Countdown to VMDIFF20: 5 Things to look out for

The 2020 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival has finally arrived. The biggest event in the year for film in Dublin (and Film In Dublin) officially gets started this Wednesday evening with the Opening Gala screening of Vivarium, Lorcan Finnegan’s sci-fi thriller. Cinephiles from all over the island and beyond will be zipping back and forth in the fair city of film over the next twelve days, checking out screenings and events in a packed programme.

How to decide what to see though, when there’s so much on? Why with our help of course (sure where would you be without us…). Film In Dublin have picked out a couple of events, highlights and recs that you shouldn’t miss during VMDIFF20. Check out our list below:


First Frame – Film Student Day

Thur 27 Feb – Lighthouse Cinema, 10 – 6pm

We’re always eagerly anticipating new Irish talent here at Film In Dublin – check out our chats with VMDIFF20’s own Discovery Award nominees for more on that – and this year’s festival offers a new way to encourage emerging filmmakers via First Frame. This film student day is built on a curated selection of shorts made by third level students across Ireland and begins with a morning of talks and workshops, followed by an afternoon of screenings. An award reception will recognise one of the top talents on the day, a full-day at the Lighthouse which is sure to be a starting point for names we’ll be hearing more and more in the years ahead.


Filmmakers Choice Concert

Mon 2 Mar – Goethe Institut, 12.30pm

Irelan’d’s oldest music conservatoire the Royal Irish Academy of Music will be collaborating with some of our best filmmakers on a ‘choice’ programme of movie music. Partnering up with VMDIFF20 and the Goethe-Institut, the Academy will have the likes of Lorcan Finnegan, Orla Brady, Neasa Hardiman and Niamh Algar nominate musical works of personal significance to them as artists, serving up an eclectic mix of music to be performed by the musicians of the RIAM. It’s always fascinating to see various artforms collide as influences are filtered back and forth and we’re intrigued to see what these filmmakers and the RIAM offer up.


Film Quiz

Thur 5 Mar – Whelan’s, 8pm

Who doesn’t love a good quiz? If you’ve ever sat at a table quiz and felt the rush of anxiety that comes from arriving at the ‘Film’ round and having everyone turn to you expectantly, this might be the event for you – a whole quiz of questions for movie buffs means you can’t go wrong. Either you win or the whole team is to blame! Hosted by filmmaker and pop-culture enthusiast Derek O’Connor, the quiz is a much-loved event and contributes to a good cause. All proceeds go to Picture House, the Festival’s outreach programme. A table of four people at Whelan’s will cost €60 on the night, so if you and friends want to test your knowledge and potentially win Season Tickets for DIFF and other prizes, this might be for you.


Cinematic Inspirations – Peter O’Brien

Sun 8 Mar – Chocolate Factory, 2pm

We like to see something different on the programme at film festivals and talks like the Cinematic Inspirations events at VMDIFF20 offer the opportunity for a different perspective on film. Peter O’Brien is known as one of Ireland’s top designers in theatre and fashion and has done work for the likes of Christian Dior, Givenchy, the Gate, the Abbey and more. He’s also worked on costume design on screen,having been costume designer on the film ‘The Price of Desire‘ (dir: Mary McGuckian). A lifelong movie fan, O’Brien will take part in an illustrated talk on the films which have influenced his career and we can’t wait to see some of his inspirations, seeing film celebrated for intricate and illustrious costume design.


The Empire Film Podcast Live

Fri 6 Mar – Cineworld, 6.30pm

Sure it’s no Breakout Role Podcast, but the Empire Film Podcast has a pretty big following all the same, and they’ll be arriving to the festival on the 6th of March for a live recording of their show. The official pod of Empire magazine, host Chris Hewitt and his team will be around for an afternoon of entertainment and chat with some special guests.

Let us know what you’ll be going to see at this year’s festival by tweeting us @filmindublin with the hashtag #VMDIFF20. We’ll be offering more coverage and our usual reviews throughout, so stay tuned for more from the festival in the fair city of film.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *