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Dublin International Film Festival launch 2024 programme
23 Jan 2024 : News Desk
Dublin International Film Festival
Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) will run for 10 days from 22nd February to 2nd March. Their lineup includes a variety of world premieres, as well as special guests including Steve McQueen and Isabelle Huppert.

DIFF will open with the world premiere of Marian Quinn’s Twig on February 22nd, starring rising star Sade Malone and close with Pat Collins’ adaptation of John McGahern’s That They Might Face The Rising Sun, starring Barry Ward, on March 2nd.  

“I feel it's a very special line-up of films in this year's programme, from the wonderful season of African films to the fascinating strand of documentaries to the incredibly diverse and exciting range of new work from Irish filmmakers,” said Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys. “We are honoured to open with the World Premiere of TWIG, this fantastic Dublin set film will kick off a packed 10 days of film screenings, public events, talks, panels and parties. Our international and industry guests will share their insights with our audiences and our new Hub space The Complex will bring all these events together under one roof. Exciting Times.”

Special guests attending the festival in Dublin to discuss their films include writer/director Virginia Gilbert with her thriller Reawakening, along with lead actors Jared Harris, Juliet Stevenson and Erin Doherty. Scottish director Kevin Macdonald will present his new documentary High & Low: John Galliano about the controversial designer. Maxine Peake will join director Alan Friel at the European Premiere of his sci-fi thriller Woken. Irish cinematographer Brendan Galvin, DoP on Indian director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s Dear Jassi will also be in attendance. Susan Kemp will present The Lynda Myles Project: A Manifesto, which explores the work of the acclaimed producer of The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van. Directing duo Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor return with the Irish premiere of Baltimore starring Tom Vaughn-Lawlor.

The Academy Award winning Director and Turner Prize winning visual artist Steve McQueen (Hunger, 12 Years A Slave) will be welcomed to DIFF to accept a VOLTA career achievement award. In celebration and recognition of the award, McQueen will take part in a series of public interviews. DIFF will launch the inaugural Tanqueray 0.0% Film Club, welcoming actor and producer Trudie Styler (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch), whose film Posso Entrare? An Ode to Naples will be screened at the Festival, and Irish Actress Amy Huberman will also host a special event with the 2024 Festival Discovery Award nominees as part of the DIFF Award Ceremony.

DIFF welcomes Isabelle Huppert to the Festival this year, one of France’s most accomplished actors. Huppert will be honoured with the Festival VOLTA career achievement award, and her new film Sidonie in Japan, directed by Elise Girard will premiere at the Festival with the director in attendance. 

French director Nathan Ambrosioni will also attend the festival to present his family drama Toni. There will also be advance screenings of French films The Beast, Suddenly, and Orlando, My Political Biography.

DIFF will also showcase Canadian cinema throughout the 2024 programme. The festival will celebrate Guy Maddin with a retrospective of his work, including My Winnipeg, Archangel, Brand Upon The Brain and The Green Fog. Other Canadian films include debut filmmaker, Ariane Louis-Seize’s comedy horror Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person as well as Pascal Plante’s thriller Red Rooms.  

The festival will present a slate of new Irish films. The selection of Irish features and documentaries having their world premiere at DIFF include Dermot Malone’s drama King Frankie starring Peter Coonan, Maurice O’Carroll’s crime thriller Swing Bout, Danny McCafferty’s The Line which exploring immigration in Ireland, and Colin Hickey’s Perennial Light

This year’s Irish documentaries tackle subjects ranging from bird watchers to cheerleaders. Tanya Doyle’s Eat / Sleep / Cheer / Repeat explores cheerleading, Conor Walsh: Selected Piano Works follows the titular minimalist piano composer, Tadhg O’Sullivan’s The Swallow is a portrait of Oscar Winner Brenda Fricker and her love for her dog, and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh’s Farewell to Hughes’s stars Brendan Gleeson in an ode to a traditional music Mecca.

Recipients of the Reel Art film awards, the Arts Council's long-running creative arts documentary scheme, will also screen at the festival, these include Susan’s Thomason’s conceptual documentary and adaptation of her memoir exploring grief The Swimming Diaries, Kathleen Harris’ Birdsong following ornithologist Seán Ronayne and Ross Killeen’s Don’t Forget to Remember which explores the lived experience of Alzheimer’s. 

There are a number of 2024 Gala events. The Family Gala is Oink from director Mascha Halberstad, presented at the festival with a live voiceover. Alan Gilsenan’s The Irish Question, a meditation on the prospect of a united Ireland, is the Lord Mayor’s Gala. Coming of age Ama Gloria is the DIFF Friends Gala film from the African season. The Silent Film Gala is a special presentation of the 1929 film The Informer, the earliest adaptation of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel. 

Audiences will also have the opportunity to view some of the most highly anticipated films of 2024, including Freud’s Last Session, filmed largely in Trinity College Dublin; Agnieszka Holland’s Green Border, Robert Kolodny’s debut The Featherweight, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera starring Josh O’Connor, Spanish director Víctor Erice’s return with Close Your Eyes, Ethan Coen’s Drive Away Dolls, and David Hinton’s documentary about Scorsese’s favourite filmmakers Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger

Showcasing voices from across the world, the international programme will present films from countries as diverse as Japan, Mongolia, Turkey, Georgia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain and more: Japanese films include Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes Best Screenplay winning Monster and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s multi-award winning Evil Does Not Exist. From Mongolia, City of Wind by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir. From North Macedonia, Venice Queer Lion winner Housekeeping for Beginners. Fresh from Germany’s Berlinale, The Teachers’ Lounge, and The Universal Theory. From Turkey, Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses, and Elene Naveriani’s adaptation of Georgian author Tamta Melashvili’s novel Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry. From Belgium, Eve Duchemin’s examination of prison Time Out. Also playing at the festival are Vinícius Girnys’ portrait of contemporary Brazil through the eyes of a changing village, Samuel and the Light, and Palestinian documentary Bye Bye Tiberias.

The international programme continues with Indian action thriller Stolen; Finnish comedy of errors Four Little Adults, Argentinian experimental dramedy The Delinquents, acclaimed Chinese debut feature Gone With The Boat, South Korean comedy horror Sleep, Radu Jude’s Romanian satire Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World, Greek LGBTQ+ film The Summer With Carmen, Australian director Noora Niasari’s debut Shayda, and Scottish documentary Bill Douglas My Best Friend

Featuring a line-up of films from emerging film talent from a number of countries in Africa including Sudan, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia, the African Season will present Irish premieres of Four Daughters, Goodbye Julia, Omen, Hounds, and Banel & Adama with writer/director Ramata-Toulaye Sy in attendance. Sundance award winner Mami Wata will screen as part of the DIFF on Tour programme, in association with access>Cinema, and with the support of the Arts Council. 

DIFF will host panel discussions with International Film Programmers, Screenwriters, and Cinematographers, networking events, and the IFCO Centenary Lecture Series in association with the National Archives, exploring the role censorship played in Irish cinema history. Other industry highlights include a Creative Futures Academy student workshop with Steve McQueen at UCD and Masterclasses with Guy Maddin and Kevin Macdonald during their respective visits.  

DIFF’s season of shorts will again showcase the best of international and Irish emerging talent with multiple screening programmes of short films being shown during the Festival, three curated by DIFF programmers from submissions, two curated from Screen Ireland’s Focus and Framework funding schemes, the winners of the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film competition, and a series of films showing Dublin on Screen, as well as a showcase of Limerick filmmakers. 

The Surprise Film continues to be a secret known only to the Festival Director. 

Booking for DIFF 2024 is now open at www.diff.ie

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