Dublin International Film Festival shines a spotlight on female directors

Hitting the city at the end of the month, the Festival promises a celebration of Irish and female filmmakers

The Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) is back – this time, with the desire to highlight female directors and women in the film industry. Though the festival prides itself on inclusivity in all regards, the fete aims to draw a particular spotlight this time around by “championing women filmmakers,” as stated by Jack McDermot, Director of Marketing for DIFF. This includes, though is not limited to, Women Make Film, described by McDermot as “an epic event [which takes place] over the course of the whole weekend during the festival”. It is clear that DIFF aims to specifically draw attention to the feats women have made within visual productions on an international scale.

DIFF welcomes people of all ages and aims “to be an inclusive and diverse organisation that promotes and delivers equality of opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, religions, gender, or sexual orientation across all its activities, from programming and audience development to employment policies”. In regards to accessibility, the association “strives to ensure that all its audiences have access to its full programme”. 

The organisation launched a celebration of the beginning of the festival which took place on the January 21. The soiree boasted a Hollywood Glamour theme with many of the filmmakers in attendance. The venue, Dawson Street’s Cafe En Seine, exuded exactly the type of decadence and allure the festival hopes to provide during its exhibition. Festival Director Grainne Humphreys articulated DIFF’s thorough plan for this year’s event and highlighted its main goals. True to form, Humphreys accented Women Make Film, a 14 hour opus on female directors featuring directors like Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, and Thandie Newton, created by Mark Cousins.

The Board later discussed many of the films to be included in the festival; some of which will be making their European debut, while others are headed for the international film festival circuit including festivals such as Sundance. Throughout the night, various members involved in showcasing DIFF stressed the importance of emphasizing younger audience member attendance. As recent generations have increasingly dominated consumer markets with the help of social media, the festival board members aim to pursue younger attendees. They plan to make the festival more public and accessible in an attempt to immerse a greater amount of people in the art of filmmaking. 

Of course, the festival also boasts a distinctive focus on Irish filmmakers as there truly is no better place to praise the efforts and successes made by Irish directors. Taking place from February 26 to March 8, the event will feature over 100 different films across 50 different countries and will take place in a range of locations in Dublin. The year’s festival promises to be unlike any of those of previous years, and secures its title as a must-see event. Of all the ways to spend a day in Dublin city, attending this year’s DIFF exhibition will be by far the most enlightening.

Maeve Harris

Maeve Harris is the current Deputy Arts and Culture Editor of Trinity News.