SINCE its foundation in 1999, the Darklight Festival, which begins next weekend at Filmbase and the Irish Film Institute, in Dublin's Temple Bar, has set about investigating those places where film, art and technology meld. Drifting from the high-brow to the playfully absurd, this year's event takes in features, animation, debate and workshops.
The premiere of Fudge 44, Graham Jones's belated follow-up to How to Cheat in the Leaving Certificate, is but one of the highlights of a packed schedule. Elsewhere, we find a retrospective focused on Jan Svankmajer, the great Czech animator, a selection of films from the Krakow Film Festival and an examination of the way artists have experimented with the video image. Guests include Lance Weiler, director of 1998's innovative The Last Broadcast, who will be discussing his new horror film Head Trauma, and John Thomson, a prominent figure in the distribution of video art. As ever, the event, which this year will be awarding prizes for the first time, is as imaginative in its presentation as its content. The season ticket, which costs €55, comes with both an invitation to the awards barbecue and a DVD compendium of work previously featured in Darklight. Punters with nifty footwork should, thus, find the package pretty good value.
Darklight runs from June 22nd to 25th at the Irish Film Institute and Filmbase. Festival Office: 01-6709017. www.darklight.ie