An elevated cinema experience arrives as Dublin International Film Festival 2024 programme launches

The full programme for the 2024 edition of the Dublin International Film Festival has arrived. From 22nd February to 2nd March, a huge selection of films will be screened, guests will be celebrated and audiences will be engaged by the biggest festival in the fair city of film.

Creating unique and unforgettable memories for all lovers of film, Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) aim to transform Dublin into a hub of cinematic excellence for ten exhilarating days this spring.

Featuring star-studded Irish and international premieres, exclusive screenings and events, playful and powerful documentaries, captivating features, thought-provoking shorts, intimate Q&As, industry masterclasses and more, all celebrating and applauding the art of filmmaking. 

“I feel its a very special line-up of films in this year’s programme, from the wonderful season of African films to the fascinating strand of documentaries to the incredibly diverse and exciting range of new work from Irish filmmakers. We are honoured to open with the World Premiere of TWIG, this fantastic Dublin set film will kick off a packed 10 days of film screenings, public events, talks, panels and parties. Our international and industry guests will share their insights with our audiences and our new Hub space The Complex will bring all these events together under one roof. Exciting Times.”

Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director

With copies of the festival’s programme now available across Dublin, the festival have announced many of the festival’s highlights, which you can see below in their own words.

The power of Irish storytelling is evident throughout the Festival, from the world premiere of Marian Quinn’s powerful anti-war epic TWIG which opens the Festival on 22nd February, starring rising star Sade Malone; through to Pat Collins’ highly anticipated adaptation of John McGahern’s masterpiece That They Might Face The Rising Sun, starring Barry Ward,which will close the Festival on 2nd March.  

International screen luminaries attending the Festival in Dublin to discuss their films include writer/director Virginia Gilbert with herthriller Reawakening, along with lead actors Jared Harris and Juliet Stevenson and Erin Doherty; Scottish director Kevin Macdonald with his new documentary High & Low: John Galliano about the eponymous controversial designer; Maxine Peake who will join director Alan Friel at the European Premiere of his sci-fi thriller Woken; Irish cinematographer Brendan Galvin, DoP on Indian director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar ‘s  Romeo-and-Juliet tale inspired by true events Dear JassiSusan Kemp’s presentation of The Lynda Myles Project: A Manifesto, which explores the work of the acclaimed producer of The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van; and firm favourites at DIFF, Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor return with the Irish premiere of Baltimore starring Tom Vaughn-Lawlor.  

The Academy Award winning Director and Turner Prize winning visual artist Steve McQueen (Hunger, 12 Years A Slave) will be welcomed to DIFF to accept a VOLTA career achievement award. In celebration and recognition of the award, McQueen will take part in a series of unmissable public interviews. The event will be sponsored by DIFF’s  new Premium Partner, Tanqueray 0.0%. As part of a year-round collaboration DIFF will launch the inaugural Tanqueray 0.0% Film Club, also welcoming actor and producer Trudie Styler (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch), whose film Posso Entrare? An Ode to Naples will be screened at the Festival, and Tanqueray Brand Ambassador, Irish Actress Amy Huberman will also host a very special event with the 2024 Festival Discovery Award nominees as part of the prestigious DIFF Award Ceremony.

DIFF is excited to welcome international cinema icon Isabelle Huppert to the Festival this year. One of France’s hardest working and most accomplished actors, Huppert will be honoured with the Festival VOLTA career achievement award, and her new film Sidonie in Japan, directed by Elise Girard will premiere at the Festival with the director in attendance. Other delights for French cinephiles will be Nathan Ambrosioni’s tender family drama Toni, attended by the director; as well as advance screenings of The BeastSuddenly, and Orlando, My Political Biography.  

From visionaries to debut filmmakers, DIFF will showcase Canadian cinema throughout the 2024 programme. Known for his distinct storytelling style and experimental approach to cinema Guy Maddin has had an invaluable influence on world cinema. The Festival will celebrate his impressive talent with a retrospective of his acclaimed work, including My WinnipegArchangelBrand Upon The Brain and The Green Fog. Other Canadian gems include debut filmmaker, Ariane Louis-Seize’s comedy horror Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person as well as Pascal Plante’s thriller Red Rooms.  

The Festival is excited to present an exhilarating and robust slate of new Irish films, a testament to our dynamic and vigorous film industry, with Irish talent firmly centre stage in the ongoing international awards season. An impressive selection of features and documentaries will have their world premiere at DIFF including Dermot Malone’s drama King Frankie starring Peter CoonanMaurice O’Carroll’s crime thriller Swing Bout; Danny McCafferty’s arresting feature The Line which explores immigration in Ireland, and Colin Hickey’s haunting Perennial Light. 

Often some of the most thought-provoking films in the Festival, this year’s Irish documentaries tackle subjects ranging from bird watchers to cheerleaders. Audiences can explore Tanya Doyle’s tale of cheerleading Eat / Sleep / Cheer / Repeat; Conor Walsh: Selected Piano Works about the acclaimed musician; Tadhg O’Sullivan’s beautiful portrait of Oscar Winner Brenda Fricker and her love for her dog in The Swallow; Ciarán Ó Maonaigh’s ode to the traditional music Mecca in Brendan Gleeson’s Farewell to Hughes’s; as well as recipients of the Reel Art film awards, the Arts Council’s long-running creative arts documentary scheme – Susan’s Thomason’s conceptual documentary and adaptation of her memoir exploring grief The Swimming DiariesKathleen Harris’ stunning Birdsong following ornithologist Seán Ronayne and Ross Killeen’s unconventional Don’t Forget to Remember which explores the lived experience of Alzheimer’s. 

There are a number of 2024 Gala events, the Family Gala is the captivating feature Oink from director Mascha Halberstad, presented at the festival with a live voiceover; Alan Gilsenan’s provocative, poetic and cinematic meditation on the prospect of a united Ireland The Irish Question is the Lord Mayor’s Gala; the heartfelt coming of age Ama Gloriais the DIFF Friends Gala film from the African season whilst the Silent Film Gala  is a special presentation of the 1929 film The Informer, the earliest adaptation of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel. 

Audiences will also have the opportunity to view some of the most highly anticipated films of 2024, including Freud’s Last Session, filmed largely in Trinity College Dublin; Agnieszka Holland’s brutal and angry Green Border; Robert Kolodny’s debut The Featherweight; Alice Rohrwacher’s Tuscan carnival of a film La Chimera; legendary Spanish director Víctor Erice’s return with Close Your Eyes; Ethan Coen’s Drive Away Dolls, and David Hinton’s documentary about Scorsese’s favourite filmmakers Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger. 

Showcasing voices from across the world, the international programme will present films from countries as diverse as Japan, Mongolia, Turkey, Georgia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain and more. From Japan, acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Cannes Best Screenplay winning Monster and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s multi-award winning Evil Does Not Exist; from Mongolia, City of Wind by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir; from North Macedonia, Venice Queer Lion winner Housekeeping for Beginners; from Germany The Teachers’ Lounge, fresh from the Berlinnale, and the visually stunning The Universal Theory; from Turkey, prolific Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses; Elene Naveriani’s mischievous adaptation of Georgian author Tamta Melashvili’s novel Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry; from Belgium Eve Duchemin’s examination of the indelible mark that prison leaves in Time Out; Vinícius Girnys’ portrait of contemporary Brazil through the eyes of a changing village, Samuel and the Light; and Palestinian documentary Bye Bye Tiberias.

The international programme continues with Indian action thriller Stolen; Finnish comedy of errors Four Little Adults; Argentinian experimental dramedy The Delinquents; acclaimed Chinese debut feature Gone With The Boat; South Korean comedy horror Sleep; Radu Jude’s Romanian satire Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World; Greek LGBTQ+ film The Summer With Carmen; Australian Noora Niasari’s impressive personal debut Shayda; and Scottish documentary Bill Douglas My Best Friend.

Featuring a magnificent line-up of films from emerging film talent from a number of countries in Africa including Sudan, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia, the African Season will present Irish premieres of hotly anticipated Four DaughtersGoodbye Julia; OmenHounds as well as Banel & Adama with writer/director Ramata-Toulaye Sy in attendance; and Sundance award winner Mami Wata, which is also part of the DIFF on Tour programme, in association with access>Cinema, and with the support of the Arts Council. 

Celebrating the Irish film industry, DIFF is delighted to host a number of events including panel discussions with International Film Programmers, Screenwriters, and Cinematographers; networking events and the IFCO Centenary Lecture Series in association with the National Archives exploring the role censorship played in Irish cinema history. Other industry highlights include a Creative Futures Academy student workshop with Steve McQueen at UCD and Masterclasses with Guy Maddin and Kevin Macdonald during their respective visits.  

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 multiple screening programmes of short films being shown during the Festival – three curated by DIFF programmers from submissions; two curated from Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann’s Focus and Framework funding schemes; the winners of the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film competition in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland; a series of films showing Dublin on Screen, as well as a showcase of Limerick filmmakers. 

The Surprise Film continues to be one of the most popular events in the Festival programme but, as always, its identity remains a tightly-guarded secret known only to the Festival Director. 

The Festival would like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland.

We’ll be posting more highlights in the run up to #DublinIFF24 – tickets for the festival are available now.

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