Guth Gafa to be launched with champagne and serious questions

Editors and journalists in the border region of Derry and Donegal will gather next Tuesday for a public discussion on the nature, challenges and successes of the media and the role it plays in social, cultural and economic affairs in the area.

Editors and journalists in the border region of Derry and Donegal will gather next Tuesday for a public discussion on the nature, challenges and successes of the media and the role it plays in social, cultural and economic affairs in the area.

The evening will also include a champagne reception to mark the official launch of the Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival in Gort an Choirce, now in its sixth year.

The event is scheduled for 7.30 pm, Tuesday, May 24, at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. Admission is free and open to the public, and no advance booking is necessary.

Among the editors taking part in Tuesday’s discussion are Ciaran O’Donnell, deputy editor, Donegal Democrat; Martin McGinley, editor, Derry Journal; Columba Gill, editor, Donegal News; Stephen Maguire, editor, Donegal Daily; and John McAteer, editor, Tirconaill Tribune. These editors and others will be joined in a lively give-and-take by social, political, cultural economic and cultural leaders in the community as well as by columnists and journalists.

Guth Gafa, Ireland’s only festival to focus on documentary film-making, begins on Friday, June 10. Among the films to be screened is “Our Newspaper”, an award-winning Dutch documentary about a journalist in the remote Russian countryside who starts his own local newspaper, covering some very local stories. The authorities are not amused.

Excerpts from “Our Newspaper” will be shown at Tuesday evening’s discussion.

Subjects addressed in this year’s Guth Gafa films range from the disappearance of islands due to climate change, to an investigation into the world of sperm donors, to the ongoing battles between industrial giants, environmental groups and individuals. The films screened at the festival come from around the world, from Mexico to Canada, Paraguay to Indonesia.

The full schedule for the Guth Gafa festival is available on line at www.guthgafa.com.