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‘Feats of Modest Valour’ – a Galway City of Film ‘Science on Screen’ Commission

Galway UNESCO City of Film with Galway Film Centre, in association with the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), in NUI Galway and Science Foundation Ireland recently selected two projects as part of the Science on Screen 2016 commissions including ‘Feats of Modest Valour’.

In Feats of Modest Valour, three individuals live clockwork existences, dictated by a strict regime of medication and the challenging physical reality of living with Parkinson’s. Meanwhile, a team of dedicated scientists in Galway are developing a new medical device, which could potentially halt or even cure the devastating disease. Woven together with observation and animation, the film invites us to witness the story of groundbreaking medical science taking place in Galway and the profound impact this will have on people with Parkinson’s Disease both nationally and worldwide.

With editing underway and the animation team hard at work ‘Feats of Modest Valour’ is reaching the final phase of it’s journey. We have built up a number of strong and moving scenes with our Parkinson’s patients; such as Brian having his brain implant checked by his neurologist, or Tom receiving a lifetime achievement award at Abbey Theatre from the president of Ireland, with all proceeds going to Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, or Milena eating ice-cream by the sea with her granddaughter as she tells of her journey which began during World War 2 in Croatia. We have also gathered insightful and fascinating scenes in the laboratories with Dr. Eilis Dowd and her team of researchers, as they embark on the enormous mission of developing a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

Filmmakers Mia Mullarkey and Alice McDowell are combining forces to co-direct and co-produce Feats of Modest Valour. Mia Mullarkey is an award-winning documentary and music video director based in Dublin. In 2011 she set up an independent production company called Ishka Films and her work has screened at national and international festivals. Alice McDowell is an Australian documentary filmmaker currently living in Galway. With a focus on art, human rights and diversity, she has produced, directed and edited films both locally and internationally.

This 26 minute documentary will premiere at the Galway Science & Technology Festival in November 2016, in conjunction with SFI’s National Science Week. The screening will take place in An Taibhdhearc Theatre on Saturday 19th November.

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