LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival offers 12 days of more than 100 films from more than 50 countries, as well as events, workshops and galas galore.
The Festival is excited to present an exhilarating and robust slate of new Irish films, testament to the dynamic vigorous film industry and talent pool here in Ireland. The Virgin Media Opening Night Gala marks the Irish premiere of Lorcan Finnegan’s superb Vivarium starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots. The Festival are delighted to announce that Imogen Poots will attend on the night. This compelling sci-fi suspense thriller centred on a young couple looking for a starter home is steeped in satire on suburbia and parenthood.
Actor and filmmaker Tom Sullivan’s Irish language feature debut Arracht is a strong, character-driven thriller set during The Great Hunger, a tumultuous period in Irish history and tells of a fisherman who takes in a stranger on the request of a priest.
Hosting special events with some of the world’s best filmmakers is something the Festival is extremely proud of. As well as a public interview with screenwriter and director Charlie Kaufman will give a unique insight into his creative process, the Festival is delighted to announce acclaimed Polish filmmaker Paweł Pawlikowski(Cold War) for a Director’s Masterclass, and iconic Danish actress Trine Dyrholm for her latest film Queen of Hearts.
Both Kaufman and Dyrholm will also receive Voltas, the prestigious festival award presented to celebrate the careers of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the world of film.
Highlighting the importance of diversity in film, the Festival has a strong representation of LGBTQ+ films including Australian Samuel Van Grinsven’s Lynchian-style feature Sequin in a Blue Room, Oliver Hermanus’ critically acclaimed conflict drama Moffie and Jacqueline Audry’s classic tale of a love triangle at a French finishing school, Olivia, amongst just some of the highlights.
A powerful means to challenge and question the status quo, documentary film has always been a strong pillar of the Festival, and this year sees one of the most important documentaries of recent times championed – Mark Cousins’ expansive 14 hour Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema, which will be shown over five separate screenings, to be viewed together or as standalone films. Featuring the voices of Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda and Thandie Newton, amongst others, the documentary shows the oft-untold history of women filmmakers and trailblazers. Another female trailblazer, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition, with contributions from Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, that will be sure to be a highlight of the Festival.
Showing that the golden age of music documentaries continues, there are a number of amazing stories told during the Festival: James Erskine’s treasure trove of unseen footage, Billie, presents a lyrical portrait of one of music’s all-time greats, Billie Holiday; part autobiography, Aznavour by Charles, presents a very personal picture of the loved French/Armenian singer, with footage of some of his most famous admirers Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra; and Alan Moloney’s love letter to the grimy warehouse Windmill Lane that was to become one of Ireland’s most important cultural cornerstones and the home of U2.
Documenting Ireland, we see a number of films that catalogue the Ireland of today, including John Connors’ Endless Sunshine on a Cloudy Day, which explores resilience through the stories of father and daughter Anthony and Jade McCann, who were both diagnosed with cancer within days of each other; Anna Rodgers’ When Women Won goes behind the emotional story of the Together for Yes campaign to repeal the eighth amendment, while Ciara Nic Chormaic’s Skin+Soul world premiere is a cinematic meditation on fashion photography seen through the lens of photographer Perry Ogden, whose profound images blur the boundaries between the fashion world and the real world.
Further afield, we see portraits of 1970s New York in the world premiere of Vyvienne Dick’s New York Our Time; a modern day New York in Brett Story’s The Hottest August, a testimony of ordinary New Yorkers as they face climate crisis amid political and social chaos; Southern US in the powerful and funny Jawline, about social media influencers; Chile’s 1973 coup d’état in Nanni Moretti’s critically revered Santiago, Italia; Kenya in the bittersweet Kifaru, tale of conservationism and extinction at its very brink, and contemporary Russia in Alina Rudnitskaya’s School of Seduction, where women attend classes to learn how to use their allure to attract wealthy men.
In sport, Street Leagues, featuring contributions from actor Colin Farrell, tells the personal testimonies of the homeless men and women who have found a sense of belonging and purpose in the beautiful game, while Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait presents a biography of the footballing genius.
Festival screenings give viewers the opportunity to really explore film, and none more so than when the director is in attendance. The Festival is delighted to welcome Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) back to Dublin with her latest feature Radioactive - based on the graphic novel about Marie Curie, which focuses on her relationship with fellow scientist Pierre Curie and their ambition to develop radium and change the face of medicine. Also coming to Dublin will be acclaimed Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig, who will be joined by actor Bill Nighy at the screening of her modern fable, The Kindness of Strangers, set over one tough winter in New York.
