15 August 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci to host post-show discussion as programme announced for VMDIFF's first digital edition
03 Feb 2021 : News Desk
Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in Supernove.
The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (VMDIFF) has launched its full programme with key highlights including an event with Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth.

Tucci and Firth will join for a post-show discussion after the Virgin Media Opening Gala presentation of their moving drama Supernova; joined by director Harry Macqueen.

Running from 3rd-14th March 2021, the Festival has been re-imagined to bring audiences the best of new films and old classics, all while allowing people to attend the festival in the safest way possible.  This year’s edition will come to us via DIFF’s Festival screening portal, Eventive.

Shining a spotlight on some of Ireland’s domestic film talent, the Irish selection includes Rachel Carey’s dark comedy Deadly Cuts as this year’s Virgin Media Closing Gala; Cathal Nally’s gangster comedy Be Good or Be Gone, Ivan Kavanagh’s much anticipated Son; Tadgh O’Sullivan’s acclaimed To the Moon; Piotr Domalewski’s moving exploration of the Polish/Irish experience I Never Cry, and Chris Baugh’s wickedly funny horror The Boys from County Hell.

An exciting new initiative for the Festival, Playback x VMDIFF: Irish Hip Hop & R&B is a specially curated season of the best contemporary hip hop music videos in Ireland today, selected by producer Mike Donnelly V and musician Erica Cody. It will include recorded interviews with featured film directors and music artists discussing their collaborations including Keith Pendred with Mango X Mathman; Georgia Kelly with Tolu Mackay;  Ellius Grace with Loah & Bantam, and Rosie Barrett with Gemma Dunleavy. The dynamic programme will launch in Dublin and then travel to 8 cities around the world.

Inspired by a phrase by acclaimed Irish author Mark O’Connell, the new Future Shock strand will examine our anxious present tense and includes films such Michel Franco’s New Order and David Burke’s The Father of the Cyborgs.  

Festival audiences will get exclusive opportunities to watch some of the most anticipated films of 2021 including AmmoniteMy New York Story and Minari. Also central to the Festival programme is the fantastic line-up of world cinema with highlights such as Gagarine (France), Apples (Greece), Limbo (UK) and the wonderfully named Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (Hungary). 

One of the highlights of the Festival will be the In-Conversation event between iconic filmmaker Steve McQueen and one of Ireland’s leading filmmakers Mark O’Halloran offering a fantastic insight into McQueen’s artistic process. Audiences can look forward to a myriad of exciting post screening Q&As as the festival welcomes Walter Fasano to talk about his charming documentary Pino about artist Pino Pascali, and star of My Little Sister, Nina Hoss, who will take part in a Q&A after the screening.

This year’s Documentary programme includes investigative journalist Radu Ciorniciuc’s Acasa, My Home; a real-life Babe is the compelling star of Gunda, Viktor Kossakovsky’s intimate account of the life of a pig; Jerry Rothwell’s critically acclaimed The Reason I Jump, which explores the personal experience of living with autism spectrum disorder; Stacey Lee’s fascinating exploration of gender disparity within the world of Electronic music, Underplayed; Irish director Paul Rice’s documentary about the LGBTQ experience in Russia,  A Worm in the Heart; sixty Trinity College students from fourteen countries chronicle their forever changed world in Covid-19 lockdown Is Anybody Out There, and two exciting explorations into the world of filmmakers with the fascinating Kubrick by Kubrick, and He Dreams of Giants; Terry Gilliam’s attempts to make a film about Don Quixote. The Documentary competition judges this year include Josh Siegel film curator at MOMA and acclaimed British documentary maker Kim Longinotto. 

The 2021 Festival Retrospective featuring work by Amma Asante and Maïmouna Doucouré will focus on Black Women Filmmakers highlighting those filmmakers who led the way. About celebration and visibility, this vital and engaging programme will provide Irish audiences the opportunity to discover many filmmakers whose films were previously hidden from view.

This year, VMDIFF will present an impressive seven programmes of Irish and international Shorts, including Screen Ireland Short Film Selection, a Young Audiences selection, and the Warner Media LGBTQ selection, as well as hosting the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition, in association with Screen Ireland. 

Realising the central role of festivals within the domestic film industry, VMDIFF has a number of industry initiatives, including the Aer Lingus Discovery Award for emerging talent with judges including Franklin Leonard (founder of the Black List), First Frame Film Student Initiative sponsored by Warner Bros, which will welcome famed US producer Dede Gardner, the Young film critics initiative, and various talks and events throughout the Festival. 

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.

“It has been a very different selection process this year, but as we finally announce the programme I’m extremely proud of this year’s line-up – there are some lovely premieres and previews, some old favourites and some wonderful discoveries and debuts from around the world,” said Festival Director, Gráinne Humphreys.

“There is depth and diversity in the new world cinema programme, exciting new talent in the Irish programme, and a dynamic documentary section,” Humphrey’s continued. “We have reached out to old and new friends to join us for our online presentation and the guest list is growing every day. I hope that this year’s programme will excite and delight both our regular attendees and attract new audiences to this year’s celebration of the best of independent cinema. It’s been a long climb to get here – but we believe the view is worth it.”

The 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival box office is now open at www.diff.ie.

Tom Collins: “For me it's all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores.”
Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
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