Stranger Than Fiction 2012

A guide to this years documentary film festival at the IFI Dublin

After a break last year, the IFI’s annual documentary love-in Stranger Than Fiction gets underway this Thursday with Bart Layton’s acclaimed The Imposter at 7pm.

Charting how a young Frenchman convinced a grieving Texas family that he was their 16-year old son who went missing for 3 years, The Imposter will also opening at the IFI on August 24th, whilst Layton himself will be present for the screening.

Other guests flying in for the festival include Paul Duane, for his documentary on rocker-turned-bank robber Jerry McGill, the wonderfully titled Very Extremely Dangerous, and Andrew Galimore, in for The Gentlemen Prizefighter, the Liam Neeson-narrated tale of James J. Corbett, the one-time heavyweight champion of the world who quickly moved into acting just as cinema was born.

Other films on offer include One Mile Away, British director Penny Woolcock returning to Birmingham, the setting for her 2009 fictional feature film, 1 Day, to chart an attempt a truce between two rival gangs whose long-running feud regularly ends in deaths.

Acclaimed Dutch photographer-turned-filmmaker Anton Corbijn is the subject of Klaartje Quirijns’ surprisingly melancholic documentary Inside Out, the loneliness of U2 and Depeche Mode favourite laying like a Bergman drama with a cool goth pop soundtrack. As Corbijn’s brother and sister express their worries for their workaholic brother, hanging out with the likes of Lou Reed and Bono suddenly looks positively bad for your mental health.

Steve James’ The Interrupters charts ex-gang members’ attempts to bring peace to the mean streets of Chicago; Yi Seung-Jun’s award-winning Planet Of Snail, looking at the daily life of deaf/blind poet Young Chan and his wife, Soon-Ho, whose spinal disability means she is barely taller than his waist; Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia, examining the continued decay of the motor city; Sean McAllister’s The Reluctant Revolutionary, exploring the recent Arab Spring, and Emat Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras, this winner of the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest charting five years in a small Palestinian village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Full details are available on

The Imposter August 16th (19.00)
IFI Afternoon Talk: Documentary Discussion with Ross Whitaker, Bart Layton and Paul Duane August 17th (14.30)
5 Broken Cameras August 17th (18.30)
One Mile Away August 17th (20.30)
The Gentleman Prizefighter August 18th (13.20)
Reluctant Revolutionary August 18th (15.30)
Very Extremely Dangerous August 18th (17.30)
Anton Corbijn Inside Out August 18th (20.00)
The Interrupters August 19th (14.00)
Planet of Snail August 19th (16.20)
Detropia August 19th (19.00)