May 04 2016 Posted: 09:18 IST

The fifth ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’, organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, is offering free lunchtime screenings of international award-winning films celebrating ageing from 9-13 May.

Marking Ireland’s Bealtaine Festival, the ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’ screenings will include: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Still Alice; Quartet; The Lady in the Van; and Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch).

All films start at 1pm and are open to the public. The screenings will take place in the auditorium of the University’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. The building, which includes a new 250-seater movie venue, has wheelchair access, a theatre-size screen, and surround-sound.

The festival opens with a musical comedy, Quartet, boasting a stellar cast of Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs. Set in an English home for retired musicians, the annual fundraising concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is the focus of everyone’s attention.

Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in an intense portrayal of an academic mid-life woman living with Alzheimer’s disease, and its game-changing effect on her family.

Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch), an Italian subtitled film follows four fabulous ladies in their 90s, none of them professional actors, who are left in the charge of on-screen director Gianni Di Gregorio for the night in a film oozing the lazy charm of a hot August in Rome. This will follow with screen interviews with the film’s cast in a behind-the-scenes take.

Thursday’s screening is The Lady in the Van, with the all-star cast of Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. This film is based on the true story of English playwright, Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who lived in an old camper van for 15 years in his garden.

Reel Lives closes on the Friday with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a cast to include Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Richard Gere. In this follow-up to the original Marigold, new relationships are forged alongside pathos, and music.

In addition to free entry, audience members can enjoy complimentary refreshments sponsored by NUI Galway’s Students’ Union shop.

Parking is available on campus to non-NUI Galway personnel within the pay and display areas of Dangan car park, or a free shuttle bus runs regularly between the Orbsen building on the main campus and the terminus where ILAS is located. There are a limited number of car parking spaces for those with a disability directly outside of the ILAS building.

For further information contact event organiser Alison Herbert at 091 495461 or 087 2830757. Full details of the film programme are on www.icsg.ie.

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