With the slogan 'DIFF - it's different' the formation of Ireland's new Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has been announced.
The first edition is set to take place from March 6 to 13 2003 at the Screen and Savoy cinemas in Dublin. According to festival Director Michael Dwyer the DIFF will be 'a non-competitive event, focused on the already sizeable and growing audience for cinema in Dublin and modelled on Toronto, where I loved 25 of the 28 films I saw there in a week!'
It is widely believed that the older event is in some financial difficulties, which DFF board Chairman Lewis Clohessy refused to detail when interviewed by screendaily.com at the end of September. 'The Board have decided that less is more when it comes to comment about the Festival's current circumstances,' he said.
This is part of the background against which Dwyer, whose day job is Film Correspondent of The Irish Times, is establishing the new festival with David McLoughlin, a one-time manager of the Dublin Film Festival, now a film producer whose first feature film, Dead Bodies, is in post-production. Dwyer is bullish about the prospects for the new venture. "We are already in negotiation to secure a number of major new films for the festival, and the response from the film trade has been hugely encouraging.'
Dwyer and McLoughlin are joined on the DIFF board of directors by Mary Allegeun, one of Ireland's most experienced line producers and former board member of the Irish Film Board; Sue Bruce-Smith, head of production at Little Bird Films and formerly of the BBC Films and FilmFour; Rory Concannon, marketing director of the Abbey Theatre and formerly of Cork Film Festival; Gordon Judge, one of Ireland's leading entertainment lawyers; Arthur Lappin, producer of Jim Sheridan's three most recent films and of the multiple award-winning Bloody Sunday; Niamh McCaul, managing director of Eclipse Pictures, Ireland's leading independent film distribution company; Martine Moreau of the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Dublin; and Gaby Smyth, a chartered accountant who is actively involved with a number of Irish arts organisations.
Details of the first confirmed titles will be announced in late January.