Taking place in Dingle, November 11th – 13th 2022

With Masters workshops hosted by John Sayles, Ros Hubbard and Owen McPolin

Aidan Gillen launched the Dingle Distillery International Film Festival which runs in Dingle, Co Kerry from 11th November – 13th November 2022, joining him was festival director Thom Palmen and filmmaker Mark McLoughlin at new city centre venue Tapped, on Nassau Street, this morning. Aidan said that Dingle had a “magic element” and he was excited that there would be an international flavour to the festival, with an array of talent due to arrive in Dingle from afar including Irish American director John Sayles.

Aidan shared his experience of living in Dingle for a number of years, attending the local film club on a Tuesday night at the famed Phoenix Cinema, and spoke about his excitement for an excuse to head to Dingle in November.

“Without having to over emphasise the magic element of it, which a lot of people in Ireland and around the world know about, it does have this sense of otherness that I definitely plugged into when I was 13 and went to learn some Irish – more than I was learning at school – and it was the best summer I ever had really. Eventually I went to live there for a year mid-2000s and stayed for four years. I’m in love with the place! I don’t have the opportunity to spend as much time there as I would like to, my kids who went to school there have grown up and their friends have moved away so I have less excuses but if I can ever find one, I’ll be there.”

“One of the things that excited me most when I went to live in Dingle was discovering this little cinema The Phoenix which was one of the last remaining family run cinema businesses in Ireland,” he added.

“I spent so much time in there, there was a Tuesday night film club where it would be packed.”

Asked what he was most excited about ahead of the festival, Aidan said:

“I am excited that it’s coming back – that’s the number one thing –  and I am excited that it’s under new directorship and that it’s going to be different, that’s the number two thing. And whatever they are going to programme I have no doubt is going to be very exciting. It gives me an excuse to go back to Dingle.

“I am quite excited with the news that it is going to have an international flavour to it, as film festivals should have,” he added.

In addition to an exquisite programme of Irish and international films, the festival aims to nurture the talent of tomorrow so there will be no shortage of opportunities to learn from the best, with seminars hosted by industry leaders in the Dingle Skellig Hotel covering everything from direction, production, camera, sound and lighting to script writing, casting and costume design for up to 300 attendees. Three exclusive full-day masterclass workshops will also take place over the festival weekend.

Dingle will welcome Irish American independent filmmaker John Sayles (Lone Star, Men with Guns, The Secret of Roan Inish) and his creative partner and producer Maggie Renzi for a Masters workshop on film production and casting, while one of the best cinematographers in the business Owen McPolin (Vikings, Game of Thrones) will give a not-to-be-missed workshop for any aspiring director of photography on setting up scenes for shooting, focussing on lighting and specific camera techniques.

Having been at the heart of the Irish and international film industry for 35 years and credited with uncovering the talent of stars like Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan and Orlando Bloom casting director Ros Hubbard will also host a one-day Masters workshop, offering advice to aspiring actors on how to cope with the demands of the film industry, how to stay motivated in the face of rejection and how to handle the practicalities of the career such as finding an agent.

The film festival will take place in various locations around Dingle, a place rich in cinema tradition thanks to local institutions like the Phoenix Cinema and the breath-taking landscapes that attracted directors such as David Lean and Ron Howard as well as Disney’s Lucasfilm to the area. The Díseart Centre and Beehive Studio will host screenings over the festival weekend, while a viewing treat awaits at the newly built Blasket Centre, as Dingle Distillery welcomes festival attendees to special screenings of Irish films in this incredibly scenic venue.

Festival organisers hope to create a unique and inspiring event for both up-and-coming and experienced filmmakers and film lovers alike, establishing the festival as the place to see new Irish and international films. With innovation and diversity in storytelling at the heart of the festival, a cash prize of €5,000 has been generously donated by Dingle Distillery for the best short film by a young, up-and-coming talent, by far the highest cash prize for a short film in Ireland to date.

The film festival will screen nine feature-length films in competition, with nine more screened outside of competition. Nine feature-length documentaries will also be presented in the Documentary category. Irish language films will also feature in the programme of the festival with Dingle a part of Ireland’s Gaeltacht areas. More information on the full programme will be available online from 1st November, with tickets also becoming available from Eventbrite.ie on 1st November.

A year-long film course will run in collaboration with the festival, hosted by leading professionals, extending our commitment to nurturing and training aspiring filmmakers. The festival mission is also to raise additional funding to help towards programming and creating sustainable employment in years to come. Find the festival GoFundMe page here.

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