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Clare Dunne’s Herself , the Closing Gala at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival  received rave reviews today at Sundance, a possible sign that we may already have the next great Irish film this decade with it only 25 days old. Further to that, the film’s festival success shows how Ireland’s international reputation is continuing to grow; programmers, distributors and viewers alike from all over the world are looking out for Irish talents more and more. The last ten years have seen our profile expand considerably, Hollywood stars like Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell are more acclaimed than ever, filmmakers are flocking to our island to make use of our beautiful locations and talented crews, it’s not all sweetness and sunshine but it’s been a good decade. It took a bit of mulling over, so strong was the fear of leaving great work out of a list of only ten, but at last here is Film In Dublin’s celebration of some of the best Irish films of the 2010s, classics that we’ll be going back to again and again.

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When Once was first released in cinemas ten years ago it was an unlikely contender to be a hit. Filmed on a shoestring budget, with scenes shot on Dublin’s streets without a permit and starring two non-actor in then-teenaged Markéra Irglová and the divisive Frames frontman Glen Hansard, John Carney’s film ended up making millions at the box-office, placing high on many critics’ end-of-year lists for the strong cinematic year of 2007 and winning the Best Original Song Academy Award for Falling Slowly. It’s a film that has been entered into the canon of Irish favourites, and a great choice to watch on a (hopefully) bright summer evening on a nice cosy blanket. So with that in mind, Happenings in association with 7Up have picked out Once to be the next film for their Open Air Cinema.

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The urge is understandable to avoid a retrospective of the year 2016. Not since Lot’s wife decided to take a cheeky glance back at Sodom has looking back at something been more likely to produce misery and misfortune the way this year has, but that only makes it all the more important to go back over the few bright spots, particularly for movie lovers. 2016 was undoubtedly a great year for Irish cinema, with 9 Oscar nominations and two wins, Irish films showing prominently in festivals around the globe, major stars and filmmakers coming to film on the island and some eye-catching box office success. Of course, 2016 is a year that will always stand out to the writers at Film In Dublin, as this was the year that the site launched and since mid-July we’ve worked hard to show you the positives and the pitfalls of navigating through the fair city of cinema.

With the year almost over, our writers have compiled a list of some of this year’s cinematic highlights. Balloting every member for their own top picks of the year, a consensus was more or less reached on ten outstanding films, cinema that provided a welcome distraction from the horrors of the last twelve months, helped sharpen our focus from the lessons to be learned from the year, or both. We’re sure to have left out some of your favourites; in keeping the list to the very best of the best we’ve had to omit some of our own best loved choices so we’re more than open to suggestions on what else could have been considered. Here though, are Film In Dublin’s picks for the top 10 films of 2016.Read more…