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The French Film Festival is one of the top events on offer every year at the Irish Film Institute. A seasonal soiree embraced by local Francophiles and expatriated film fans alike, the festival offers a great mix of new hits from France and classic cinema, offering a venue for cultural exchange that brings us closer together as the year begins to draw to a close. The IFI French Film Festival 2021 will be taking place from November 17th until the 28th. A blended approach will be available next month, with films on offer in-cinema at the IFI in Temple Bar, and online on IFI@Home.

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Director: Tomás Ó Súilleabháin Starring: Dónall Ó Héalai, Saise Ní Chuinn, Dara Devaney Running Time: 86 minutes


 

“This was done to us” someone says of the Famine at one point in Arracht, and taking that fact as a given is the jumping off point for the ideas that director Tomás Ó Súilleabháin has on his mind in directing this take on Ireland’s history. Taking the Famine as directly driven by British imperialism as opposed to an unfortunate potato happenstance isn’t mere political point scoring, like Black 47 it allows for a more personal, character-driven story to be unfurled in response to the act. Genocide is ultimately and emphatically dehumanising, and Arracht, meaning ‘monster’, is a story of what becomes of those who have what was done to us, well, done to them.

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The IFI Documentary Festival 2021 will bring the Institute’s usual intriguing offering of insights when it returns online and in cinemas this September.

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The sixteenth edition of Culture Night will take place across Ireland on Friday 17 September 2021 and a number of special events in the fair city of film will be of interest to culture vultures of the cinematic persuasion.
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Films from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam will all be shown online as part of this year’s East Asia Film Festival. Now in its 5th year, this celebration of international cinema is well-embedded in the calendar in the fair city of film, but as with many festivals in our current climate, this year it will be made more widely available as it moves all online. The 2021 East Asia Film Festival will be available later this month on the IFI@Home player.

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Director: Thomas Vinterberg Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang Running Time: 115 minutes


Thomas Vinterberg has a curious habit of going to the very darkest corners of humanity and somehow using these dark corners to showcase the most enduring aspects of humanity. A decade ago, Submarino explored the lives of drug addicted and prison bound brothers at the bottom of the Danish socio-economic ladder. More recently, The Hunt took a look at how horrifying but false allegations could implode the lives of even the most innocent of protagonists. What these two films in particular had in common is the desire of the human spirit to survive in the direst of circumstances. Arguably, it could be said that Vinterberg’s films are as much about the power of lasting human connection as the drudgery of human suffering. With Another Round, he again focuses on problematic and dark aspects of Danish society, while injecting a refreshing sense of humor that gives an otherwise gut wrenching story a surprisingly positive hoppy lift.

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The full programme for this year’s all-online Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival has been announced. As the biggest film festival in the fair city of film moves all online, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2021 will serve as a celebration of the power of film to bring people together and explore the world in new ways. Taking place from 3-14 March 2021, the Festival has been re-imagined to bring audiences the best of new films and old classics, all while allowing people to attend the festival safely from their homes.  This year VMDIFF will be delivered via the screening portal Eventive.

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A Halloween spent in lockdown is the perfect time to feast upon the quintessential horror classics that we all love to fear. Whether it’s the head spinning experience of re-watching The Exorcist or binge watching the good, the bad, and the very ugliest of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, we all know how to tell a safe bet from a dodgy Netflix choice just as well as we can tell a good piece of chocolate from an unwanted apple in a trick or treat bag.

 

But what about the films that have slipped through the cracks? There are many reasons why certain horror films haven’t received the attention they deserve. A lack of advertising, coming out at the wrong time of the year, or maybe because for lots of cinema goers one or two scary films a year is more than enough. For the films on this list however, the reason why you’ve probably never seen them has nothing to do with their quality. These are some of the lesser known but  better placed fright fests to satiate your Halloween sweet tooth on this spooky stay at home weekend. This list is not to be confused with an “underrated horror films” selection. That’s an interesting but separate discussion. The films on this list were generally well received critically, but they unfortunately just never seemed to get the reach that they deserved. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be bombarded with a universe of existential horror you probably haven’t yet heard about.

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This year’s edition of the GAZE LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a prime example of the quick thinking and compromises that film programmers and festival organisers have had to make in 2020. Usually a fixture of the August Bank Holiday weekend, they waited their time and announced a fantastic programme for 30th September – 4th October. Unfortunately, plans to host live screenings as part of the festival were curtailed by COVID-19 lockdown measures that have been put in place for Dublin, as we’re sure you’re all too aware. The festival, however, soldiers on with aplomb. Aided by the IFI@Home online platform, the programme will proceed, with a great line-up of screenings and events to provide the festival experience. We’ve gone through the full schedule to pick out 5 things at GAZE 2020 you simply cannot miss.

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Been working through our picks of international films you should watch and looking to add even more to your list? You’re just in time for the Subtitle Spotlight European Film Festival, taking place at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire this weekend, Jan 31st – Feb 2nd. A selection of European subtitled films will invite viewers to see cinema in a whole new way.

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