Minari scoops Virgin Media Audience Award at the 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival
The 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival announced its final prestigious Virgin Media Audience Award winner today following a hugely successful event with advance sell outs, capacity audiences and increased sales, an all-Ireland reach and an enhanced international footprint.
Proving to be a real favourite at the Festival, Lee Isaac Chung’s tender film about a Korean-American family, Minari, scooped this year’s hotly contested Audience Award. The film was also a winner with the critics, receiving the gong for Best Screenplay at the Dublin Film Critics Circle (DFCC) Awards announced on Sunday. Audiences chose Irish short To All My Darlings as their favourite short.
Other favourites throughout the Festival included Apples, which won the Best Film category at the DFCC Awards and To The Moon which was awarded Best Irish Film; Acasa My Home, which won the Festival Documentary Competition, as well as Best Documentary at the DFCC Awards and The Dissident which won the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) Human Rights Film Award and also received a DFCC Jury Award.
Although the main programme has come to a close, the Festival is delighted that Playback x VMDIFF: Irish Hip Hop & R&B a dynamic programme of some of the best contemporary hip hop music videos in Ireland today will travel internationally. Commissioned by the Festival and curated by producer Michael Donnelly V and musician Erica Cody Playback will travel to 8 festivals and arts centres across the US and the world including Paris, Berlin, New York, Moscow, Mumbai and Ottawa, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
This year’s virtual Festival reached well beyond Dublin with people tuning in throughout the country with particularly strong numbers from Cork, Limerick and Galway, and with industry events attracting participants from as far afield as the US and South America. As well as increased viewing numbers this year, Festival organisers noted a wider audience spread across the programme and increased multiple ticket purchasing.
Festival Director Grainne Humphreys and Managing Director Helen Hutton are already relishing the prospect of retaining and building on the new audiences and new connections forged in 2021.
The Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition in association with Screen Ireland winners were announced as Allie O’Rourke and Becky Cheatle (Punch Line) and Rehan Ali (Water Under the Bridge), who will share a production fund of €60,000 for their short films. Both Punch Line and Water Under The Bridge will premiere on Virgin Media Television and on Virgin Media’s On Demand platform and a preview screening in conjunction with the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival later in the year.
Full list of Festival Awards winners below:
AUDIENCE AWARD Feature
Minari, Lee Issac Chung
AUDIENCE AWARD Shorts
To All My Darlings, Lia Campbell
DUBLIN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE (DFCC) AWARDS
Best Film – Apples, Christos Nikou
Best Irish Film – To The Moon, Tadhg O’Sullivan
Best Director – Lili Horvát, Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Best Actress – Joanna Scanlon, After Love
Best Actor – Goran Bogdan, Father
Best Screenplay – Lee Issac Chung, Minari
Best Cinematography – Viktor Kosakovskiy and Egil Håskjold Larsen, Gunda
Best Documentary – Acasa My Home, Radu Ciorniciuc
George Byrne Maverick Award – Ivan Kavanagh, Son
Michael Dwyer Discovery Award – Zofia Stafiej, I Never Cry
Jury Awards –
Kyle Gallner, Dinner in America
Noah Hutton, Lapsis
Zoé Wittock, Jumbo
Bryan Fogel, The Dissident
AER LINGUS DISCOVERY AWARD
Rachel Carey, Deadly Cuts
Burschi Wojnar, Kathleen Was Here
Hazel Doupe, Kathleen Was Here
Saileóg O’Halloran, Kathleen Was Here
Acasa, My Home, Radu Ciorniciuc
The Reason I Jump, Jerry RothwelL
Sue Bruce-Smith Award for Best Irish Short - Her Song, Éabha Bortolozzo and Jack Kirwan
Special Mention – Kathleen was Here, Eva Birthistle
Best International Short – Anita, Sushma Khadepaun
Special Mentions –
I am Afraid to Forget your Face, Sameh Alaa
ICCL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM AWARD
The Dissident, Bryan Fogel
VIRGIN MEDIA DISCOVERS
Allie O’Rourke and Becky Cheatle, Punch Line
Based on true events, Punch Line tells the story of how a transgender female stand-up comedian reframes a transphobic attack she experiences during the day in her routine that evening. The story explores diversity and inclusion from the perspective of a trans woman who is the victim of repeated assaults, physical and verbal but she owns the experience in a way that she triumphs over it.
Rehan Ali, Water Under the Bridge
Water Under The Bridge tells a coming of age story about a character who is traumatised by the loss of his father and experience as a refugee, told by someone who lived in a Direct Provision centre from the age of six to 16. While the film will explore diversity and inclusion from a race perspective it also deals with themes of being gay and mental health.
The Festival would like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Arts Council and Screen Ireland.
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