My name is Lalie and I am a volunteer at the Galway Film Fleadh, which takes place every July. This year was my third Fleadh. I volunteered in 2018, 2019 and this year. Unfortunately the 2020 Fleadh had to be held completely online, but I was delighted to be back this year, albeit with a different setup. Usually screenings are shown at the Town Hall Theatre and the Pálás Cinema, and workshops with A-List actors, directors and screenwriters take place at the Galmont Hotel.

This year, the screenings were a mix of online, or in person at the Palás cinema and at Father Burke Park. Volunteers were stationed at Fr Burke Park, where an outdoor cinema was held! As a volunteer, my tasks usually involve welcoming and ushering guests, taking tickets, showing them to their seats and ensuring all the equipment works well. I also make sure to be on hand in case anyone has an issue or a question. It’s important that I know the day’s screening schedule so that I can give accurate information to guests if needed.

This year was a great experience! We enjoyed some fine weather while having a peek at some of the best Irish and international films on show. There is always a great vibe among the volunteers (Or “Fleadhmily”, as we are sometimes referred to as). Some have been volunteering for years and for others, it is their first ever Fleadh. Both are very welcome. 

I have always loved everything to do with film and wanted something to do during the summer so the GFF seemed like a perfect option. I remember 17 year-old me being disappointed at being too young to volunteer… As soon as I turned 18, I applied, and never looked back since! 🙂 If you’re thinking of volunteering at a local festival, do it! You won’t regret it.