What to see at Jdiff 2012

A look at some of the highlights of the 2012 Jameson Dublin Film Festival

Feeling the pain since Movie Fest? Luckily Dublin’s other film festival is back to fill that movie shaped hole in your life. The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival – or JDIFF to those of us who love a good acronym takes place from February 16th to 26th. Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård flew into Dublin last week to officially launch the programme at the reopened Lighthouse Cinema, among the films included in this year’s festival are several from Scandinavia including the 1922 silent cult classic Häxan, which will be screened with full musical accompaniment, Curling King, which takes on the sport of curling in a quirky comedy and the film which probably has the best title in the festival; Turn Me On, Goddammit! Below is a list of some more highlights from this years film 2012 Jdiff festival.

Every year, JDIFF rolls out the red carpet and invites some very special guests to the festival, and this year is no different. Among the many cast and crew members attending JDIFF this year are Mark Wahlberg who will attend the screening of Contraband, Al Pacino, who will attend the screening of his film Wilde Salome and Glenn Close, who will present her highly anticipated film Albert Nobbs. This year, JDIFF is bookended by Opening Film Cloudburst and Death of a Superhero, which will close the festival. 

The real surprise of JDIFF this year is the inclusion of not one, but two Surprise Films. The Surprise Film is always one of the first screenings to sell out, and gives the audience plenty to wonder and talk about, and this year we get to have double the fun, and try to guess two screenings! 


As well as the brilliantly titled Scandanavian film Turn Me On, Goddammit!, there is plenty to look out for in the Discovery Season, including Benedek Fliegauf’s cloning story Womb, and Play, which looks at a true story from Sweden.  

In Nuala: A Life and Death, Marian Finucane tells the story of her friend Nuala O’Faoláin. As well as this, Kirsten Sheridan’s third feature film – Dollhouse – follows four Dublin teenagers as they break into a house in Dalkey and Ivan Kavanagh’s Tin Can Man are among the films included in the Irish Season at this year’s festival.

JDIFF would not be JDIFF without a Werner Herzog film. The director returns to our screens with Into the Abyss; an exploration of violent crime and its consequences. As well as this, This is Not a Film takes a look at the life of Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi who was placed under house arrest while awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

The winner of Best Film at the Toronto International Film Festival – Monsieur Lazhar – deals with the fallout of a group of elementary school children seeing their teacher hanging from the ceiling of their classroom. The Yellow Sea, which examines the fear that accompanies debt, and dystopian epic Target are also films to look out for in the Spectrum section of the festival.

German cinema gets a lot of love in this year’s JDIFF, but the one afternoon to make a note of is Sunday February 26th, when all three films in the Dreiliben trilogy are screened back to back. These three films look at the same story – the escape of a convicted murderer in a small German town – through three different perspectives. These three films are a fascinating exercise in the possibilities of storytelling.

South African film Beauty was shown at Cannes last year, and is a fascinating look at the nature of obsession. As well as this, the First Look section includes Minnie Driver’s adorable film Hunky Dory, Jason Segel and Ed Helms star in the Hollywood indie film Jeff Who Lives at Home and Mark Wahlberg is flying into Dublin for the screening of his latest film Contraband.

Disney fans will be delighted at the inclusion of the classic film Bambi in this year’s JDIFF. Fans of everyone’s favourite consulting detective Sherlock Holmes will be happy that Buster Keaton classic Sherlock Jr is screening at the festival and fans of Al Pacino can warm up before he attends the festival with his 1996 film, Looking for Richard.

Words – Brogen Hayes

The tenth Jameson Dublin International Film Festival promises something special for Irish cinema fans.
JDIFF 2012 runs from February 16th – 26th at venues around the city. For more information, and to book tickets, see http://www.JDIFF.com