Every October since 1990 the Brittany town of Dinard, known to many as the Cannes of the north, holds an annual film festival dedicated to the best in British cinema. This year, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, the festival will feature six films shot on Britain’s neighbouring island (that’d be Ireland).
Ireland’s representative in the official competition is Lenny Abrahamson’s piognant comedic drama Frank, starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Frank is competiting with the Belfast set ’71, starring Jack O’Connell, Hong Khaou’s beautiful and touching Lilting, Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy, Guy Myhill’s The Goob, and Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club, which just opened in Irish cinemas.
Award winning French actress Catherine Deneuve is heading up an amazing jury that will bestow the coveted Golden Hitchcock, a trophy designed in the image of the great director, upon one of those six. Other awards are given to the best short film and best screenplay, and the “Coup de Cœur” Award and the Audience Award are also presented.
In addition to the six competition films the festival features preview screenings, as well as retrospectives and tributes to the great names of British cinema. Special sessions are also organised, where French films co-produced by the British and shot in the UK are shown.
Four Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. funded films are screening as previews at the festival. The Tomm Moore directed Song of the Sea will feature as part of the Young Cinema programme, with John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, John Boorman’s Queen and Country, and Stephen Bradley’s Noble, the story of Christina Noble which just opened here last weekend, screening throughout the 5 day festival.
The festival, which runs from October 8th to 12th, has picked two musical films to bookend its run, opening with Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith, and closing with David Frankel’s One Chance. Britain’s hope for Oscar glory, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, will enjoy a special screening.