The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2019 programme has launched

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.

The biggest film festival taking place in Dublin, DIFF sets the stage in the city for the year in film to come and for years has screened great cinema from around the world, brought premiere filmmaking talent to town for talks, exhibitions and workshops, and spotlighted Dublin as one of the ever-rising hubs of cinematic conversation, equal to any festival of its kind in Europe. Cinemas throughout Dublin will be showing old classics, international curiosities, premieres and some of the year’s most eagerly anticipated new releases for this year’s festival, which takes place from February 2oth to March 3rd. Established names including Neil Jordan, Stephen Merchant and more will have their latest work screened alongside a diverse array of newcomers, including exciting talents such as Emma Tammi, Tuva Novotny and Alice Rohrwacher.

The Dublin International Film Festival 2019 will begin in style on the 20th of February will be the Opening Gala and Irish premiere of Papi Chulo Irish director The gentle comedy drama tells the story of a well-heeled, lonely, gay TV weatherman who strikes up an unusual friendship with an older straight migrant worker from Mexico and deals with themes of friendship, class, ethnicity and economic migration. Butler’s third feature following previous festival hits Handsome Devil and The Stag, the film received its world premiere at the most recent Toronto International Film Festival. Butler will be in attendance on the red carpet for the film’s Irish arrival, alongside leads Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño.

The Closing Gala of this year’s festival will provide a showcase for one of Ireland’s most interesting new talents. 2019 BAFTA Rising Star Award nominee Jessie Buckley of Killarney, will be in attendance at the festival for her new film Wild Rose. Starring with Julie Walters and Hotel Rwanda’s Sophie Okonedo, Buckley plays an aspiring singer with dreams of getting out of Glasgow and making it as a country singer in Nashville, but life decisions and circumstances soon find her facing what she perceives as a choice between family and stardom.

Twelve Irish features will be screened during the course of the festival alongside a host of great shorts and the special Dublin on Screen programme. Prolific filmmaker Neil Jordan’s latest film Greta will be among the homegrown efforts. A sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness. Having recently lost her mother, Frances quickly grows closer to widowed Greta. The two become fast friends — but Greta’s maternal charms begin to dissolve and grow increasingly disturbing as Frances discovers that nothing in Greta’s life is what it seems in this suspense thriller.

Of certain interest to us is the Dublin on Screen programme, celebrating the work and storytelling of three very unique, community based projects from the fair city of film.

The First Was a Boy
Shaun Dunne’s directorial debut explores the special bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren, and looks at themes of grief and ageing. Produced by Children’s Cultural Centre The Ark, and shot by Luca Truffarelli, it’s based on a series of interviews with older and younger members of the Ringsend community.

No Place Like Home
In this short documentary, young Dublin 8 film students are on a quest to find out why there’s a homeless crisis in their country, and what can be done. The film includes moving testimonies from people who are homeless and captures a sense of the anger of a nation. It asks the question: how can four thousand children be in emergency accommodation when Ireland is the 14th richest country in the world?

Time and place are explored in this film which imagines the architectural, psychological and sociopolitical changes in the area between Dublin’s Henrietta Street and the DIT Campus (formerly St Brendan’s/ Grangegorman Asylum). The film features an original music score and voices invented by the artist, echoing things that she imagines
could have been said.

The full list of films and activities of this packed programme for VMDIFF 2019 is available here. Tickets are available now at, over the phone on 01 687 7974 or in person through the Festival Box Office. The Box Office is located in Cineworld on Parnell Street at the following times:

  • Friday, 3pm – 9pm
  • Saturday, 12pm – 8pm

Tickets for quite a few of these films are going very fast so be sure to get yours! Talk about your tickets, who you’re looking forward to seeing and stay in the conversation online via Twitter / Instagram / Facebook with #VMDIFF19.

About Luke Dunne

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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