It's the time of year again when several film buffs take a week off work and lock themselves into a cinema to catch up on the best of international cinema.
The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (or JDIFF to use its snappier title) has been growing bigger every year since it's 2003 launch. Jameson is hoping to make 2010 the biggest year yet by spending €1.3 million online and offline to attract film fans to the festival.
Below, Brogen Hayes picks out the highlights of this years festival. We predict that Alice In Wonderland and Shutter Island will be amongst the first to sell out, neither hit Irish cinemas for at least three weeks after the festival. The Surprise film is always quick to sell out, so be sure to snap up a ticket to that fast!
Guests of the 2010 Dublin Jameson International Film Festival include Patricia Clarkson, who will attend the screenings of her three films being shown - Whatever Works, Shutter Island and Cairo Time and director Luca Guadagnino and actor Tilda Swinton attending the Closing Gala I Am Love. Other guests include Ciarán Hinds (Life During Wartime), and directors Kirk Jones (Everybody's Fine), Leslie Zemeckis (Behind the Burly Q), Samuel Maoz (Lebanon), Sally Potter (Orlando) and Academy Award winner Fernando Trueba (The Dancer and the Thief).
The Discovery Section of the festival is all about the films that are being discovered by audiences for the first time. The section includes Jasper Ganslandt's Ape - the story of one man's search to put reassemble events from his past and Altiplano - a film about the beauty of the images seen on screen juxtaposed with the ravages of war.
The First Look section includes films that are being shown in Ireland for the first time. Ones to watch in this section include Martin Scorsese's highly anticipated Shutter Island, Robert DeNiro vessel Everybody's Fine and Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It, starring Ellen Page of Juno fame.
REAL TO REEL
Real to Reel is JDIFF's documentary section. Films to catch include Broken Tail - an Irish produced documentary on the rare and elusive Indian Tiger and When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors - which promises to be just that.
This section does exactly what it promises and showcases the best of Russian cinema. Ones to watch out for are The Island - a spiritual parable set in a monastery on the White Sea and Sundance award winning Mermaid - seaside fairytale mixed with an urban romance.
This section, nor any other broken down by geography, is not just for those die hard fans, there are some films that put the spotlight on the nature of modern life. Films like Castaway On The Moon, which tells of one man's struggle with the recession is sure to hit a chord with audiences. South Korea's Oscar submission, Mother, is also being shown at the festival.
Within the Irish film section at JDIFF, there is plenty that Irish audiences can relate to, be it Between the Canals - an inner city Dublin gangster story, or The Fading Light, in which director Ivan Kavanagh shows that he really has a talent for observing the fractures in the modern Irish family.
OUT OF THE PAST
The Out of the Past section, as the name suggests, showcases fantastic films from years gone by. This is another chance to see movies you may have missed, or indeed seen and loved, on the big screen. Ones to watch out for in this section are the ever classic La Dolce Vita, Sally Potter's adaptation of Viginia Woolf's novel Orlando. As well as this, the remarkable 2002 film, Russian Ark, will be shown as part of the Out of the Past section. Russian Ark tracks Russian history over 300 years in a single take, and is a must see in this years' JDIFF.
GALA SCREENINGS AND SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
There is so much to see and discover each year at JDIFF, but there is always a certain amount of excitement surrounding the Gala Screenings and Special Presentations. 2010 is no exception. As well as the Opening Gala - Neil Jordan's Ondine - the Gala Screenings are Ciaro Time, which will be attended by director Ruba Nadda and actress Patricia Clarkson and I Am Love, which will also have cast and crew in attendance.
The Special Presentations are rather special this year and include Tim Burton's highly anticipated Alice in Wonderland, Michael Moore's latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story and the highly secret, widely guessed at, Surprise Film, the identity of which is not revealed until the red curtains open on the night.
MICHAEL DWYER TRIBUTE
JDIFF founder and passionate film fan Michael Dwyer passed away earlier this year, so in honour of him, and the wonderful work he did for film in Ireland, JDIFF have gathered together some of his favourite films to show at the festival this year. These include My Beautiful Launderette and I've Heard The Mermaids Singing. Michael will be missed by all fans of cinema in Ireland and it is fitting that he should have a section of JDIFF dedicated to his memory.
KENNETH ANGER RETROSPECTIVE
This section of JDIFF is dedicated to Californian underground avant-garde film-maker and author, Kenneth Anger, and shows some of his most iconic works including The Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome and Lucifer Rising.
KIRSTEN SCOTT THOMAS TRIBUTE
The Kisten Scott Thomas tribute section is focussing on the actress' French films. As well as new film, Partir, this section of JDIFF includes I've Loved You So Long - which follows a woman as she struggles to fit back into society and her family after 15 years in prison, and An Unforgettable Summer.
As well as all the wonderful movie going experiences above, JDIFF will also showcase Irish Short films and shine the spotlight on up and coming Irish Talent. And don't forget about the Volta Awards which celebrate key members of the film making fraternity and their contribution to world cinema.
All in all, The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2010 is a jam packed 10 days, and there truly is something for every movie goer.
Words - Brogen Hayes
STAY TUNED TO MOVIES.IE FOR FEATURES AND INTERVIEWS DURING JDIFF 2010.