The Audi Dublin International Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday night after a remarkable 11 days celebrating the best of Irish and World cinema.
From the acclaimed Opening Gala Irish Premiere of Aisling Walsh’s Maudie, to the Audi Gala Irish premiere of Free Fire, and to the triumphant Closing Night Gala premiere of John Butler’s Handsome Devil, the festival screened almost 100 Irish and World Premieres to tens of thousands of filmgoers and a huge number of guests that included actors, directors, writers, producers and crew.
Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys said ‘2017’s festival has seen a huge number of new audiences discover the festival for the first time and they’ve given the festival a new surge of energy with their passion and enthusiasm for film. We’ve been honoured to screen the World and Irish premieres of so many incredible films from right across the world. The amazing response to this year’s programme is reflected in the figures, with box office revenues for the festival film screenings increased significantly in comparison to the 2016 festival.’
AUDI-ence Award – The Farthest
As the Closing Night Gala closed and the audience streamed out there were teams of dedicated volunteers gathering the final votes for the prestigious AUDI-ence Award that is entirely chosen by the festival audience. The final tally saw Emer Reynolds' space exploration documentary The Farthest, produced by John Murray and Clare Stronge for Crossing the Line Productions, take the prize after it’s standing ovation reception at its world premiere earlier on Sunday. The winning filmmakers will be treated by Audi to a VIP festival experience at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018.
Emer Reynolds, director of the winning film The Farthest said "On behalf of the whole team, I am delighted and humbled to receive this award. Screening the film to a Dublin audience was the most incredible experience and for them to honour us like this is out of this world!"
The Audi Dublin International Film Festival Discovery Award
Highlighting the creative energy from emerging homegrown talent surging through the festival programme, sixteen exceptional individuals were nominated for the ADIFF Discovery Award with the winners announced Sunday as Niamh Algar (actress – Without Name, Pebbles, Gone) John Connors (actor – Breathe, The Secret Scripture), and Vincent Gallagher (Writer/Director – Second to None).
The ADIFF Discovery Award Jury is comprised of past-winner Juanita Wilson (Director – 2011), star-on-the-rise Seána Kerslake, producer Jason Foran, and Aidan Greene, Deputy CEO of Core Media.
The Discovery Award Jury said “At such an exciting time internationally for Irish film we were honoured to be a part of the Festival’s effort to celebrate emerging Irish talent and in turn help that talent get recognition both here and abroad. As a jury, we were delighted to have viewed so many projects that show there is no shortage of upcoming talent here. It’s quite an accomplishment to be nominated for any award, and we the jury would like to congratulate all the nominees, as yet again the work submitted this year was excellent and continues to raise the bar. In a repeat of last year, we have decided to choose three winners, each being recognised for their amazing work and we look forward to watching them grow within their respective fields.”
Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards
The Dublin Film Critics Circle, composed of a jury of professional film critics, announced their awards at a special ceremony sponsored by Limelight Communications that attracted many of the key players in film journalism and distribution. Winners attending the ceremony included Emer Reynolds, John Butler, Len Collin, Charlene Kelly and Kieran Coppinger.
Tara Brady (Irish Times), DFCC President said “As ever, it is a gruelling pleasure to head the DFCC jury at ADIFF. Gruelling because one has to pick between such amazing things as Scott Chambers ' tremendous performance in Chicken, the ravishing beauty of Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait, the grand intergenerational tensions of Thithi, the drama of The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, and the heartbreak of Gleason. Pleasure because of the scope of Gráinne Humphreys' programme, and the day or night assistance provided by print transport manager Mary Burke, festival publicity manager Patrick Stewart and awards sponsor Limelight Communications.”
DFCC Best Film - Aquarius
DFCC Best Actress – Florence Pugh, Lady Macbeth
DFCC Best Actor - Sherwan Haji, The Other Side of Hope
DFCC Best Director – Lav Diaz, The Woman Who Left
DFCC Best Cinematography - M. David Mullen, The Love Witch
DFCC Best Screenplay - Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov, Glory
DFCC Best Irish Feature – Handsome Devil
DFCC Best Irish Documentary – The Farthest
DFCC Best Documentary – I Am Not Your Negro
DFCC Jury Prize - Kristopher Avedisian, Donald Cried
DFCC Jury Prize – Daouda Coulibaly, Wùlu
DFCC Jury Prize – My Life as a Courgette
DFCC Jury Prize - The Transfiguration
DFCC George Byrne Maverick Award – Emer Reynolds
DFCC Michael Dwyer Discovery Award - Blue Teapot cast - Sanctuary
Fantastic Flix Awards
The festival’s Fantastic Flix children and young people’s strand was a huge success in 2017, scooping the Irish Premiere of two Oscar-nominated animations, a visit from children’s author and guest curator Dame Jacqueline Wilson and a packed set of film workshops in association with The Ark. The Fantastic Flix jury, comprised of 11 and 12-year-olds with the support of The Ark's Children’s Council and the Irish Film Classification Office, selected Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island as their Best Fantastic Flix Feature and Litterbugs as Best Fantastic Flix Short. Their choices were broadcast in a special filmed message during the Closing Gala. View their message here.
Audi Dublin International Film Festival Shorts Awards
The shorts jury comprised Freelance Film Critic Esther McCarthy; Trish Long, Vice- President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company (Ireland); Mark Adams, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival; and Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director of Brown Bag Films.
Best International Short - Speechless
International Special Mention - Super Sex
Best Irish Short – Lily
Irish Special Mention – Breathe
Audience Award for Short Film – The Nation Holds Its Breath
The Shorts Jury said "Our Best Irish Short award goes to Graham Cantwell’s pithy, energetic and perfectly made short, Lily. Featuring an excellent young cast and rooted in very believable performances, its story revolving around homophobic bullying among a group of teenage girls is, of course, timely and relevant, though never too angsty. Best International Short goes to Robin Polak’s Speechless. We found it to be a note-perfect exercise in short filmmaking: relevant in revealing its uncomfortable truths (but never manipulative), beautifully acted and genuinely moving.“
The Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Audi, its principal funder is the Arts Council and it is also in receipt of funding from official industry partner, the Irish Film Board. Key partners and funders include hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane, Fáilte Ireland, social listening partners Olytico, digital out-of-home provider Orbscreen, official food ordering app Just Eat and media partners Entertainment.ie, 98FM, The Times & The Sunday Times and micromedia.ie. Venue partners include Cineworld.