DIFF 2024 Announcements – African Cinema spotlighted and a packed suite of shorts

More announcements are coming out about the programme for the 2024 edition of the Dublin International Film Festival. The biggest festival in the fair city of film will provide a festival spotlight this year on African cinema, with award winning entries from across the continent. Over 40 short films are also set to screen during DIFF as it highlights emerging talent from home and abroad, and the DIFF Film Tour will bring films from Africa and elsewhere on the road around the island.

There will be six shorts programmes in total at this year’s festival, with three DIFF curated screenings of 24 short films selected from 756 submissions from 16 countries; two Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann curated programmes of 13 shorts from Screen funding schemes; Virgin Media Discovers Shorts, in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, will complete the line-up. These additions to the programme will be part of another dense few days for Dublin at this year’s festival from 22nd February – 2nd March.

African Season 

Featuring a magnificent line-up of films from emerging film talent from a number of countries including Sudan, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia, among the highly anticipated titles making their Irish premieres are the hotly tipped for Oscar glory Four Daughters, the box office success Goodbye Julia and the Sundance winning Mami Wata.  

Other highlights include rapper Baloji’s directorial debut Omen; Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner Hounds; Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s beautiful and rich fable Banel & Adama and the deeply moving coming of age drama Àma Gloria.  

Speaking about the season, Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys said:

“In 2021, we presented a DIFF focus on Black Women Filmmakers in recognition of the important contribution these filmmakers have made to the contemporary film canon. Each subsequent year we have been building out our support and celebration of filmmakers of colour. It’s a real honour to share our exciting African Film Season programme with festival audiences this year, and we would like to acknowledge the support of the Arts Council and Dept of Foreign Affairs in bringing this season to audiences around the country.” 

Mama Wata should be of interest to Irish fans of genre film. The black and white Nigerian film is about a very dark mermaid legend from Africa. “In the oceanside village of Iyi, the revered Mama Efe (Rita Edochie) acts as an intermediary between the people and the all-powerful water deity Mami Wata. But when a young boy is lost to a virus, Efe’s devoted daughter Zinwe (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) and skeptical protégé Prisca (Evelyne Ily Juhen) warn Efe about unrest among the villagers. With the sudden arrival of a mysterious rebel deserter named Jasper (Emeka Amakeze), a conflict erupts, leading to a violent clash of ideologies and a crisis of faith for the people of Iyi.”

DIFF Film Tour 

From the African season, Mami Wata will feature as one of the three film strands of Festival titles in the annual DIFF Film Tour, alongside French comedy drama Toni starring Camille Cottin (Call My Agent), and a season of DIFF 2024 curated international short films. The tour will visit the film societies and arts venues nationwide with as ever many of the screenings being accompanied by their filmmakers.  

The tour will travel to Club Scannán Sailearna, Inverin, Co Galway; Galway Film Society @ Palas, Galway City; Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford; Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow; Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge and Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. 

Shorts Programmes 

“The short film format has always been a vital part of the festival, acting as both a showcase for future talent and as an exciting and dynamic art form. Join us and celebrate the wealth and diversity on offer.” 

Gráinne Humphreys, director of Dublin International Film Festival

One of the most popular Festival events, the diverse and captivating season of Shorts will again showcase the best of international and Irish emerging talent with six curated screening programmes of short films being shown during the Festival – three curated by DIFF programmers from submisssions; two curated from Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann’s Focus and Framework funding schemes, and the winners of the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film competition in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.  

The three DIFF curated screenings of 24 short films were selected from 756 submissions from 16 countries stretching from Japan in the east to the USA in the west, and from the northernmost reaches of Norway to the southernmost point in Uruguay.   

Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann is again delighted to support Irish shorts this year with two curated programmes of 13 shorts from Screen Ireland’s Focus and Framework funding schemes. Including Oscar longlisted Two For The Road, Derek Ugochukwu’s Pediment and Grace Dyas’ Waiting Day 

“There is an absolute wealth of storytelling represented across Screen Ireland-supported short film this year, from drama to horror to animation. We’re delighted to support more and more emerging voices each year – and looking forward to connecting them with DIFF 2024 audiences ” 

Emma Scott, Head of Distribution and Short Film Production

Themes of the programme explore profound subjects such as Love, Family, Coming of Age, Surrealism, Mental Health, Trauma, Immigration, Motherhood, Loss and Grief, and Social Issues. These narratives provide a poignant reflection on the shared human experience, fostering empathy and understanding. Genres seamlessly shift between the light-hearted allure of Comedy, the emotional depth of Drama, the spine-tingling chills of Horror, the dreamlike quality of Magical Realism, the harmonious notes of Musical, and the imaginative realms of Animation. This eclectic mix ensures a cinematic journey that caters to every taste, offering both entertainment and enlightenment. 

Irish programme highlights include Lost & Found from Ellius Grace, known for his work photographing the likes of Graham Norton, Sinead O’Connor and more; Grace sits in the director’s chair this time with his debut short film premiering at DIFF. Delivering another stellar fiction directorial debut is Meghan O’Shaugnessy with the dark and funny How to Skin a Cheetah. From Galway to LA, Dan Holmwood’s Scrumpy has captured hearts and is sure to do so with Dublin audiences. 

Among the international highlights of the programme are the Egyptian film I Promise You Paradise by Morad Mostafa, winner of the Golden Rail Audience Award at Cannes Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest ‘Best of Fest’ winning documentary The Old Young Crow from Liam LoPinto and Tommy Gillard’s Slow Burn starring Jacob Anderson from the UK. 

DIFF Shorts programmers Aisha Bolaji and Mohamed Tarek said:

“We can’t wait to share these films with our audiences, witnessing the transformation of images on a screen into windows that open to the hearts and minds of the viewers. Laugh, cry, and contemplate the intricacies of life with us as we present a film programme that transcends borders, connecting us all through the universal language of cinema. Welcome to an unforgettable celebration of the seventh art! Welcome to DIFF 24!” 

Tickets are now on sale for the African season, the shorts programmes and DIFF Film Tour at www.diff.ie

As announced previously, screen legend Isabelle Huppert will receive the DIFF Volta Award, and the festival closing night gala screening is the much-anticipated adaptation of John McGahern’s That They May Face The Rising Sun

The full festival programme will be revealed on 22 January with tickets to go on sale from 1pm  that day. 

Currently available are Festival Season Tickets or Bundles.  Priced at €250, the Season Ticket entitles the holder to 1 ticket to everything in the festival, including 1 Gala, as well as priority booking for this unmissable event. Ticket Bundles are also available with 6 tickets for €50 and 12 tickets for €100 on www.diff.ie 

Keep checking in on Film In Dublin for more news and views on #DIFF24.

Leave a Reply

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