January 22nd 2024: The Dublin International Film Festival returns from February 22nd to March 2nd 2024 presenting an elevated cinema experience. The IFI once again partners with DIFF for six of the festival events. Read on for more details. 

Speaking about presenting these six films in the Dublin International Film Festival programme at the Irish Film Institute, IFI Head of Irish Film Programming Sunniva O’Flynn said, “As Arts Council Exhibition Partners we are delighted to co-present with DIFF a bumper collection of new Irish work for 2024 – The Reel Art collection, which features a series of sensitive and moving reflections on loss; Colin Hickey’s innovative hybrid work; and Tadhg O’Sullivan’s hotly-anticipated experimental drama starring Brenda Fricker. We look forward particularly to sharing the musical delights of Brendan Gleeson’s Farewell to Hughes’s.”

The programme in detail
Perennial Light
February 25th (13.30)

Followed by Q&A with director Colin Hickey.
In coastal Ireland, the memory of his best friend’s sudden death haunts a young boy even as he ventures into adulthood. Troubled by his own vortex of dark and obsessive thoughts about death, he embarks on a quest for healing and redemption.
In this dialogue-free, monochromatic work, hand-drawn ballpoint animations by Paolo Chianta sit alongside improvised live-action sequences. Characters are developed in response to location, and narrative is shaped through the editing process. Hickey (The Evening Redness in the South) has described his process as one of spontaneity and flexibility, where the camera becomes an extension of storytelling, capturing the raw authenticity of the actors to create images that resonate.

Don’t Forget to Remember
February 26th (18.30)
Followed by Q&A with director Ross Killeen.

This unconventional documentary from Ross Killeen (Love Yourself Today) is an emotive human story featuring the artist Asbestos and his journey through the slow decay of his mother’s memories as they disintegrate due to her advancing Alzheimer’s disease.
The film explores the fragility of memory and the lived experience of those with Alzheimer’s, whilst also celebrating a family’s life lived together. In collaboration with the artist Asbestos, the film opens up an honest conversation about the brittleness of memory and finds that even though Alzheimer’s brings elements of disintegration and destruction, the memories we have of our loved ones will endure and last, even if they’ve disintegrated in the mind of the sufferer.

Conor Walsh: Selected Piano Works

February 27th (18.30)
Followed by Q&A with director Keith Walsh.
Conor Walsh wrote his heart in minimalist piano compositions. Described in the press as ‘meticulously crafted’ and ‘genuinely spellbinding’, his music came from a practice of non-directedness, directing us only to transcendence from our quotidian existence. This musical reverie celebrates the work Conor left behind when he died tragically of a heart attack aged 36, just when his music was beginning to flow out into the world. It pulses with the influences that went into the creation of his art – the windings of the river Moy, the human traffic of a small Mayo town, the migratory movements of swallows, a creaking 200-year-old hotel, the maternal melodies of his childhood.

The Swimming Diaries
February 28th (18.30)
Followed by Q&A with director Susan Thomson.
The Swimming Diaries originated as a book, a memoir exactly 25,000 words long, with each word representing one of the 25,000 metres or strokes swum by Susan Thomson during the month when her mother was dying. The film translates the book back into movement, hovering between experimental documentary, musical theatre and contemporary opera to trace a journey from life to death. Thomson’s moving tribute, a feminist exploration of matrilineal creativity, is at times surreal – conjuring the effects of morphine taken in the last stages of illness, as it interweaves choral, orchestral and pop music, and a vivid mosaic of underwater imagery, dance sequences and archive video of musicals directed by her mother.

Brendan Gleeson’s Farewell to Hughes’s
March 1st (18.30)
A film from the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Followed by Q&A with director Ciarán Ó Maonaigh.
An unassuming pub on a side street behind the Four Courts in Dublin City Centre was a mecca of traditional Irish music for musicians, dancers, singers and listeners for over 35 years. In 2021, Hughes’s pub closed its doors for the last time. In January 2022, talented fiddle player, actor, and Hughes’s regular Brendan Gleeson meets musicians, dancers and singers in and around the pub as they gather one last time to recreate the magic of Hughes’s and to commemorate its invaluable legacy. With contributions from the Brooks Academy Set Dancers, musicians from the Fanny Power Sessions, the Sunday Night Sessions and others.

The Swallow
March 1st (20.30)
An Arts Council Authored Works film. Followed by Q&A with director Tadhg O’Sullivan.

In a small house by the sea, a woman begins a letter to an unknown correspondent. Surrounded by the books, mementoes and clutter of her life, her home exposed to the waves of a rising ocean, she writes about the history of lost art. Considering what has been lost, and wondering about her own desire to hold on, she meditates on memory and on art’s aspiration to immortality. Tadhg O’Sullivan (To the Moon) is one of Ireland’s most talented and innovative filmmakers. Best known for his documentary essays, he moves here into new territory with an experimental drama featuring a fictional character played with signature understatement by Oscar-winning Brenda Fricker.

The full festival programme and tickets are now available on

IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland