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The IFI Documentary Festival is a staple of the programming of the Irish Film Institute, key to their remit to exhibit, preserve and educate. The full programme for the 2020 festival is now here as the IFI blends a mix of live screenings and programming on IFI@Home to deliver this year’s selection of interesting, engaging and informative documentaries.
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Getting to take part in an actual, factual film festival this month in the Galway Film Fleadh was a revitalising tonic in a difficult time. We can’t wait to attend cinemas again in person in the fair city of film and beyond, once it’s safe and secure for all staff and audiences to do so, but it was great to have a festival on demand to take in films from home and abroad and we’ve put together a little round up of some of the films we took in during the Fleadh.

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Directors: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane Running Time: 95 minutes
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The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the world premiere of Irish documentary The 8th. With subject matter so closely tied to the recent national psyche of the country, going as it does through the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment which constitutionally banned abortion in the Republic, it can be difficult to assess Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane’s documentary on it’s own merits. Functioning similarly Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s Marriage Referendum doc The 34th, the film plays out as a matter of historical record, but the filmmakers do allow the heavy emotions of the time their rightful place, elevating The 8th beyond the newsreel footage.

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Located just on the South Circular Road, The Circular is a bar and grill that offers craft beer, pizza and now a bit of cinema too, via their Rialto Cinema Club. Every week they’ll be showing a variety of films, with some intriguing deep cuts on the menu for the weeks ahead. It’s sure to make for an entertaining addition to screenings taking place throughout the fair city of film.

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The Silk Road International Film Festival is returning to Dublin. One of the first festivals on the calendar in the capital, the festival will be hosting its eighth edition between the 21st & 25th January 2020, screening a variety of international cinema and providing a showcase of features, documentaries, shorts, music videos & student films. The festival this year is being held in January in order to coincide with the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, and will provide the opportunity to begin another exciting year in the fair city of film for those who appreciate celebrating a diverse range of cinema.

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The full programme for the 17th edition of the Irish Film Institute’s  Documentary Festival has been announced. With fifteen features, including 10 Irish premieres, and the always insightful and keenly awaited Irish shorts programme, the IFI Documentary Festival 2019 looks set to continue a great year of  Irish and international documentary being showcased in the fair city of film.

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Screenwriter and director Sarah Ingersoll has got a fair bit of miles in while learning her craft. A graduate of The Glasgow School of Art, Sarah’s has a background in visual art and photography which informs her writing and filmmaking. After directing her first student film in 2016 through the Galway Film Centre, Sarah went on to study screenwriting at The New School in New York. In 2017 her feature script The Keeper was selected as a finalist for Best Inception and Best Overall Script at the Oaxaca Film Festival. Sarah’s short screenplay The Bridge was chosen for the 2018 GFC/RTE Short Film Commission and under the direction of Mark Smyth, the short premiered earlier this month at Galway Film Fleadh. The film tells the story of Cormac who after the sudden death of his parents must choose between returning to his home village in the west of Ireland to care for his estranged younger brother, and a bright future in Canada. She is a recipient of the New Writing Development Loan 2018 from Screen Ireland. Also in July, the iffy Short Film Festival screened Somebody, Somewhere, Who Looks After Critters,  Sarah’s debut documentary short which focuses on the life of Alex Scade runs a one man animal sanctuary from his self-built cabin on the edge of the Beara peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Film In Dublin spoke with Sarah to talk screenwriting, directing and the Jurassic Park vibes of emus. Read more…

Different sponsor, same great programming – DIFF, now the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, is back. The programme for the Dublin International Film Festival 2019 was launched in the fair city of film yesterday afternoon and tickets are flying off the shelf for a trove of fantastic films now.

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The nominations for the 91st edition of the Academy Awards have now been announced. The eyes of film fans from across the world will be on the Dolby Theatre next month, teary eyes, eyes agog, eyes rolling, but all nonetheless focused on this years offering of big Hollywood bru ha ha over the next celebrated films in Hollywood this year. Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars this afternoon.

There will be no host at this year’s Oscars according to reports, after initially announced host Kevin Hart dropped out following online backlash against previous homophobic tweets that he had made.

Irish production The Favourite from Element Pictures has received 10 nominations for this year’s Oscars including  nods for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress, making it the most nominated film of this year’s awards alongside Alfonso Cuaraon’s Roma. Dubliner Robbie Ryan received a nomination also for Best Cinematography for  The Favourite, while two shorts directed by Irish directors also picked up nominations.

Louise Bagnall’s  Late Afternoon, produced by Cartoon Saloon, received a nomination for Best Animated Short. Bagnall’s film follows a woman with dementia as she seeks to reassemble past memories. The film available to view now was given a shout out yesterday in our interview with Brian O’Brien as a must-watch. There was a nomination also for Best Live-Action Short for Irish director Vincent Lambe’s controversial film Detainment. The short, which is an assembly of transcripts of interviews with the boys convicted of the Jamie Bulger murders in the 1990s, has already drawn angry criticism from the victim’s family. This year’s ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, February 24th, 2019. We have the full list of this year’s nominations available now:

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