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The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 has begun! Already the year’s seminal celebration of cinema in the fair city of film has held numerous exciting events. Just this morning, Irish filmmaker Paddy Breathnach hosted a workshop with Sean Bailey of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, engaging Irish industry professionals with one of the most prominent players. Young minds got a chance to have an early look at The Kid Who Would Be King, Joe Cornish’s exciting family adventure film. There’s a lot to keep track of and the festival hasn’t even had it’s Opening Gala yet, formally launching tonight with the Irish premiere of John Butler’s latest film, Papi Chulo .To help our readers navigate through this fantastic fortnight of film, we’ve picked out a couple of highlights from this year’s programme. You can check out the full schedule here but before then, make sure to give our highlights a look:

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Ahead of the release of Irish horror The Hole in the Ground, Film In Dublin caught up with director Lee Cronin and star Séana Kerslake to chat about filming in the forest, working with young actor James Quinn Markey and more.

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Director: Barry Jenkins Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King Running Time: 117 minutes


“I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass.”

The words of James Baldwin, from a character that sadly knows that plenty have had to look at someone they love through glass, or through some restriction or another, few, if any, deserving to have their full hearts clutched by oppressive fists. As a writer who felt even harder than he thought and had too many of his own restrictions, it’s hard to blame the writer for his frustrations that ignored that pathos. Writing about the cinema of his time that aimed to show the black experience, socially active author Baldwin only ever found it inadequate. Their feel-good narratives rang false, tripping gracelessly over themselves to reassure and reframe for guiltily ignorant, or ignorantly guilty, white audiences. We can’t speak for Baldwin, but in adapting his novel If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins has clearly and skillfully endeavoured to present a lived experience that is genuine, lives that feel real, and a lush love story that is all the more enriched by that effort to be genuine.

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Different sponsor, same great programming – DIFF, now the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, is back. The programme for the Dublin International Film Festival 2019 was launched in the fair city of film yesterday afternoon and tickets are flying off the shelf for a trove of fantastic films now.

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Prestige comes to Dublin this February as one of the most acclaimed directors of screen and stage in recent times visits the Irish Film Institute for a Q&A session to follow his new film. Kenneth Branagh will be in attendance at the Institute to discuss his latest directing/acting performance as William Shakespeare in the Ben Elton-scripted All Is True.

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The nominations for the 91st edition of the Academy Awards have now been announced. The eyes of film fans from across the world will be on the Dolby Theatre next month, teary eyes, eyes agog, eyes rolling, but all nonetheless focused on this years offering of big Hollywood bru ha ha over the next celebrated films in Hollywood this year. Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars this afternoon.

There will be no host at this year’s Oscars according to reports, after initially announced host Kevin Hart dropped out following online backlash against previous homophobic tweets that he had made.

Irish production The Favourite from Element Pictures has received 10 nominations for this year’s Oscars including  nods for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress, making it the most nominated film of this year’s awards alongside Alfonso Cuaraon’s Roma. Dubliner Robbie Ryan received a nomination also for Best Cinematography for  The Favourite, while two shorts directed by Irish directors also picked up nominations.

Louise Bagnall’s  Late Afternoon, produced by Cartoon Saloon, received a nomination for Best Animated Short. Bagnall’s film follows a woman with dementia as she seeks to reassemble past memories. The film available to view now was given a shout out yesterday in our interview with Brian O’Brien as a must-watch. There was a nomination also for Best Live-Action Short for Irish director Vincent Lambe’s controversial film Detainment. The short, which is an assembly of transcripts of interviews with the boys convicted of the Jamie Bulger murders in the 1990s, has already drawn angry criticism from the victim’s family. This year’s ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, February 24th, 2019. We have the full list of this year’s nominations available now:

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In Direct Line, Film In Dublin cuts to the chase, asking 20 questions of Ireland’s directors to get a brief look into their outlooks, influences and inspirations.

Hazardous Materials is a short film that looks at anxiety completely visually, without spoken dialogue, in an effort to convey something of the main character’s perspective on the world. Nora has trouble talking to anyone, and is scraping by day to day avoiding contact with people, while Rachel, a well meaning co-worker, wants to bring her out of her shell. When Rachel invites Nora to a house party – how will Nora react? The short has had considerable success at screenings so far, including a UK Premiere for World Mental Health Day and showings at 5 festivals/competitions to date.

Galway-based director Brian O’Brien has directed a number of shorts, but Hazardous Materials marks an impressive step forward for the developing director. Film In Dublin spoke to Brian for the direct line on his work.

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The Fantastic Flix programme for the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 is looking really fantastic – a diverse selection that celebrates films for young people from all over the world. Among the highlights of the programme announced so far is the attendance of director Joe Cornish for a screening of his latest film The Kid Who Would Be King, but a simple meet-and-greet isn’t all the director has in store when he arrives to Dublin for the 13th of February.

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The announcements are starting to roll in for the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 and frankly there might not be many more exciting that the news that comedy classic The Muppet Movie is going to be screening all over the fair city of film this February, as part of VMDIFF19’s Fantastic Flix programme.

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One of our most eagerly anticipated Irish releases this year, homegrown horror The Hole in the Ground has a new trailer out now that’s sure to leave your skin crawling, as Séana Kerslake surveys her son who’s come back from a mysterious hole out in the woods not quite right. The stylishly modern trailer combines some creepy imagery, old people smacking their heads off of windows, bodies flying, the ominous sight of the hole itself, set to a suitably scary version of the old classic of Irish infanticide, Weila Weila Walya. The film, premiering over at Sundance soon, will be out on Irish screens this spring. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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