The Christmas holidays are the time of year during which you can indulge in the brazenly cheerful festival films on offer. So it’s time to put on your cosiest Christmas sweater and enjoy this year’s festive offering of Christmas films at the Irish Film Institute to get you in the seasonal mood!
Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death has always been a firm Christmas favourite and the film, presented in a new digital restoration, opens at the IFI on Friday 8th. Also required viewing during the Christmas period, and a perennial IFI favourite, is It’s a Wonderful Life, which returns on Friday 15th; for true Christmas enthusiasts, the Feast Your Eyes screening of the Frank Capra classic on Tuesday 19th will include a post-screening festive feast in the IFI Café Bar. Our December IFI Family screening, Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story, will imbibe you with a childlike giddiness for the fast-approaching holiday season on Sunday 17th at 11.00.
The IFI & Kinopolis Polish Film Festival returns for its 12th edition on December 7th and will open with a screening of Agnieszka Holland’s award-winning Spoor. The festival will include a visit from director Robert Gliński to present his film Be Prepared, while other highlights include the closing film The Art of Loving: The Story of Michalina Wisłocka and the perennially popular animation programme.
The IFI will also present a short season of surfing documentaries, Mavericks, including the Irish première of Rory Kennedy’s Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton on Saturday 2nd. Ross Whitaker will visit the IFI once more to participate in a post-screening Q&A for Between Land and Sea on Sunday 3rd. The same weekend, director Kevin Henry will present his new film Soulsmith, which follows a successful young playwright (Matthew O’Brien) when he returns to his home in Mayo.
Acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins presents the life story of legendary sean-nós singer Joe Heaney in Song of Granite which opens on Friday 8th. The film celebrates the genius of the musician while painting an unflinching portrait of a deeply enigmatic and complex man. The film is Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar 2018, and the 18.15 screening on Friday 8th will be followed by a Q&A with director Collins.
On Monday 4th director Frankie Fenton will present a special screening of It’s Not Yet Dark in tribute to filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice, who recently lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). When he was diagnosed with MND in 2008, Simon was told he had four years to live. He refused to succumb to the disease, wrote a memoir and started work on My Name is Emily, the feature film he completed in 2015, with the help of eye-gaze technology. He shared his vibrant home with his wife, writer Ruth Fitzmaurice, and their five children.
This month’s From the Vaults screening will be Hush-A-Bye Baby, a poignant and relevant drama about a group of smart and likeable young women dealing with a crisis pregnancy. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Margo Harkin on Tuesday 5th at 18.30.
Following its release in July, when it shattered IFI box office records, we’re pleased to offer audiences another chance to experience Christopher Nolan’s magnificent Dunkirk in 70mm from Friday 15th. The IFI is the only cinema in Ireland capable of showing the format and is proud to screen the film in support of the director’s vocal advocacy for the superiority of celluloid over digital.
If you are looking for fantastic presents for film fans, the IFI Film Shop will have something for everyone, from the year’s best films including Moonlight and The Red Turtle on DVD and Blu-ray, to the always-popular IFI GAA Gold Box Set and George Best: All by Himself for sports fans. For the gift that keeps on giving, IFI Annual Membership and Gift Cards are also available. The IFI Film Shop will have extended opening hours in December, and will remain open on Christmas Eve for those last-minute gifts!
Not forgetting a host of new releases opening in December including the highly anticipated The Disaster Artist, Happy End, Menashe and Thelma.
Tickets for all our special events are on sale now from the IFI Box Office on (01) 6793477 and from www.ifi.ie. For Film Shop queries please call (01) 6795727.