The blended approach to film festivals has been embraced here in Ireland, with some of our biggest celebrations of film now able to offer screenings to a wider and more accessible audience. That trend is set to continue this month, as the Kerry International Film Festival have this evening announced. KIFF 2021 will be taking place 14 – 17 October 2021 and will present a blended film festival that promotes and showcases film and filmmaking talent across 15 in person physical events and 30 online screenings.


Speaking at the launch Eibh Collins, Festival Director for KIFF said:

‘We are delighted to be able to bring KIFF back onto the big screen with Cinema Killarney as our main venue. We are also thrilled to be returning to Tralee for our closing night film, which will screen at Siamsa Tíre. Running parallel to the in-person programme, we have a robust and exciting online programme streamed from the KIFF website to audiences’ devices-of-choice. KIFF endeavors to ensure that those who cannot travel, or those who are not yet ready for travel in the current phase of the pandemic, will still be able to enjoy the best of Kerry International Film Festival from the comfort of their own homes.’



The festival will open on Thursday 14th October with a live screening Death of a Ladies’ Man, starring Gabriel Byrne, and will close with the Irish Language feature Foscadh (Shelter), which recently won Best First Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh. Foscadh was also recently selected by the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) as Ireland’s entry to the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category for the upcoming 94th annual Academy Awards.


Alongside these in-person cinema screenings, KIFF has an exciting selection of New Irish Shorts Feature Films’ and Documentaries, including the Damien Dempsey-centered Love Yourself Today, Tadhg O’ Sullivan’s, Dublin International Film Festival-winning To The Moon and more.

Some of the online programme highlights include KIFF’s three new themed strands. The ‘Something’s Not Quite Right’ StrandKIFF’s Environmental strand presented by Ireland’s own Jack Reynor, and the continuation of  KIFF’s All Abilities strand. This category established last year by the festival, promotes awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and the artistic expressions of people with, or from people of, different abilities and disabilities.  This selection includes Irish and International fiction and documentary shorts and the feature documentary Only I Can Hear.


Indie and low-budget filmmaking is something KIFF strives to support. With the DIY filmmaking community growing fast whilst showcasing some of the best new and emerging Irish filmmaking talent, KIFF have declared their excitement to take this opportunity to highlight a spooky developing trend and to showcase some of the new talent in this area. Thus, KIFF will be presenting Something’s Not Quite Right, a series of screenings showcasing this genre that includes a selection of horror and psychological thrillers, including Irish & Irish-US co-production The Yellow Wallpaper, Bring out the Fear, Save me from Everything and Gateway.


The festival have also confirmed Jack Reynor as their newly appointed ‘Green Ambassador’. Reynor and the programming team have assembled daily online selection of international environmental documentaries that highlight the challenges our environment faces today, including Hell or Clean Water (Canada), Uni Yama Aida (Japan) and Walk the Tide Line (Finland).


Celebrating local talent is always a feature of the festival, and KIFF 2021 will continue the tradition by spotlighting Kerry’s own, both in two programmes of Kerry Connection short films and in featuring writer Katie McNiece’s film Who We Love, directed and co-written by Kerry International Film Festival alumni Graham Cantwell.


Expanded from the pair’s short Lily, the film aims to offer a perspective for young queer women not often seen on the big screen in Ireland.


Heavy-hitting film producer Kathleen Kennedy will also be honoured at this year’s KIFF. As previously announced, they’ll be presenting Kathleen Kennedy with their Maureen O’ Hara award for 2021 in celebration of her work in the film industry. This award, named after the beloved Munster movie icon, is offered exclusively to women who have excelled in film. Producer Rebecca Flanagan (Smother, Handsome Devil) will be on hand to present Kennedy the award, for her work on massive blockbusters including the most recent Star Wars trilogy, which showcased Kerry to film fans around the world. Due to Covid restrictions, the award will be presented via an online interview which will be available throughout the festival on the KIFF website and social media platforms from October 4, 2021.


Tickets, pre-booking and festival passes are available to purchase now from

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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