media and Ireland’s FOI system were just some of the diverse topics covered during a lively Q&A debate with top newspaper editors and journalists in Donegal and Derry at the launch in the Regional Cultural Centre.
Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher, Deputy Mayo, officially launched the festival praising it for its ‘great achievements’ and emphasizing the importance of such festivals for tourism in the region, as well as the key role played by media in community education and activism.
David Rane, festival co-director, said he was proud Guth Gafa attracted over 2,000 extra visitors to Donegal every year producing an estimated €100,000 in tourism revenue.
The event, hosted by Sean Hillen, highlighted some of the issues involved in one of the festival’s 30 documentaries, Our Newspaper, about the nature of community journalism.
Speakers included Columba Gill, editor, Donegal News, Martin McGinley, editor, Derry Journal, Ciaran O’Donnell, deputy editor, Donegal Democrat, Anita Guidera, Irish Independent Northwest Correspondent and Stephen Maguire, editor, Donegal Daily online news service.
Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival takes place in Gortahork from June 10 to 12 and will feature around 30 documentaries from around the globe.
Not only will film lovers be able to watch fascinating on-screen treatments of subjects as wide-ranging as the disappearance of islands from the face of the earth due to climate change (Sun Come Up, USA 2010, Oscar-nominated) to the highs and lows of living virtual lives offered by tantalising software programmes (My Avatar and Me, Denmark, 2010) but can also listen and learn from directors, producers and others involved in the entire process.
While films originated in many countries, there is a particular emphasis this year on films made in North America this year.
For more information and a full festival line-up look out for the brochure or log onto www.guthgafa.com