Arlington House film set for Guth Gafa festival

Among the range of diverse films set to be screened at this year’s Guth Gafa International Documentary Film festival in Gortahork is a remarkable tale of the many of Irish men who lived and continue to live in Arlington House in London.

Among the range of diverse films set to be screened at this year’s Guth Gafa International Documentary Film festival in Gortahork is a remarkable tale of the many of Irish men who lived and continue to live in Arlington House in London.

“Men of Arlington”, a new film by director Enda Hughes, will be screened at the June festival and may be of interest to many Donegal people who would have spent time living in London from the 1950’s to the present.

Creators of the festival, which is now in its sixth year, say that the unique story of Arlington House and the many Irish men who passed through its doors could be a significant interest to many in the county.

Guth Gafa spokesperson Neasa Ni Chianain says: “I’m sure there are many people in Donegal who had some member of their family who has had to emigrate and many could well have passed through Arlington House. Maybe some of them lost contact and it will be a great opportunity to come and see the film and hear the story from the residents perspective,”

Arlington House, a ‘wet’ hostel in London has been home to a large community of a forgotten generation of Irish men who travelled to England in search of work. At one time over 1,100 men resided there.

Among the tales it follows former hostel resident Joe McGarry, who following a trip to Donegal with the Aisling project, a group that helps repatriate Irish people, he turned his life around to sobriety and eventually became chairman of the well-known London charity.

Neasa also explains that they have expanded this years event to run for two extra days, Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 of June.

“We have extended it this year and we are running on until the Tuesday,” she said.

They have also included a new ‘eco-village’ for visitors to camp out during the event and they have just launched a new funding option to make the event more recession friendly.

“We are running a crowd funding initiative this year offering recession packages for those who pledge their support to the festival. There’s some really good value to be had, with top notch entertainment for adults and families alike. This is a new venture for us trying to raise funding for the festival when we are experiencing cuts all round and have to rely on people power,” she adds.

This can be located on www.fundit.ie

This year’s Guth Gafa programme includes 25 of the world’s finest feature documentaries from around the world dealing with environmental justice, a Climate Action initiative, short documentaries of young film students, some high-profile industry events and many more fun events over the four day event.

For more information please visit www.guthgafa.com