Each year the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (VMDIFF) relishes the opportunity to excite and engage young cinema enthusiasts and filmmakers, and this year is no exception. Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys has announced a selection of 2020 titles including a series of events for younger audiences where the idea is to screen films by young people, for young people, and also for our canine friends!! Looking towards the next generation of Irish film talent, the Festival’s inaugural First Frame event creates a new and expanded initiative for film students. The Festival has invited the 17 third level institutions across Ireland to submit their students’ short films for a public screening, networking opportunity and competition to be adjudicated by an industry panel chaired by Trish Long, Vice President of Disney in Ireland. The day is sponsored by Disney Pixar’s ‘Onward.’ Encouraging engagement with young people and cinema, the Festival’s Fantastic Flix strand for families and young people will include a mix of short films, workshops and discussions, and screenings of some of the most eagerly anticipated contemporary cinema. With big name cast including Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Octavia Spencer, Disney’s Pixar’s newest fantasy/drama ‘Onward’ is a funny and engaging tale of two siblings who set out to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world, while in the latest thrilling musical adventure from DreamWorks sees Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake leading the cast in ‘Trolls World Tour.’ In a first for the festival this year, families can bring their pet as ‘pawtner’ in crime to a Dog Friendly Screening at Odeon, Point Village of ‘Marona’s Fantastic Tale’ from Romanian animator Anca Damien who will be in attendance. Told through exquisite animation and the eyes of a lost puppy, the film tells the story of a dog who, following an accident, reflects on her owners, adventures and experiences. As one of the most loved and well known comedians of cinema, Charlie Chaplin is a character that needs no introduction. The Festival is excited to present three of his newly restored shorts ‘The Adventurer,’ The Immigrant’ and ‘The Floorwalker’ to delight ‘Fantastic Flix’ young audiences. “We consider our festival as a perfect opportunity to give young people a compelling context to connect with films, providing access to a greater range of cultural cinema and filmmaking talent through a unique festival experience,” said Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director. “The expectation for young audiences now is that viewing will be on demand, viewable anywhere and available for free. Our programming offers an opportunity and environment to experience film and cinema that is different to the majority of current young people’s viewing habits.” “Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is a perfect test ground for what it’s like to be a filmmaker in today’s world. The Festival supports high-quality cinema and diversity, celebrating the art of film and opening a window to new ideas from multiple film producers in Ireland and across the world,” added Paul Farrell, Vice President of Commercial at Virgin Media. “We’re proud to promote young filmmakers as Ireland’s leading connected entertainment provider and commercial broadcasting company. The festival is an important platform for everyone in Ireland’s vibrant film industry to network and make connections that really matter.” Taking place from 26th February to 8th March, the 2020 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will bring the best in world cinema to Dublin connecting audiences to global perspectives alongside an exhilarating robust slate of new Irish films, testament to the dynamic vigorous film industry here. The Festival will screen over 110 feature films, documentaries, short films and archive programmes along with special artist tributes, conversations, panels, workshops and music events. Early Bird Season Tickets and highlight events are now available over on diff.ie. Full programme details will be released in the coming weeks.