February 22, 2022
Dublin has remarkable film attendance per capita, among the highest in Europe, certainly the highest in the EU,” Michael Dwyer, the chief film correspondent of The Irish Times, told Variety in 2003. “It seems absurd that the city didn’t have an international film festival.”
Dwyer, who founded the original Dublin Film Festival during the 1980s, came to the rescue when that festival wound down at the turn of the millennium. Some 20 years ago, the Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) returned with a bang and a constellation of stars, including Javier Bardem, Claire Denis and Rebecca Miller.
On its 20th outing, what’s now the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival’s programme will, accordingly, pay tribute to some of the festival’s greatest hits. An open-air series of screenings in Meeting House Square includes historical audience favourites Broken Song, The Raid, Anvil and Waveriders. Actor Andrew Scott, meanwhile, will sit down with festival programmer Gráinne Humphreys, to reminisce about such memorable DIFF premieres as Handsome Devil and The Stag.
Over the last two decades, the festival’s remit has expanded to make space for such entertainments as live stunts and special effects, a touring programme and a family strand. This year’s special events include a chat with Lenny Abrahamson about his incoming adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, a masterclass with Danish film director Susanne Bier, and a gala event during which composer Neil Brand will present an evening of musical accompaniment to the works of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
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