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Set to take place in 2018, the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival is Ireland’s latest international film festival dedicated to filmmakers exclusively using mobile devices. The festival will screen a host of short film, documentary, animation and music videos, with industry and educational workshops as well as a few surprises.

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Director: Laura McGann StarringChristopher ‘Violent Bob’ Goggins, Rhona ‘Crow Jane’ Flynn Running Time: 86 minutes


Revolutions isn’t just a documentary about the sport of roller derby in Ireland, it goes so much deeper. It serves as a snapshot into the lives of young, ambitious people struggling to find a way through the recession in Ireland too. McGann spent 6 years filming the ups and downs of the (then) two Irish roller derby teams and their fearless spirit.

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Action cinema received a much needed shot in the arm in 2011 with the release of Gareth Evans’s The Raid. The film, a taut Indonesian martial arts masterpiece set in one location was quickly compared to Die Hard. That film gave audiences crisp, clear and expertly crafted fight scenes in a tense and claustrophobic setting. These long unbroken sequences were a breath of fresh air in comparison to the stilted, slow, overly edited fight scenes from modern Hollywood action fare. It would be easy to compare Headshot, the latest film from Indonesian pair Kimo Stamboel & Timo Tjahjanto to The Raid. You can see the elevator pitch,  ‘It’s The Bourne Identity meets The Raid‘ and while it is indebted to both of those films Headshot is very much its own animal. It doesn’t dwell on the amnesia storyline like the former and lacks the big budget Hollywood sheen of the latter. What Headshot delivers is a beautiful, brutal, bloody, bullet riddled action ballet.

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Director: Alan Gilsenan Starring: Catherine Keener, Hannah Gross Running Time: 90 minutes


Adapting the Canadian Author Carol Shields final novel Unless for the big screen was certainly going to be a challenge. The novel, the last book written by the author before her passing from breast cancer, was a sprawling story with many layers of philosophical meditation. The novel tackles gender inequality and the realistic possibilities for women, the nature of happiness as well as identification of people’s place and purpose in time. Writer/director Alan Gilsenan does a noble job of condensing these themes into a digestible cinematic format and with Catherine Keeners raw, realistic central performance Unless feels like a film with a lot on its mind. The resulting film however is never as nuanced and profound as it thinks it is, keeping the audience at an emotional distance when it should be letting them in.

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Dublin-based director Natasha Waugh has been steadily creating a collection of short films over the last few years that tackle important topics. Her latest, a self-funded short titled Terminal, is about two women of different ages holding a conversation at the airport, both awaiting their plane to the UK for abortions. Last year, We Face This Land showed how shorts about this topic can capture the attention of the public, and Waugh’s film received validation of its own effectiveness in being nominated for an award at the London Film Critic’s Circle Awards, a notable stop in the awards season that takes place on January 22nd. Waugh spoke to Film In Dublin about the making of her shorts and the lessons she’s picked up in her early years in the directors chair.

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“Have you got Soul Brother”? It has been 25 years since Alan Parker’s The Commitments appeared on our cinema screens and charmed its way into our hearts. Comprised of unknown performers and set in working class Ireland, this adaptation of one of Roddy Doyle’s most famous works captured the brutal economic hardships of a post-recession Dublin but also the zest and exuberance of what it was like to be young and have a dream.

In 1991, Ireland had the youngest population in Europe and some of the highest unemployment. The Commitments depicted a gritty working class Dublin that up until this time was absent in Irish cinema. A lot has changed in the 25 years since the film’s initial release.  Now a hugely successful West End Musical, the show has recently enjoyed several sell out shows here in Dublin. What better time for Film in Dublin to break down this Irish classic and see if it still has soul after all these years?

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Director: Darren Thornton Starring: Seana Kerslake, Tara Lee, Charleigh Bailey Running Time: 82 minutes


When tracksuit wearing, club loving ‘Mad Mary’ is released from prison, the expectations people in her life have for her are low. Best friend and bride-to-be Charlene never even considered that Mary might want a +1 for her wedding, or that she would be capable of writing a maid of honour speech on her own. Hen’s Night duty has been taken right out of Mary’s hands, she’d probably just want a few cans anyway, right? Its easy for her friends, her never-grew-up mother, her perspective suitors and the denizens of Drogheda to casually dismiss Mary, but little do they know just how complicated and capable she really is. Likewise, A Date For Mad Mary gradually reveals itself to be more than a simple wedding farce.

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On her podcast This Feels Terrible, comedian, artist and actress Erin McGathy talks love, sex and heartbreak, with guests from both sides of the Atlantic, from Marc Maron to Tara Flynn. Erin has guested on television shows like Community and Drunk History and since relocating to this side of the Atlantic she has appeared at the Vodafone Comedy Festival and performed her show Love You Loudly this year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Film In Dublin chatted with Erin about dates at the cinema, how films influence our views on what love is, the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” and more.

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