Other directors taking part in post screening Q&As include: Kleber Mendonca Filho with his Cannes Jury Prize winner, genre-busting Brazilian futuristic thriller Bacarau; Filippo Meneghetti with Two of Us about two retirement-age women living in the same apartment building who have been keeping a huge secret - they are passionately in love; Tiago Guedes with his sweeping Portuguese political and social drama The Domain; Bartosz Kruhlik with ‘real time’ Polish drama Supernova; Rose Glass with award-winning psychological horror of trauma and control Saint Maud, and Elfar Adalsteins with End of a Sentence, starring John Hawkes and Sarah Bolger, which follows a young ex-con and his father as they go on a road trip to scatter the ashes of their mother and wife.
Delving into Chinese cinema, the Festival programme shows a wonderful and diverse selection of films that cast a light onto the Chinese society past and present:
Yang Lina’s historical drama Spring Tide explores three generations of women from the same family. Xiaoming Chen’s thriller If You Are Happy explores how far parents will go to ensure their children get a good education. The funny and warm feminist drama Send Me To The Clouds looks at the social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — those older than 26 and unmarried, and the charming Tibetan language Balloon tells the story of two young boys from a shepherding family who discover balloons in their family home, until it emerges they are condoms. The Festival will also screen a number of stunning and insightful Chinese documentaries, including Zhang Yang’s sumptuous The Sound of Dali, a film about the rhythm of nature through the sights, sounds and senses of Dali, and the beautifully observed Confucian Dream, which explores the universal truths about relationships through a mother who converts to Confucianism to try and do the best for her family.
The expansive world cinema programme features an eclectic selection of internationally acclaimed films and award winners. These include the prestigious Audience Award winner at Sundance, May el-Toukhy’s erotic thriller Queen of Hearts starring Trine Dyrholm - a family tale that delivers more than its share of gut-wrenching moments; Cannes’ Un Certain Regard winner, Karim immersive Brazilian feminist drama The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão; Roy Andersson’s About Endlessness a series of beautiful vignettes which opens with the sight of a couple floating over the German city of Cologne; winner of Tribeca’s Nora Ephron Award Initials S.G., the pitch black comedy about a Serge Gainsbourg cover singer set against Argentina’s quest to win the World Cup; and Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner Synonymns which tells the story of an Israeli man who travels to Paris to flee his nationality.
From established names to exciting new voices, French cinema is well represented throughout the festival: Ladj Ly’s impressive Oscar nominated debut feature Les Misérables, inspired by the Paris riots of 2005; Vincent Cassel shines in Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s The Specials, based on the true story of Stephane Benhamou who runs a shelter for autistic teens and young adults in Paris; Jean Dujardin gives an inspired performance as a man with an unhealthy fashion obsession in the surprising and offbeat black comedy Deerskin; Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche star in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth. marking his first film outside of his native Japan.
The Surprise Film continues to be one of the most popular events in the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival programme but, as always, its identity remains a tightly-guarded secret known only to the Festival Director.
The Empire Film Podcast Live, the official podcast of Empire, the world’s biggest and best movie magazine. The Festival is delighted to welcome Chris Hewitt and his pod team to Dublin for an afternoon of film-related fun and chat with special guests on Friday 6th March.
Speaking about the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival
programme, Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director said: “This year we have a stellar line-up of World and Irish cinema accompanied by some of the most dazzling international and home grown film talents. We invite our audiences, known for their love of film to dive right in for the next 12 days and nights and discover different cultures, stories, worlds, points of views – be entertained, engaged, included. We're delighted to be working with Virgin Media in year two as the festival’s title sponsor.”
Niamh O’Driscoll, Head of Brand and Marketing at Virgin Media said: “Marking the start of a new decade, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival has shot the lights out with this year’s programme which is going to be a truly immersive and delightful experience for everyone who loves this powerful medium. We're proud of the diversity of this year's line-up; emboldening broader, more inclusive independent voices and full of incredible stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect. Our support underlines our commitment to foster creativity in film production and television content as Ireland’s leading connected entertainment provider and commercial broadcasting company.”
The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival runs from 26 February to 18 March at various venues in Dublin.
CHECK OUT THE FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAMME HERE!
A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
Adam Sandler, Kevin Garnett, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Mike Francesa, Idina Menzel, and Eric Bogosian.
Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.
