Lights, Camera, Action – Looking Ahead To The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2020!

Two male actors from a DIFF film

It’s the time that film fans look forward to all year, as the capital hosts twelve days of movie madness for the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. Running February 26th - March 8th, more than 100 films from all around the world will screen during twelve days of big-screen brilliance.



So what do you have to look forward to? Well, everything from glitzy galas and terrific talks to family affairs and – of course – the legendary surprise film! Read on for a better idea of what’s on the way, and get ready to discover something different…




A trio of Irish films take centre stage for the Gala screenings – red carpet events really worth getting the gladrags ready for! Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium, starring Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, gets things started on Opening Night, while things are brought to a close with Herself, written by and starring Clare Dunne. In between, the Virgin Media Midweek Gala sees the likes of Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar star in Calm With Horses. Three examples of the homegrown heroics that make Irish cinema so exciting these days!




Of course, it’s not just the Galas that will host spellbinding cinema; in fact, it’s everywhere you look across the 12 days! Whether the compelling True History Of The Kelly Gang, based on the infamous Australian outlaws, the phenomenal – and original – Les Misérables, a gritty French drama set amidst civil unrest in Paris, or the globe-straddling, award-winning It Must Be Heaven, the programme is positively packed with exceptional efforts. Dig out your diary and get planning, because there’s a lot to see!




Got a sports fan in your life? They’ll love Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which captures the French icon in all his glory. Have the kids in tow? How does the brand new Disney/Pixar offering Onward sound? And from a special presentation of Charlie Chaplin shorts to the Fantastic Flix programme aimed at younger viewers, just about every box you can think of is thoroughly ticked. There’s even a dog-friendly screening of the barkingly brilliant Marona’s Fantastic Tale – so when we say there’s something for all the family, we’re even including the four-legged lot too!




While just about every type of film you can imagine is represented on the schedule, some look set to be hits across the board – from Street Leagues, an Irish documentary on how homeless people have found comfort in football, to the awesome animation Bombay Rose. We’d also pay special attention to Billie, the biopic of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday; it’s produced by the makers of Maiden, which bagged the Audience Award at last year’s festival!




Not all of the festival’s highlights are on screen; in fact, there’s a busy agenda of events ranging from workshops to panels. Highlights include the renowned screenwriter Charlie Kaufman in conversation, a day of events aimed at secondary school students who fancy a career in screen, and a celebration of the music that helped make Federico Fellini’s films so unforgettable. Add in The Empire Film Podcast live and in person, the return of the ever-competitive table quiz, and loads more going on, and you’ll be booked up from dawn til dusk across the 12 days!


Can’t decide the film for you? Let us lend a hand! Take a quick quiz to get matched up to your perfect festival pick right here!