The 2010 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival kicks off February 18, running for 11 days and showing some of the finest in Irish and international film.
It’s a little known fact that Ireland is one of the top 10 countries in the world for cinema attendance, with the second highest number of trips to the movies per capita in the whole of the European Union.
Small wonder, then, that the Irish capital is now home to a brilliant film festival that lights up the cultural calendar each February with the brightest and best from domestic and international cinema.
This year’s festival features more than 100 movies, including seven world premieres as well as a number of different movie seasons and special events.
Chief among the premieres is Ondine, the latest movie from Neil Jordan, who has directed some of the most famous Irish movies out there, including Michael Collins and The Butcher Boy. Starring Colin Farrell and a Polish actress named Alicja Bachleda, it tells the story of an Irish fisherman who catches a woman he believes to be a mermaid. If that sounds a bit strange – it certainly does to IrishJaunt – then head to the premiere and ask Colin Farrell to explain himself. No doubt, he will profusely!
The festival also represents the first chance for Irish cinema goers to see some of the year’s most anticipated Hollywood movies, including the eagerly awaited Alice in Wonderland 3D, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
A great feature of the JDIFF is its many locations – every cinema in the centre of Dublin is in on the action, as well as some unusual venues like the National Gallery of Ireland, where the unique one-shot movie from a few years ago, Russian Ark, will be screened this year.
Special events at this year’s festival include Korean and Russian film seasons, as well as a retrospective on the movies of Kristin Scott Thomas.
One movie you won’t catch at the JDIFF this year is the Oscar-nominated animated feature The Secret of Kells. That’s because it got its first ever screening at last year’s red carpeted Closing Gala. Just goes to show what amazing foresight this truly great festival has. Catch it if you can.
The 2010 event will bear a cloak of sadness after the recent passing of Michael Dwyer, founder of the festival and a legendary Irish film critic. Read more about his life and times from his chief employer, The Irish Times.
By Bill Lehane