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For the last ten years First Fortnight have used the beginning of the year as an opportunity to put a focus on mental health. At what can be the most challenging time of the year, they challenge mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. This year’s anniversary edition of the festival will revisit the past, looking at the changes across the artistic and mental health landscape of Ireland- while also exploring the future and asking how to collectively continue to push social and creative boundaries.

As part of their efforts, recent years have seen collaboration between First Fortnight and the Irish Film Institute. In January 2021, the IFI will once again partner with First Fortnight to present a selection of films on the topic of mental health.


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artwork by Amy Lauren McGrath

It has, somehow, been a year. And while this year hasn’t allowed us to seek refuge in front of the big screen as often as we might like, and though many of the most anticipated releases of the last twelve months have been deferred to 202-dot-dot-dot-question-mark, we still have been able to enjoy some truly exceptional films at a time when we really needed them. Using Irish release dates, the Film In Dublin team have come together to pick out ten of the best of 2020. Films that helped us to escape. Films that served as a funnel to feel through *all this*. Films with pet hyenas in them. So a broad spectrum as always.

What films made your own personal Best of 2020 list? As ever, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below or hit us up on Twitter and Instagram and let us know what movies moved you over the last year, and let us know what you make of the list below.

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Director: Clea DuVall Starring: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy Runtime: 102 minutes

It’s always nice to get fresh blood at the holidays. Before you finish dialling 999, what I mean by that is that because we tend to listen to the same Christmas songs and watch the same Christmas movies every year once the evenings get longer, it’s always special when something new comes along to join the rotation. So when I first heard about Happiest Season, I was really looking forward to seeing if it would be one of those worthy additions. I love Kristen Stewart. I really do, I think she’s a great talent and she picks interesting, challenging projects. Sadly K Stew let me down for the second time in 2020 (looking at you Underwater!)

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Dublin’s biggest film festival makes its return this March. Things will be different, but the biggest celebration of cinema in the fair city of film is scheduled to go ahead this Spring. The best of filmmaking from Ireland and around the world will be shared at VMDIFF 2021 in a new multi-platform programme to meet the challenges of our current times. The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2021 will be a varied selection of films available in cinemas, outdoors and at home.

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