The opening of the Jameson Dublin International Film FestivalInternational tonight and the annual Irish Film & Television Awardson Sunday launch a hectic week of international guests, awards andscreenings in Ireland's capital.

The festival launches this evening with the European premiere of Sundance opener In Bruges with writer/director Martin McDonagh and leading actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in attendance.

Gleeson and recent BAFTA winner Daniel Day Lewis are recipients this year of the festival's career achievement award, The Volta, along with veteran Irish exhibitor and distributor Leo Ward, who has spent 60 years in the film trade.

Day Lewis will attend a gala festival presentation Saturday evening of There Will Be Blood and join in a post screening discussion with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Earlier Saturday writer/director Stuart Townsend and leading actress Charlize Theron will present Townsend's directorial debut, Battle in Seattle.

Other guests attending the festival include Danuta Stenka, leading actress in Katyn; director Mike Leigh, producer Simon Channing Williams, and actors Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan with Happy-Go-Lucky; director John Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi with Honeydripper; director Marc Evans with In Prison My Whole Life, and leading actress Marianne Faithful with Irina Palm.

On Sunday evening actor/director Mel Gibson will attend the Irish Film & Television Awards where he will receive the Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award. The huge success of his Irish-shot film Braveheart is credited with making Ireland a centre for international production during the 1990s.

The nominations for best film at the IFTAs are Becoming Jane, Closing the Ring, Garage, Kings, and Shrooms. The 5th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards takes place at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre and will be broadcast by RTÉ.

The Jameson Dublin International Festival will close on February 24 with the world premiere of Eden, Samson Films' adaptation of the successful stage play by Eugene O'Brien, directed by Declan Recks.