Virgin Dublin International Film Festival 2022 – Preview
by Frank L.
With the Film Festival starting tomorrow, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to recommend some of the films we’re looking forward to over the next couple of weeks.
Dates: Wednesday 23rd February to Sunday 6th March
The organisers this year after the challenges created by snow three years ago and Covid for the last two years have managed to keep the festival in fine fettle. There will be a sense of celebration of having overcome the challenges when the festival opens on Wednesday 23rd February 2022 because the festival is back in the real world of a cinema! If you’re still not venturing back to the cinema, there is still an online option.
There is a further cause for celebration in that its opening film An Cailín Ciúin won the Grand Prix of the International Jury (Generation Kplus) at the Berlin International Film Festival. It also received a special mention from the children’s jury. What a great way for the Virgin Dublin International Film Festival to start. The film is directed by Colm Bairead and produced with his wife Cleona ni Chrualaoi. It is based on the short story Foster by Claire Keegan and as the title would suggest, it is also in Irish. The national and the international intermingle.
The final film of the festival is Jono McLeod’s My Old School which is a stranger than fiction story of a con artist in Bearsden, a posh suburb of Glasgow. In between these two movies, there is a mass of cinema-going to be done. All is revealed in the online brochure.
Here are some delights that caught my attention. On the documentary side of things, there is a Family Gala where American composer Neil Brand will tell the story of Laurel and Hardy from their earliest beginnings, who still many years after their death, make the world laugh.
Another immortal figure but this time in the world of fine cuisine is Julia, which uses original archival material to unearth Julia Child who brought French haute cuisine to America. It is the real McCoy after Fred Zimmerman’s 1977 film of the same name which starred Jane Fonda. As it is also on a culinary theme there is Eric Besnard’s Delicieux which too is about a pioneering chef, but in the eighteenth century, who having been sacked by his master goes on to set up the first restaurant in France with the help of a young girl.
Entirely different is Casablanca Beats which is the story of a former rapper who takes a job in a cultural centre in a working-class area of Casablanca and seeks to help his students to release themselves from the restrictive practices of their religious upbringing through the rhythms of hip hop – a fascinating juxtaposition.
Another film dealing with change is the film from Malta entitled Luzzu. The writer and director, Alex Camilleri, is of Maltese parentage but was brought up in Minnesota. The story concerns the challenges which face a young man and his wife as he wishes to continue life as a fisherman as his father and grandfather have done before. The difficulties are immense. While feature films may often be shot in Malta, here is one about Malta created by an artist whose cultural background is Maltese.
There are animated movies including one entitled Where is Anne Frank? which shows the extraordinary story of Anne Fank in a different but contemporary light. There are four collections of shorts plus an Irish and also a Scottish selection. For Dubliners, there is North Circular a film by Luke McManus and keeping the balance North and South of the Liffey there is Ghosts of Baggotonia by Alan Gilsenan.
This review of the programme is more than long enough and only scratches the surface of what is available to be seen. However, the thing to do is to get stuck into the online brochure and savour the scope and diversity of what is available. Then make your choices and enjoy the world of theatre brought to your doorstep!