The inaugural Dublin International Film Festival (March 6-13) has clinched a major sponsorship deal with Jameson Irish Whiskey worth Euros 100,000.

The partnership is one of the largest business sponsorships of the arts in Ireland in recent years.

Backing of Euros 25,000 has also come from the Arts Council, while a season of Irish Feature Film Premieres will be sponsored by Xtra-Vision and HB ice-cream will support a unique strand "linked to the sinful pleasures associated with ice cream'"

Some preliminary programme details include a Gala screening of Alan Parker's The Life of David Gale, straight from its Berlin world premiere and introduced by the director with actor Laura Linney in attendance. Parker will take part in a public interview following the screening. There will also be directors' home-town outings for Damien O'Donnell's Heartlands, Thaddeus O'Sullivan's The Heart Of Me and Jim Sheridan's In America - each of whom will introduce their films.

Of the many foreign language titles that will be shown among the seventy features on offer only Mexico's, The Crime Of Father Amaro, has been announced in advance of the full programme in two weeks time.