New Irish titles include John Carney's Once, selected for the Sundance Film Festival and starring Glenn Hansard (who previously starred in The Commitments). The film is a contemporary musical set on the streets of Dublin, following a busker and an immigrant who meet on the street, write, rehearse and record a number of songs together, and make a tentative romantic attachment.
Cre na Cille is the first full-length feature film in the Irish language for nearly three decades. It is adapted from the Mairtin O Cadhain novel of the same title and directed by Robert Quinn, whose Dead Bodies was the closing film of the first DIFF in 2003.
Nominated for five categories, including Best Film, at the forthcoming Irish Film & Television Awards, Small Engine Repair is a comedy drama, starring Iain Glen, about a man who very reluctantly puts his singing and songwriting talent into the public domain. His wife has left him and only his best friend believes in him but this is his last chance to make it.
Films without local distribution that will be screened include Woody Allen's Scoop with Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson; Colour Me Kubrick, starring John Malkovich, and Lars Von Trier's The Boss of it All, a return to the black humour of his earlier work. New documentaries on show will include French director Philippe Pilard's film, Neil Jordan - Portrait.
Some titles selected for DIFF that figure strongly in the current awards season include Zhang Yimou's epic Curse of the Golden Flower, and Half Nelson which stars Ryan Gosling.
Once again films will screen at all four cinema sites in Dublin city centre - the Screen, Savoy, Cineworld and the IFI. The festival will also host a special screening of Fritz Lang's masterpiece Metropolis to be accompanied by 3Epkano with a special orchestral arrangement at the National Gallery of Ireland. For the second year, the festival will also play host to an International film industry conference sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The fifth Dublin International Film Festival ushers in a new sponsorship deal with principal sponsor Jameson which is valued at over $1.9m (Euros 1.5m) over three years for sponsorship, marketing and promotional support. The festival promises new feature films from all continents, along with retrospectives and special seasons making it the biggest film event in Ireland with 100 feature films, shorts, discussions, special guests, events and the odd surprise.