Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome to JDIFF 2011

Today see’s the launch of the 9th Annual Jameson Dublin International Film Festival with Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut feature Submarine opening the 10-day festival. This coming of age romantic drama includes some of Britain’s home grown talent including Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine. But it is the anticipation of Ayoade in the director’s chair for the first time that is the main focal point. Best known for his role as Moss in The IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade’s first feature was highly praised at last year’s London Film Festival and will no doubt be a success as it will be unveiled at tonight’s Opening Gala event at the Savoy Cinema.
Across the two weeks there will be a whole host of screenings to indulge different tastes of cinema goers. From a selection of French cinema to Latin cinema, there will even be opportunities to catch Re-issues and Restorations of classic cinema such as The Bridge On The River Kwai and West Side Story.
Throughout the festival there will be international guests lined up to make appearances and support their retrospective projects. The guest list includes Kevin Spacey, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Richard Ayoade, Harry Shearer, Jim Loach, George Nolfi and Timothy Spall.

There will be a series of red carpet screenings during JDIFF which will give audience members the chance to walk down the famous red carpet. The films premiering include Emilio Estevez’s The Way starring his father and Hollywood veteran Martin Sheen. Also premiering will be George Nolfi’s The Adjustment Bureau and Unknown starring Irish actors Liam Neeson and Aidan Quinn.
The First Look category highlights upcoming releases that have arisen from word-of-mouth around the world and are given Irish premieres during JDIFF. Some of those releases include Fair Game, diected by The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman. Also father and son Ken and Jim Loach present their directorial efforts; Route Irish and Oranges and Sunshine respectively. Others include West Is West, The Tempest and The Eagle.
There will be a special focus on emerging Romanian cinema throughout JDIFF including comedy feature Hello, How Are You? and war drama Medal of Honour. In addition there will be a whole host of documentaries being screened including Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave Of Forgotten Dreams which will be followed by a post screening Q&A with the director via satellite. Other documentaries will include Children of the Revolution and Upside Down.
One of the big events of the festival however will fall on Monday 21st February with the JDIFF sponsor, Jameson will launch their Jameson Cult Film Club. This is a year-long programme of special screenings that will take place all over the country. Kick starting the season in style is an interactive screening of The Usual Suspects which will be attended by Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey who will take part in a Q & A session following the screening. After which the party will continue the exclusive night in true Jameson fashion. As this is being promoted as an exclusive event, only a small allocation of tickets were on offer through a small number of media outlets. On a personal note I was one of the lucky few people to have won tickets to the special event of which I am gearing up for to say the least.

Other special events that will be taking place over the two-week period include a Screenwriting Panel, the Dublin Film Critics Circle and the 3rd annual Library Film Quiz. All the events mentioned above and the rest of the programme can be found on Or simply pop down to the  ticketing office located at FilmBase, Curved Street, Temple Bar. Or Cineworld Foyer, Parnell Street. Word of warning though, tickets are selling out fast so book now to avoid disappointment.
Some of the films I am personally looking forward to include Route Irish directed by Ken Loach. Others include Irish supernatural drama Wake Wood produced by legendary horror company Hammer Films. Also the special presentation of classic horror The Tingler starring Vincent Price has a certain amount of interest, that it being an interactive film screening, of which I will certainly brace myself for!
Written by Michael Cunneen

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