DIRECTED BYMarielle Heller
Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster
Inspired by the article "Can You Say. . . Hero?" by Tom Junod
Susan Kelechi Watson
and Chris Cooper
Director Elizabeth Banks takes the helm as the next generation of fearless Charlie’s Angels take flight. In Banks’ bold vision, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs everywhere.
Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn
Career con artist Roy Courtnay can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty opens her home and life to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
Director - Bill Condon
Writers - Jeffrey Hatcher, Nicholas Searle (novel)
Starring - Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Nell Williams, Jim Carter
Running Time - 109 minutes
The Dublin Smartphone Film Festival is an international festival dedicated to celebrating work shot on Smartphone and Tablets.
The festival was created with the goal of encouraging filmmakers to share the stories they have captured on mobile devices and to provide smartphone filmmakers with a platform to exhibit these stories to a wider audience.
Submissions are now open for the third Dublin Smartphone Film Festival.
The festival returns for 2020 after two widely successful sold out events. As Irelands only Smartphone Film Festival, the #DUBSMARTFF aims to inspire budding directors as well as celebrate National and International filmmakers using Smartphone’s exclusively to tell their stories.
The festival is accepting submissions now for 2019 from both local and International Filmmakers and are looking for Filmmakers to submit their mobile masterpieces before the submission date closure of Dec 1st 2019.
Categories include best Fiction, Music video, Documentary, Animation, and 360/VR film. All entries should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.
In 2018, they received over 100 submissions from over 24 countries and regions with a screening of the best 26 of the submissions at the event with the moving, 'The Missing Things (Australia)' directed by Jason Van Genderen winning the Grand prize.
After the success of the first two years, the #Dubsmartff team are expecting an even larger number of submissions for year three. The festival programmers are on the lookout for captivating stories that take full advantage of the technology.
The Dublin Smartphone Film Festival will take place in January 2020 with the venue being announced in the coming weeks. The festival is open for submissions for 2020 with a submission fee of $12 dollars.
Entries can be sent to festival organizers via the Film Freeway Portal
Visit the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival ONLINE or on social media @dubsmartff
Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs.
He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.
Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Emmy winner Kate McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love.
Featuring new versions of The Beatles’ most beloved hits, Yesterday is produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Love Actually, About A Boy, the Bridget Jones series) alongside Matthew James Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Curtis and Boyle also produce. Nick Angel, Lee Brazier and Liza Chasin serve as executive producers.
Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon
Yesterday opens at cinemas on 28 June!
The highly anticipated sequel to The Secret Life Of Pets is here!
Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with some major life changes. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is now married and has a toddler, Liam.
Max is so worried about protecting the boy that he develops a nervous tic. On a family trip to a farm, Max and mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) encounter canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a terrifying turkey, all of which only elevates Max's anxiety.
Luckily, Max gets some guidance from veteran farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford, making his animated-film debut), who pushes Max to ditch his neuroses, find his inner alpha, and give Liam a little more freedom. Meanwhile, while her owner is away, plucky Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max's favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip.
Crazy-but-cute bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) gets delusions of grandeur that he's an actual superhero after his owner Molly starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball's help on a dangerous mission, he'll have to summon the courage to become the hero he's only been pretending to be. Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears?
The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in cinemas from 24 May!
When Frank and Lindsay meet on their way to a destination wedding, they soon discover they have a lot in common: they both hate the bride, the groom, the wedding, themselves, and each other. As the weekend's events continually force them together -- and their cheerlessness immediately isolates them from the other guests -- Frank and Lindsay find that if you verbally spar with someone long enough, anything can happen.
Approx. Running minutes 87 mins
Age Restriction PG 16
Bel Canto is a 2018 hostage drama film directed by Paul Weitz, from a screenplay by Weitz and Anthony Weintraub. It is based upon the novel of the same name by Ann Patchett. It stars Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Sebastian Koch, and Christopher Lambert.
Roxane Coss (Moore), a famous American soprano, travels to South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of rich Japanese industrialist Katsumi Hosokawa (Watanabe). Just as a handsome gathering of local dignitaries convenes at Vice-President Ruben Ochoa's mansion, including French Ambassador Thibault (Lambert) and his wife (Zylberstein), Hosokawa's faithful translator Gen (Kase), and Russian trade delegate Fyorodov (Krupa), the house is taken over by guerrillas led by Comandante Benjamin (Huerta) demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades. Their only contact with the outside world is through Red Cross negotiator Messner (Koch). A month-long standoff ensues in which hostages and captors must overcome their differences and find their shared humanity and hope in the face of impending disaster.