The Dingle International Film Festival 2013 is set to prove once again that it has something for everyone. Throughout the weekend the town will be filled with filmmakers, writers, animators, artists and Fungi followers sampling the best that cinema has to offer. This boutique festival now in its seventh year promises to the best ever.
Though the festival has over the years attracted many prominent figures from the industry including Cillian Murphy, Saoirse Rónan, Stephen Frears, Gabriel Byrne, Sarah Miles, Maureen O'Hara, Jean-Jacques Beineix and Jim Sheridan amongst many others, it welcomes film practitioners, enthusiasts and visitors and it particularly involves Dingle's own folk and is generously supported by several local businesses. The local Phoenix cinema is one of the few independent houses in Ireland and along with St. James Church will host many of the screenings.
This year's opening film also has strong local credentials. 'Blood Rising' a feature-length documentary piece is the work of a locally-based production company. Its director Mark McLoughlin and one of the cameramen/editors Lanka Haouche Perren live on the peninsula. Whilst telling the heart-wrenching story of the mothers of Juarez in Northern Mexico whose daughters have been murdered by drug-cartels who control the town, McLoughlin tracks internationally-renowned Irish artist Brian Maguire as he memorialised in portrait-form, two of the young factory-workers,employed in cartel-owned businesses who were killed and left on body-dumps.
The early morning St.Patrick's Day Parade is a hallowed tradition in Dingle. Local documentary-maker Brenda Ó'Shúilleabháin's 'Men of Ventry will be showing in the Phoenix at 8am at the finish of the march round town. The afternoon family parade will also include the festival with staff and supporters masking up for the occasion.
Ireland's animation-makers including the CEO's of the five principal companies are migrating to Dingle for the festival weekend. This is the first time that they have gathered ever and that is as a result of an initiative of the DIFF director Maurice Galway working with John Rice and JAM Media. These cinematic artists have been prominent in the lists of film festival awards and nominations in recent years including the Oscars. Not to be outdone the Dingle festival has instituted its own animation award namely 'The Jimmy Murakami Award' named for the legendary figure who animated Raymond Biggs books, 'The Snowman' and 'When the Wind Blows'. Jimmy a former Oscar- nominee himself and now based in Dublin will be the first recipient of the award which will be a future annual feature of the festival's animation gathering.
The Rock Ticket is a further innovation. For just €35 one can view Led Zeppelin's 'Celebration Day', The Beatles, 'Magical Mystery Tour', BBC Arena's 'Magical Mystery Tour Re-Visited', 'Art Can Save the World' and 'I Am Not A Rock Star' and hear the filmmakers explain their work in an intimate setting. A similar deal 'The Literature Ticket' priced at €25 offers screenings of seven book-based films including the European première of 'Live Forever:The Ray Bradbury Odyssey'
Not forgetting of course 'Sitcom in the Parlour'. The parlour in question is that of the rather fine Emlagh House where Daphne Pollen and Marc Flanagan noted sitcom creators will sample scones and sip tea with aspiring writers. Admission is €20. Visual art also figures strongly in the line-up. Kerry-based artist Pauline Bewick will be in conversation with Senator David Norris. In the Phoenix cinema they will talk about her life as an artist following the première of Maurice Galway's film 'Yellow Man, Grey Man' Feature films abound and there are screenings of around forty Irish and international shorts.
Monday, the last day of the event is given over to local interests. Indeed that also has a ticket package all of its own, 'The Dingle All Day Ticket'. For €25 it covers children's films both features and shorts;'Dreamtime Revisited' the life and thinking of Kerry-native, philosopher John Moriarty; the presentation of the 'Físín' award for Irish-language filmmakers. Tor Cotton's 'The Dolphin's Gift' profiles Fungi, Ireland's favourite fish. Appropriately the Day and the Dingle International Film Festival will finish with a tribute, a one-time only film digest of footage generously made available by RTE and local filmmaker Brenda Ó'Shúilleabháin and dedicated to Paidi Ó Sé who sadly passed in December of last year.
The festival runs from the 15th - 18th March.
For more information visit - www.DingleFilmFestival.com
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned