It’s the most exciting time of the year for film fans, not only do we have all the award nominated movies to watch but we also have the Audi Dublin International Film Festival bringing us an expertly curated selection of the worlds finest cinema. This years festival includes seven World Premieres and a total of over 100 features, nearly all receiving their Irish Premiere. Featuring an extraordinary red carpet line-up of on-screen talent and guest filmmakers, ADIFF is Ireland’s most prestigious film festival and sets the agenda for the year in film. SO WHO’S COMING THIS YEAR? One of the highlights of the festival is the chance to hear talent talk about the film making process and this year is no exception with visits from Bill Pullman, Vanessa Redgrave, Paul Schrader, Cillian Murphy, Barry Keoghan, Lance Daly, Nora Twomey, Paddy Considine, Sandy Powell, and Lynne Ramsay to name but a few. WHAT ARE THE BIG GALA SCREENINGS? These are no ordinary screenings, these are worth rolling the red carpet out for, start ironing your best outfit now and prepare for a bit of glamour. The Opening Gala of ADIFF 2018 will be the Irish Premiere of Black 47, the most hotly-anticipated Irish film of the year. Lance Daly directs this gripping, pulsating thriller, set during Ireland’s Great Famine, featuring an all-star cast. Lance Daly and a selection of the cast including James Frecheville, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford and Stephen Rea will attend. One of Hollywood’s finest, Bill Pullman, attends the festival for the Irish Premiere of his new Western The Ballad of Lefty Brown, a superb addition to his distinguished body of cinematic work stretching back three decades. Amongst cinema’s most distinctive and admired filmmakers, Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar) visits the festival for the Special Presentation of her Cannes prize-winning thriller You Were Never Really Here. Irish-Spanish co-production, Muse, is a seductive supernatural thriller that was both set and shot in Dublin and will screen as a Special Presentation. Irish director Nora Twomey will attend the long-awaited Irish Premiere Special Presentation of her animated drama The Breadwinner, which has been Oscar-nominated in the Best Animated Feature category for 2018. From Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon, this is a powerful story of an Afghan girl passing as a boy to work to help her family survive. Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave will receive one of the two 2018 ADIFF Volta Awards, the festival’s most prestigious award, for her lifetime of achievement in cinema at the Irish Premiere of her passionate new documentary on the refugee crisis, Sea Sorrow. Her co-director and son Carlo Nero will also attend. Paul Schrader will also receive a Volta Award and is honoured for his extensive work as a director and screenwriter. Schrader’s acclaimed new film First Reformed starring Ethan Hawke will receive its Gala Irish Premiere at the festival. Schrader will also give an in-depth Public Talk and, as this year’s Guest Curator, will introduce three classic films that have inspired his work. The Opening Film of the Fantastic Flix programme for young people, supported by Cheestrings, is Andrew Haigh’s Lean On Pete (15A), a moving drama featuring Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny and an award-winning performance from Charlie Plummer. Rounding off the festival with the ultimate in escapist cinema, ADIFF 2018’s Closing Gala is C’est La Vie. This funny, irreverent and charming French film is Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s follow-up to their box-office sensation The Intouchables and will leave festival audiences smiling until 2019. SPECIAL GUEST SCREENINGS Want to hear talent talk about their movies? These are the movies to check out! The World Premiere of The Delinquent Season sees one of Ireland’s finest playwrights and screenwriters, Mark O’Rowe, make his debut as film director with a tale of two seemingly successful Dublin couples facing unexpected challenges. The stellar Irish cast includes Cillian Murphy and Eva Birthistle, both of whom will attend the premiere. Stacy Cochran will attend the World Premiere of her new film Write When You Get Work, a witty, knowing tale of success and excess on the Upper East Side, shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood). Three-time Oscar-winning Costume Designer Sandy Powell will visit for two new films that showcase her talents. She will take part in a Q&A after Todd Hayne’s Wonderstruck and introduce John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties. One of Ireland’s most provocative and challenging film artists, director Alan Gilsenan attends the World Premiere of his visceral and highly-charged new film, The Meeting. Actor/Director Paddy Considine visits the festival for the screening of his second feature as director Journeyman, a raw, powerful boxing drama in which Considine delivers an unforgettable performance. Canadian director Kathleen Hepburn attends the festival for her intimate portrait of grief and independence Never Steady, Never Still. Director Marc Meyers will attend the screening of My Friend Dahmer, a chilling look at the youth of real-life serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. WHAT IRISH MOVIES CAN WE SEE THIS YEAR? ADIFF 2018 is packed with Irish talent, with more homegrown highlights with directors in attendance including Irish Premieres of Aoife McArdle’s incendiary