A Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and Irish Council for Civil Liberties Partnership



Today, Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties officially relaunch the Dublin Human Rights Film Award.  Helping to launch the prestigious award which will be unveiled at an intimate gathering on Sunday March 3rd at The Merrion Hotel were Emmet Kirwan, Bulelani Mfaco, Aoife Kelleher, and Sorcha Pollack.


The Dublin Human Rights Film Award will celebrate an outstanding achievement in raising awareness and understanding of human rights through the medium of film. Virgin Media will provide the winner with access to facilities at Virgin Media Television to the value of €1,000, which can include editing, studio time, camera and post audio depending on the needs of the project.


Eight films from the festival programme have been identified as being of special merit in their engagement with the theme of human rights. The shortlist of films will be evaluated by an esteemed adjudication panel which include: film and television director Aoife Kelleher; Irish Times journalist and author Sorcha Pollak; actor, playwright and screenwriter Emmet Kirwan, Direct Provision activist Bulelani Mfaco; and disability advocate and ICCL board member Suzy Byrne.

The aspiring shortlist of films, in alphabetical order, are:


●        A Girl From Mogadishu by Mary McGuckian: Based on the testimony of Ifrah Ahmed the film details Ifrah’s astonishing and powerful journey, from her time in a refugee camp to becoming a leading campaigner.

●        Another Day of Life by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow: A film which centres on an idealistic journalist tasked with covering civil conflict in Angola in the 1970s. 

●        Gaza by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell: A documentary portrait of the resilience of people in the most challenging of circumstances, set among the communities who live in Gaza.

●        Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story by Janus Metz and Dr Sine Plambech: A documentary about a small village in northern Denmark where over 900 Thai women have married and settled.

●        Land Without God by Gerard Mannix Flynn: His deeply personal documentary feature about himself and members of his own family as they recall the effects of decades of institutional abuse.

●        Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki: A documentary which centres on a radical Islamist family and their harsh existence as war rages around them in Syria.

●        Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu: A Kenyan film that revolves around two female friends who fall in love. In doing so, they must face the challenges of family expectations and the conservative society in which they live.

●       The Public by Emilio Estevez: A film about a committed librarian, frustrated at a lack of social justice, allows some of his most vulnerable visitors turn his work space into an impromptu homeless shelter.


The winning film will be announced and presented with the Dublin Human Rights Film Award by Irish civils rights activist and former politician Bernadette McAliskey at a special event to be held in The Merrion Hotel on Sunday March 3rd.


Now it its 17th year, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Ireland’s premier film event, returns to the capital from February 20th to March 3rd. The packed programme features over 125 events across 12 days including the finest local and international feature films, short films and documentaries, along with a dedicated children’s and young people’s programme and a host of special events featuring  industry leaders. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.diff.ie


Join the conversation online

Twitter: @DublinFilmFest / Instagram: @dublinfilmfestival

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For more information visit www.diff.ie

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For further press information please contact Conway Communications:

Ellen King (Ellen@conwaycommunications.ie / 087 201 3724)

Nigel Goggin (Nigel@conwaycommunications.ie / 087 604 1161)



For further press information please contact Virgin Media:

Anna Maria Barry (annamaria.barry@virginmedia.ie / 086 2272072)



About the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival

The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival was founded in 2003 and sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film talent. Featuring a red carpet line-up of on-screen talent and guest filmmakers, the festival offers unique access to a plethora of filmmaking talent and transforms Dublin into a hub of glamour, creativity and film appreciation. The festival enjoys an international reputation and is considered a vital launch-pad for Irish titles and an important showcase of world cinema for discerning audiences.


Over the past 16 years, Dublin International Film Festival has screened world cinema from 52 different countries, a total of almost 1,500 films, of which 300 were Irish features including Irish premieres of Sing StreetOnceOndineIn BrugesCalvaryThe Stag and The Secret of Kells. The Festival has hosted over 600 major guests, including Al Pacino, Angela Lansbury, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Danny DeVito, Ennio Morricone, Joss Whedon, Julie Andrews, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci, and Stellan Skarsgård.


This year the Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Virgin Media, with principal funding from The Arts Council. Key partners and funders include Screen Ireland, Dublin City Council, hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane, social listening partner Olytico and media partners Orb Screen, Wide Eye Media, the Sunday Independent, 98FM and Entertainment.ie.


About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is one of the country’s leading connected entertainment providers and operates a cable and broadcast business in Ireland.


Our cable business delivers multi award-winning services: broadband, TV, mobile and home phone connect thousands of people across the country. We are extending our cable footprint with our ‘Project Lightning’ so that more communities can enjoy the benefits of the fastest, widely available broadband speeds from Virgin Media.


Our broadcast division, Virgin Media Television is Ireland’s number one commercial broadcaster operating three free-to-air channels (Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two, Virgin Media Three, plus the Virgin Media Player) and is a significant investor in home produced content across news, current affairs and drama. We offer extensive sports coverage on our Virgin Media Sport and our 6 Extra Sport channels to ensure fans see all games across UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League fixtures and more.


Through Virgin Media Business, we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers and offers WiFi service through 12 million access points across its footprint.

For further information please visit: www.virginmedia.ie