Last year saw the Dublin Worker’s Film Festival join the ranks of the many film festivals taking place in Dublin that bring a varied selection of films of diverse and meaningful subject matter to audiences in the nation’s capital. Taking place on Pearse Street, the festival screened three films from the 60s, 80s, and 2010s that addressed issues of the working classes, and this year the festival expands, with a programme of 6 films this October. Whether you get up early enough in the morning for our Taoiseach’s liking we couldn’t possibly say, but you won’t have to be up at the crack of dawn for these films, which span just about 100 years and include some interesting sounding Q and As to boot.
The New Theatre in Temple Bar will be the host for this year’s festival, supported by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, which takes place from October 20 – 22. Proceedings begin in 1916 for the festival’s films with Shoes by Lois Weber, one of the earliest auteurs and a leading feminist icon in the early days of cinema. That film and the silent documentary October will be followed by a Q and A session with Pamela Hutchinson from Silent London, helping to give a voice to films with much to say despite their lack of sound. There’s a strong feminist streak throughout the festival’s programming, with four female directors involved behind the camera out of the six films being shown, and as the festival moves through its various issue-highlighting documentaries it arrives on a subject both internationally relevant and close to home for its closing film with Blood Fruit. Directed by Sinead O’Brien and screened a few years ago at the Galway Film Fleadh, the film concerns Mary Manning, a checkout girl at Dunnes Stores in Henry Street in Dublin, who in the 1980s refused to register the sale of two Outspan grapefruits under a directive from her union in support of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and ended up suspended and striking alongside ten other workers who supported her. A number of the original strikers will be in attendance on the night. See the full programme for the Dublin Worker’s Film Festival below.
Shoes (1916) Fri 20th 4.30pm
Directed by Lois Weber
52 mins followed by Q & A with Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London
October (1928) Fri 20th 6pm
by Sergei Eisenstein
144 mins followed by Q & A with Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London
On the Art of War (2012) Sat 21st 12pm
Directed by Silvia Luzi & Luca Bellino
85 mins Italian with English Subtitles
Still the Enemy Within Sat 2pm
Directed by Owen Gower
112 mins followed by Q & A with producers
Une Histoire de Femmes Sat 21st 5pm
Directed by Sophie Bissonnette
Blood Fruit (2014) Sat 21st 7pm
Director Sinead O’Brien
80 mins followed by special event with original strikers.
Tickets for the festival are available now from Ticket Tailor for €5 each (plus a suggested donation). With the IFI’s Arabic Film Festival just concluded and the Feminist Film Festival still to come it’s an excitingly busy time for diverse cinema and if you’re heading along to the Worker’s Film Festival, be sure to let us know.