debut, Kissing Candice, and Good Favour, the third feature from Rebecca Daly which sees a religious community give shelter to an enigmatic outsider. Director David Freyne will attend the Irish Premiere of his fiendishly clever take on the zombie film, The Cured. Andrew Quirke’s hilarious Dublin double-act hits the big screen with the World Premiere of Damo & Ivor: The Movie. The Irish documentary line-up features world premieres of Paul Duane’s While You Live, Shine and this year’s Arts Council Reel Art commissions, Rouzbeh Rashidi’s Phantom Islands and Niall McCann’s The Science of Ghosts; and Irish Premieres of Sinéad O’Shea’s A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot; Donal Foreman’s The Image You Missed; Feargal Ward’s The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid; Dónal O’Céilleachair’s The Camino Voyage and the Dublin premiere of Pat Collins’ Twilight. CRIME AND LAW The long arm of the law reaches deep into this year’s festival selection with a selection of films focusing on themes of crime and the legal system. French actor-turned-director Xavier Legrand will attend his dazzling debut, Custody, about a court decision that tears a family apart. Director/co-writer Yves Hinant and his co-writer Jean Libon will attend the screening of So Help Me God, a documentary following the unconventional and sometimes outrageous Belgian judge Anne Gruwez. Warwick Thornton follows his critically-acclaimed Samson & Delilah with an outback Western, Sweet Country. Director Jean-François Hensgens and armed robber-turned-filmmaker François Troukens attend the festival with their slick heist thriller Tueurs/Above the Law. Matthias Heeder attends the screening of Pre-Crime, a documentary exploring ‘protective policing’, a sci-fi staple that is becoming all too real. John McBratney, retired Senior Counsel will chair a special panel discussion on the Crime and Law strand, which also includes The Ciambra, Racer and the Jailbird, The Line, The Meeting and Have a Nice Day. INTERNATIONAL FLIX The international selection is drawn from countries far and wide but this year also reflects an exceptional year of new French-language titles. Just some of the important French-language films represented include Xavier Beauvois’ The Guardians, Laurent Cantet’s The Workshop, Xavier Giannoli’s Apparition and Coralie Fargaet’s Revenge. The wider international selection includes representation from Japan (The Third Murder), Australia (Sweet Country), Indonesia (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts), Israel (Foxtrot), Ecuador (Yasuni Man), Germany (Casting, In the Fade),Romania (Ana, Mon Amour), Norway (What Will People Say), Argentina (Zama), Iran (Israfil) and many other countries. The contemporary cinema of Hong Kong, one of the world’s great film cultures, is explored in a five-film season, with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Belgium, that includes a visit from Angie Chen, director of I’ve Got the Blues. The season will also feature intimate war drama Our Time Will Come, the mysterious crime drama Somewhere Beyond the Mist, the offbeat and tranquil coming-of-age drama The White Girl and dynamic action thriller Paradox. Actress Anna Krotoska will attend the screening of Polish character-driven psychological thriller Tower. A Bright Day. Selected to celebrate the centenary of Polish Independence, there is a rare chance to see Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1977 award-winning Death of the President. Highlights from across the Atlantic include sneak previews of Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, Wes Anderson’s new animation Isle of Dogs and Liam Neeson in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House. British selections include Sebastían Lelio’s Disobedience with Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz; Sheila Hancock in Simon Hunter’s Edie; and Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy in Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop. Billy Moore’ memoir of Muay Thai fighting his way to survival in a Thai prison is the subject of the urgent and authentic dramatisation A Prayer Before Dawn. Irish rising star Jessie Buckley gives a breakthrough film performance in writer/director Michael Pearce’s dark and delicious new British film Beast. International documentaries include cycling film Wonderful Losers: A Different World and a larger-than-life Spanish family in Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle. English-language international documentaries include an intimate look at Leon Vitali’s life as Stanley Kubrick’s right hand man in Filmworker, the unexpected treat of a second visit to the Beales of Grey Gardens in That Summer, the swinging sixties narrated by Michael Caine in That Generation and a magical time capsule of found footage in Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time. SHHHH – IT”S SILENT CINEMA ADIFF has teamed up with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival to give screenings of two silent films which will be accompanied by live music. Behind the Door (1919), controversial upon its release for the violence it portrays, will be screened accompanied by live piano, played by Stephen Horne. Meanwhile, amusing French classic comedy, The Italian Straw Hat (The Horse Ate the Hat) (1928) will be accompanied by a live quartet of Günter A. Buchwald, Matthew Jacobson, Nick Roth and Derek Whyte. Cedric Gibbons Dublin-born Cedric Gibbons was the most successful art director in