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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Clockwise from the top: An Cailín Ciúin; My Old School; Swansong.
# virgin media
From An Cailín Ciúin to Nightride: Here's what's on in this year's Dublin International Film Festival
In-person audiences are back as VMDIFF reveals what’s on show from 23 February.

THE LINE UP for the Virgin Media Dublin Film Festival has been announced today, opening with the “spell-binding” An Cailín Ciúin, a portrait of an Irish childhood; and closing with My Old School – a look at the ’90s Brandon Lee story, one of the strangest imposter cases of modern times.

Set over the course of one night in Belfast, Nightride is a real-time, one-shot thriller about a dealer trying to pull off one last job in order to go straight.

Kate Dolan’s highly anticipated psychological thriller You Are Not My Mother will receive its Irish premiere at the Dublin Film Festival after its successful debut in Toronto.

The 20th Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will run for 12 days from 23 February to 6 March.

The festival will be showing live, in-person audiences films from Ireland and abroad, as well as short films and documentaries – and a host of premieres, galas and special events alongside additional online programming.

All of the screenings and events will adhere to government guidelines and Covid safety regulations, the festival said.


Actors Carrie Crowley, Alan Cummings, Moe Dunford, and George MacKay will feature in the festival, alongside filmmakers and creatives Neil Brand, Nathalie Biancheri, and Adam McKay, the latter of whom will be presented with an award.

Other notable films worth catching include Nathalie Biancheri’s Wolf featuring an impressive cast including George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp; Young Plato, the fascinating documentary about maverick headmaster Kevin McArevey in Belfast’s Ardoyne area who uses the wisdoms of ancient Greek philosophers to encourage his pupils to challenge the mythologies of war and conflict; Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy’s Irish language feature Róise + Frank, which tells of grief stricken Róise who comes to believe a mysterious dog is the reincarnation of her late husband; and the world premiere of Dónal Foreman’s highly anticipated The Cry of Granuaile.

Documenting Irish music and culture, acclaimed music video maker Myles O’Reilly turns his lens to music documentary with the powerful Dark Horse on the Wind, about Irish folk singer and songwriter Liam Weldon, who had a lifelong interest in the songs of the Irish Travellers and whose music reflected a strong awareness of poverty, disadvantage and exploitation; whilst the musical cultures of Ireland and India meet through the work of two of their greatest composers, acclaimed Indian classical musician Ustad Wajahat Khan and renowned Irish musician Peadar Ó Riada in Dónal Ó Céilleachair’s documentary Continuing Traditions. In Alan Gilsenan’s film-poem Ghosts of Baggotonia, the cultural life of the area around Baggot Street is explored and in North Circular, Luke McManus takes us on a journey of the sights and sounds of the legendary artery that links some of Dublin’s most beloved places.

On the international front, Mads Hedegaard’s Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest casts an eye on the Copenhagen gaming scene and infamous gamer Kim Cannon Arm; Jin Huanqing’s Dark Red Forest takes a majestic look at one community of 20,000 Buddhist nuns in Tibet; Venice Film Festival winner Special Jury Prize, Michelangelo Frammartino’s Il Buco is an immersive exploration of the ground-breaking discovery of Calabria’s Bifurto Abyss in 1961; other gems include Bianca Stiger’s testament to life before the Holocaust, Three Minutes: A Lengthening, narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and Pietro Marcello’s keenly observed Italian documentary Futura.

The 48 shorts across six different screening presentations are also worth catching – the Festival Shorts Programme is promised to be “the biggest showcase of this unique artform yet”, with a selection of highlights from Screen Ireland’s various funding schemes.

  • You can read more about what’s on here.

Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys said “We are all thrilled to celebrate our 20th anniversary year as a living, breathing cinematic experience. I am particularly delighted to premiere the superb line up of new Irish films and show these new works alongside their international counterparts.

“It’s a festival programme which I am extremely  proud of, packed with discoveries and gems. I’m thankful as ever to all our partners and friends for their support in helping us to realise a physical festival and to my colleagues for their commitment to making this the best festival possible. It has been a labour of love – so please enjoy.”

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