In Ireland’s cultural calendar, the Dublin International Film Festival holds a special place. Every February, it brings together an eclectic mix of cinema from around the world, and many screenings are often attended by filmmakers and stars.
The festival takes place from February 23 to March 4 this year, and not only is it a celebration of cinematic excellence, its awards recognise outstanding achievements in various categories. This year, the Dublin International Festival opens with the film God’s Creatures starring Emily Watson and Paul Mescal. Both actors are expected to attend the Gala screening. Other confirmed names are Jane Seymour, Aidan Gillen alongside filmmakers and creatives Jim Sheridan, Artavazd Peleshyan and Robbie Ryan.
Watson will also be the recipient of the festival’s Volta Award this year. The Volta Award is the festival’s most prestigious accolade. It is named after Ireland’s first dedicated cinema, and is awarded every year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the world of cinema. In the past, previous recipients of the Volta Awards have included legendary names like Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Ennio Morricone, Colin Firth, Brenden Gleeson and many others.
Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys said “Since the start Dublin International Film Festival has been an audience festival and a product of the environment it lives and breathes in and the community it is built on. Part of our job is to explore and reflect where that city and community is today. As our city and our film community has changed over recent years, we felt it was also important that we change as a festival.
Previous iterations have had a title sponsor, and we’ve always been incredibly grateful to them for their partnerships and support which have helped the festival become what it is. But now, for the first time, we felt it was important to work with a broader community of supporters, industry partners, artists and film-makers, and to reimagine what Dublin International Film Festival could be. I am particularly delighted to premiere the superb line up of new Irish films and show these new works alongside their international counterparts. It’s a festival programme which I am extremely proud of, packed with discoveries and gems. I’m thankful as ever to all our partners and friends for their support in helping us to realise a physical festival and to my colleagues for their commitment to making this the best festival possible.”
The festival is also going to celebrate the life and work of the iconic Jane Seymour, in conversation with Rick O’Shea. It also presents an array of new Irish films, including those that are internationally endorsed amongst the ongoing awards season. Attendees can expect world premieres of Fintan Connelly’s film noir Barber, starring Aidan Gillen; and former DIFF Audience Award Winner Claire Dix’s Sunlight, starring Barry Ward and Liam Carney. Also returning to the festival, John Connors’ will present his feature debut, The Black Guelph and Finnish director Klaus Härö will present his English language debut, My Sailor, My Love, set on Achill Ireland.
In celebration of the festival’s 21st birthday two new initiatives have also been launched: Dublin on Screen and DIFF & Beyond. Dublin on Screen will present a range of shorts by older, established and younger filmmakers showcasing Dublin including a new short film from Damien O’Donnell (East is East) and the short film ‘Heart of Dublin’ devised, shot and performed by an enthusiastic cohort of older people in the Screen8 outreach project working with The Digital Hub filmmaker in residence Laura O’ Shea.
In DIFF & Beyond, it brings the programme and a series of public events to new audiences with five partner venues across the city.
For more information about the Dublin International Film Festival, including the full schedule for 2023, see link here.