Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival in conversation with Steve McQueen as part of fully online Festival

Over17 years, the Dublin International Film Festival has screened over over a thousand international films from countries all over the world as well as showcasing the work of Ireland’s very talented producers, directors, screenwriters and actors. The Festival has hosted over 600 major guests from the world of film, including Al Pacino, Angela Lansbury, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Danny DeVito, Ennio Morricone and more. This year’s festival has announced one of the biggest current names in film on this side of the water will be participating as director Steve McQueen set to make an appearance in conversation with one of Ireland’s own leading lights.

Offering a sneak preview of one of the highlights of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, ahead of the Programme Launch next week, VMDIFF have announced an exclusive In-Conversation event between iconic filmmaker Steve McQueen and one of Ireland’s leading filmmakers Mark O’Halloran offering a fantastic insight into McQueen’s artistic process.

 This year’s Festival will now be moving entirely online in accordance with current public health advice. 


Speaking on the move to an all-online festival, Dublin International Film Festival Director Grainne Humphreys said;


“We had planned a hybrid festival for March 2021, however in deference to the regulations presently in place and in recognition of the difficulties facing so many, the 2021 VMDIFF will now take place entirely online on our festival platform Eventive. We look forward to the opportunities and new audiences which we hope will attend the festival this March. We are thrilled to welcome Steve McQueen and the many fantastic film talents and films in this year’s festival programme. We look forward to a time in the near future when we will be in a cinema together again.” 

On appearing at the festival, McQueen said:

“I’m thrilled to join Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival for a conversation with Mark O’Halloran. Since my first film, Hunger, I have formed many special bonds with my Irish collaborators. I look forward to talking to Mark about story-telling and to a virtual visit with my friends in Ireland.”


The Festival has also announced an exciting Young People’s Short Programme for 2021.


Dance comes to the fore throughout the programme of shorts, with Naomi Waring’s Ode, documenting the passion of a group of young disco dancers from a community in Northern Ireland; Kristian Mantalvanos and Dublin Youth Dance Company’s Artistic Director Mariam Ribón’s Pivotfeaturing 8 Senior members of the company as they choreograph their experiences of lockdown, and Bonnie Dempsey’s Tina Times Two glorious coming-of-age fable centred around Tina, a lonely young girl whose wish comes true when she discovers a magical friend who is an exact double of herself! 


Pia Strömme’s Charlie Surfer follows 10 year old Charlie, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, through his ups and downs at surf camp; James Bourne’s The Abandoned Block tells the story of a useless, damaged, forgotten block of marble that becomes one of the greatest and most beautiful works of art in the world, whilst Leah Moore and Douglas Reddan’s Sleuth follows Jake, whose family have been up to some suspicious behaviour. He will not be left in the dark, so he decides it’s time to do some detective work!


The Young People’s Shorts Programme will also showcase the premiere of this year’s Screen8 initiative film, The Debs Debacle.  Designed to give young people of all backgrounds the confidence and skills to pursue a career in the film industry, Screen 8 was carried out over Zoom in October and November, and the 15-minute film was shot over three days in December. This year the three young people involved in the project wrote a script collectively about the Debs and the effect COVID-19 had on what is a celebration of their final year in school. They all had roles to perform, be it actor, director, editor, or all three and learned a huge amount about each process, led by Filmmaker in Residence at The Digital Hub Helen Flanagan.


The 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will be taking place entirely online from 3rd – 14th March

The full programme of events and screenings Festival is set to be announced at the start of February, with selected highlights including the Virgin Media Closing Gala screening of Irish comedy Deadly Cuts and a Festival Retrospective focusing on Black Women Filmmakers including screenings of Amma Asante’s Belle and Maïmouna Doucouré’s Maman(s)

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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