the history of cinema, responsible for MGM’s reputation as Hollywood’s number one ‘dream factory’. ADIFF 2018 celebrates his work with the Cedric Gibbons Retrospective featuring The Big Parade, Dinner at Eight, Grand Hotel and An American in Paris, as well as a one-day conference at NCAD Gallery from 2ndMarch. An exhibition will run at the NCAD Gallery 2nd-31st March. AWARDS The festival’s highest honour, the Volta Award, will be presented to Vanessa Redgrave and Paul Schrader. Filmgoers themselves will select their favourite film of the Festival with the AUDI-ence award. The winning filmmakers will be flown to the Berlin International Film Festival in 2019 where they will enjoy a true VIP Audi experience. This year’s ADIFF Discovery Award nominees are a testament to the strength of and depth of the new generation of film talent making their mark in a competitive but thriving industry. The nominees are actors Ryan Lincoln(Kissing Candice), Jessie Buckley (Beast), Rory Fleck Byrne (Inbox), Actors/Directors/Writers TJ O’Grady Peyton (Wave) and Liz Quinn (The Date), Director/Cinematographers Rua Meegan & Trevor Whelan (both Bardalo II: A Life of Waste); directors Mia Mullarkey (Mother & Baby), Louise Bagnall (Late Afternoon); and producer Sharon Cronin (Acorn). The Dublin Film Critics’ Circle Jury selects the best of the festival in all major categories including their own Michael Dwyer Discovery Award and the George Byrne Maverick Award at the DFCC Awards Ceremony. Special Events, Shorts and the Surprise Film One of the most popular and revered slots in the programme, the identity of the Just Eat Surprise Film is a tightly-guarded secret known only to the Festival Director but it always rewards the bold and the brave. The festival has expanded its ADIFF Shorts selections to four programmes of the best short films from Ireland and around the world, featuring both established talent and the next generation of filmmakers cutting their teeth. The meeting point between audiences, critics, talent and industry that the festival provides extends far beyond the cinema screen in the ADIFF Special Events. This year’s events will include a Writers’ Masterclass with Laurence Coriat and an Audiences Panel with Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the British Film Institute. After the success of last year’s exhibition capturing Irish talent, ADIFF will present the second exhibition by Hugh O’Conor featuring intimate portraits of his colleagues in the Irish film industry. Immersive Stories: VR Conference & Exhibition Immersive Stories: Conference & Exhibition brings world-class experts in the virtual and augmented reality fields to Dublin, as well as a host of cutting-edge experiences, for an inaugural two-day conference and exhibition on 24th & 25thFeb in the Round Room at the Mansion House. The concept for the event and bursary was inspired by Audi Ireland’s commitment to technological innovation and their interest in the evolution of film and entertainment. Curated by Eoghan Cunneen, a senior software engineer at Lucasfilm in San Francisco, speakers will include; Diana Williams, Content Strategist, ILMxLAB; and Curtis Hickman, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at acclaimed immersive entertainment company, The VOID; Colum Slevin, Head of Experiences at Oculus VR; Solomon Rogers, Founder and CEO of Rewind. The conference will include a case study from Pink Kong Studios Co-Founders Aoife Doyle and Niamh Herrity, who were awarded a €30,000 bursary to develop one of the first Irish VR short films, Aurora, which will premiere at the exhibition. Fantastic Flix Fantastic Flix, ADIFF’s strand for young people aged 4-16, returns for its third thrilling year with the support of Cheestrings and featuring an exciting programme of international films for both families and school groups. Director of Collapsing Horse Theatre, Dan Colley, will give post-screening talks at both At Eye Level (12+), a father and son reunion tale, and Liyana (12+), a beautiful Swazi documentary with animated elements about a girl who goes to great lengths to save her younger brothers from harm. Director Meikeminne Clinckspoor will attend two screenings of Cloudboy (9+), an enchanting film about Niilas, who is sent to visit his mother in the wonderful forests of Lapland and learns about the Sami people. Nora Twomey, director of the much-anticipated The Breadwinner, will introduce a screening of children’s classic My Neighbour Totoro. Brown Bag Films’ Vampirina (4+) and the Fantastic Flix Shorts (4+) are sure to delight the youngest budding cinemagoers. Actress Wilma Lundgren will attend the festival for her film, Room 213, a seriously spooky Swedish mystery. Other highlights include the terrific animations from France, The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (6+), and Japan, Mary and the Witch’s Flower (6+). The Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury, a collaboration with The Ark’s Children’s Council and the Irish Film Classification Office, returns for a second year, as do a fascinating choice of workshops in collaboration with The Ark. The Divine Order on Tour A heartfelt and captivating Swiss drama that sees an unassuming housewife fighting for the right of women to vote in her Swiss homeland, The Divine Orderwill screen in Dublin and on a regional tour supported by access>CINEMA. Tickets are released for sale at www.diff.ie on 24th Jan and the Box Office is open at 12 East Essex Street (+353 (0) 1 6877974) from 25th Jan.