The Belly of the Whale

#Fleadh18: Morgan Bushe’s The Belly of the Whale to open 30th Galway Film Fleadh

The 2018 Galway Film Fleadh has announced that Morgan Bushe’s debut feature The Belly of the Whale will open the festival on Tuesday, July 10th.

After breaking free from his foster home, feral teenager Joey Moody returns to Laytown, a rural Irish town just over the horizon, in a bid to reclaim his family’s caravan park and salvage his friendship with his best mate and drinking partner, Lanks. Meanwhile, on a mission to find the money to pay for his sick wife’s medication. Ronald Tanner, a fractured soul, risks his meagre lifesavings on a get-rich-quick scheme that ends in abject failure and humiliation the hands of local big shot Gits Hegarty, pushing Ronald over the edge and off the wagon.

After Joey accidentally torches Ronald’s campervan and is forced to find the cash to repay him, the strange pair find themselves bonded together in misfortune. In an effort to change their crummy existence they concoct a slapdash plan to rob the Pleasurama, the local amusement arcade, and the domain of the iniquitous Gits. All that stands in their way of the good life is a group of toughs, their own incompetence, and fate itself.

The film stars Pat Shortt (Garage, Calvary) together with Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls, Pan), Art Parkinson (Kubo and The Two Strings, San Adreas), Michael Smiley (Kill List, Jawbone), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate, The Drummer and the Keeper) and Lauren Kinsella (You’re Ugly Too, Albert Nobbs). Bushe has previously directed an award-winning short film If I Should Fall Behind which was IFTA nominated, The Other Side of Sleep and Anton Corbijn Inside Out.

The Belly of the Whale was produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films and Rory Dungan for Tilted Pictures, in co-production with Nukleus Film and Studio Virc. Funding comes from Screen Ireland, RTE, BAI, Filmbase, Slovenski Filmski Center, and Windmill Lane VFX.

It was always our hope to screen The Belly of the Whale at the Galway Film Fleadh so we’re delighted and honoured that it’s been selected to open the festival and would like to take this opportunity to thank Miriam and Will for giving us this platform to launch this bold tale ahead of its Irish theatrical release. In the past I’ve shown all my shorts in the Town Hall so I know already how great the audiences are and I’m looking forward, along with our prodigious cast and crew, to now bringing my debut feature.
Morgan Bushe, Director

The Belly of the Whale is the perfect film to open this year’s Film Fleadh. As a festival of discovery, we’re proud to open with Morgan’s first feature – a fun, anarchic Irish crime drama with an interesting mix of Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish acting talent.
Will Fitzgerald, Programmer – Film Fleadh

The six day 2018 Galway Film Fleadh welcomes a variety of filmmaking and filmmakers from around the world, attracting directors, actors, cinematographers and artists of all generations and cultural backgrounds. The Galway Film Fleadh celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The Belly of the Whale screens at 7:30pm on Tuesday 10th July, followed by a Q+A with cast & crew and an Opening Night Reception. Tickets are now available at

All of the films announced so far for Galway Film Fleadh 2018:

Tuesday, July 10th19:30The Belly of the WhaleTown Hall TheatreTickets
Wednesday, July 11th18:00The Camino VoyageTown Hall TheatreTickets
Wednesday, July 11th20:00Science of GhostsTown Hall TheatreTickets
Wednesday, July 11th22:00PossumPálás Screen 1Tickets
Saturday, July 14th12:00Town of StrangersPálás Screen 1Tickets
Saturday, July 14th14:00When All is Ruin Once AgainTown Hall TheatreTickets
Saturday, July 14th16:00KatieTown Hall TheatreTickets
Saturday, July 14th20:00Don’t GoTown Hall TheatreTickets
Sunday, July 15th16:00Captain Morten and the Spider QueenTown Hall TheatreTickets
Sunday, July 15th20:00Black ’47Town Hall TheatreTickets