Wondering what to watch during the holidays?

Our Festival Director Gráinne Humphreys selected seven movies to watch this Christmas, most of them from the DIFF back catalogue. From family classics to new favourites and hidden gems, it's a journey through some of the best world and Irish cinema on the small screen over the holidays.

Light a fire, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy!

An American in Paris

USA, 1951, Vincente Minnelli

Screened as part of a tribute to Dublin born Cedric Gibson in 2018, An American in Paris is a perfect escape when you haven't left the country in 6 months. Dream about wandering through the streets of la ville lumière with Gene Kelly and dancing to George Gershwin's melodies.

The Sound of Music

USA, 1965, Robert Wise

Screened at DIFF 2015 when presented the one and only Julie Andrews with her Volta Award, this is one of the great classics. Complete with wintery Alps and some inspiration for using that leftover wrapping paper, it’s perfect for a family singalong.

The War of the Roses

USA, 1989, Danny DeVito

Another classic from a Volta Award recipient, this black comedy directed by and starring Danny DeVito is one of a kind. Starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, its not exactly full of Christmas cheer, but if you feel that the family arguments are getting a bit too much, just be grateful you're not one of the Roses!

The Overcoat

Ireland/Estonia, 2018, Meelis Arulepp, Sean Mullen

Awarded a special commendation by our Children’s Jury in 2019, this new look at Gogol's classic novel will take you to the mysterious 19th century Saint Petersburg. For those who’ve seen a Christmas Carol one too many times it has the perfect mix of snow and magic. Starring Cillian Murphy and Alfred Molina, it’s a wonderful film for the whole family. 


UK, 2017, Sean Foley

Ridiculous and absurdly silly, Jullian Barret’s (The Mighty Boosh) one-eyed police detective comedy mystery will have you in stiches. We screened it in 2017 and our sides still hurt from laughing.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

USA, 2014, Wes Anderson

At a time when eating is one of the most important activities of the day, this Wes Anderson comedy starring Saoirse Ronan is a luxurious adventure with Monsieur Gustave H. Make sure to have pastries on hand and keep an eye out for gorgeous props and graphics by Irish production designer Annie Atkins. "Who wouldn't? At the Grand Budapest, sir". Indeed.

The Breadwinner

Ireland, 2018, Nora Twomney

Based on Deborah Elis's novel, this Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon animation was the Audience Award winner at DIFF 2018. An extraordinary story about courage and fearlessness that won't leave anyone indifferent.

Feeling Inspired? Watch more movies on a big screen in 2021!