Audience Award The festival has screened over 1,277 films since it first kicked off in 2003

Since its inception the festival has prided itself on creating a unique forum of exchange between the public and the filmmaking community through hosting a whole range of events that allow the public to interact with filmmakers in the form of public interviews, panel discussions and Q&A sessions. As such, ever year over 50 directors, actors and producers attend the festival each year to meet Irish filmmakers and audiences and discuss their work. Over the years an array of film talent has joined in with the celebration, including Daniel Day Lewis, Gabriel Byrne, Jim Sheridan, Patricia Clarkson, Kristin Scott Thomas Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Tilda Swinton,Charlize Theron, Collin Firth, Al Pacino, Martin Sheen, Glen Close, Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson, among others, all of whom have graced the DIFF red carpet.  Audiences and industry members have been delighted to meet a widely diverse range of luminaries and gain insights in to every area of the film world including perspectives from directors, producers, screenwriters and critics such as Mike Leigh, John Sayles, Quentin Tarantino, Martin McDonagh, Jeremy Thomas, Wim Wenders, Neil Gaiman, Jan Troell, Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekas, Frederic Raphael, Todd McCarthy and Thierry Fremaux.

The Festival was established by Michael Dwyer, Chief Film Correspondent of The Irish Times, and film producer David McLoughlin to present an opportunity for Dublin's cinema-going audiences to experience the best in Irish and international cinema.  "Dublin has remarkable film attendance per capita, among the highest in Europe, certainly the highest in the EU," Dwyer said in a 2003 interview. "It seems absurd that the city didn't have an international film festival."

2008 saw a significant change to the festival's executive with Gráinne Humphreys replacing Michael Dwyer as Festival Director and Joanne O'Hagan assuming the role, formerly held by Rory Concannon, of Chief Executive Officer.

The Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Audi, with principal funding from The Arts Council.

Key partners and funders include The Irish Film Board, hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, beverage sponsor Peroni Nastro Azzurro, retail partner Arnotts, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane and media partners The Irish Times, RTÉ Supporting the Arts and


Dublin International Film Festival in Numbers:

  • The festival has screened over 1,500 films since it first kicked off in 2003
  • International cinema has been profiled with seasons of films from Russia, Korea, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Latin America and Asia amongst others
  • A whopping 1,868 volunteers have joined the festival since 2003 to help with every element of organisation, through from helping source a print to ripping a ticket stub
  • The Festival can boast an impressive list of leading lights of the Silver Screen who have all come to Dublin:
  • Colin Farrell, Tilda Swinton, Colin Firth, Jim Sheridan, John Sayles, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day Lewis, Patricia Clarkson, Kristin Scott Thomas Paolo Sorrentino, Wim Wenders, Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekas

In 2007, the festival introduced a career achievement award, the Volta Award, in order to celebrate individuals who have made a significant contribution to the world of film:


  • 2007 – Michael Dwyer, Consolata Boyle, Gabriel Byrne & Jeremy Thomas
  • 2008 – Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day-Lewis & Leo Ward
  • 2009 – George Morrison, Paolo Sorrentino & Thierry Fremaux
  • 2010 – Ciaran Hinds, Kristen Scott-Thomas & Patricia Clarkson
  • 2011 – Martin Sheen, Francois Ozon & Kevin Brownlow
  • 2012 – Al Pacino, Marin Karmitz, Stellan Skarsgard
  • 2013 - Tim Roth, Costa-Gavras, Danny DeVito & Joss Whedon
  • 2014 - Peter Morgan, Terry Gilliam, Richard Dreyfuss and Stanley Tucci
  • 2015 - Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Julie Andrews and Laurent Cantet 


In the same year the festival also introduced the highly popular and hotly contested Audience Award:


  • 2007 – Once
  • 2008 – Waveriders
  • 2009 – Anvil! The Story of Anvil
  • 2010 – His & Hers
  • 2011 – Benda Bilili!
  • 2012 – The Raid
  • 2013 - Broken Song
  • 2014 - Los Wild Ones
  • 2015 - The Salt of the Earth (Feature) | Boogaloo & Graham (short)

In 2008 the festival inaugurated The Irish Talent Spotlight in order to profile exceptional new and established talent working in all areas of the Irish Film Industry (Cine Talent Award now)


  • 2008 – Ken Wardrop, Margo Harkin (Producer), Tim Fleming (Director of Photography)
  • 2009 – Cartoon Saloon (Irish Animation Company) and Margeret Corkery (Writer/Director)
  • 2010 – Darren Healy, Conor Horgan, Kate McCullough
  • 2011 – Juanita Wilson, David O’Reilly and Aidan Gillen
  • 2012 - Pat Collins, Brian Byrne and Ian Fitzgibbon
  • 2014 - Donal Foreman
  • 2015 - Read More Here

Surprise Film

  • 2003 – Buffalo Soldiers
  • 2004 – Starsky & Hutch
  • 2005 – The Squid & The Whale
  • 2006 – The Jacket
  • 2007 – 300
  • 2008 – The Escapist
  • 2009 – Hamlet 2
  • 2010 – Greenberg
  • 2011 – Cedar Rapids
  • 2012 – This must be the Place, El Casa de Mi Padre
  • 2013 - Welcome to the Punch
  • 2014 - Muppets Most Wanted
  • 2015 - Good Kill

The festival is a citywide event that takes place in select Dublin City Centre Cinemas including:

  • Cineworld, Parnell Street
  • The Savoy, O’Connell Street
  • Irish Film Institute, Eustace Street
  • Light House Cinema, Smithfield
  • Movies at Dundrum
  • Pavillion Theatre