Designer start at Savoy to Dublin film festival

13th festival is last to have Jameson, which has supported event since its inception in 2003, as title sponsor

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival kicked off with the world premiere of Mary McGuckian's The Price of Desire at the Savoy Cinema on O'Connell Street last night. The lavish film stars Orla Brady as the celebrated Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray. Long neglected by critics, s Gray, who died in 1976 at the age of 92, is now celebrated as one of the key forces in the development of architectural modernism.

“The film feeds into what is now a phenomenon,” festival director Gráinne Humphreys said. “Following exhibitions at Imma and the Pompidou Centre, there is a growing awareness of Eileen Gray. Also, I have long been an admirer of Orla Brady – and it’s important to have a film about an Irish women, directed by an Irish woman, most of which is in French.”

McGuckian, whose previous work has featured such actors as Robert De Niro and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Brady, the busy star of TV dramas Mistresses and Doctor Who, trotted down the red carpet with a host of excited luminaries.

"What fascinated me [about Eileen Gray] was here was an Irish woman who had excelled in her field and yet very few people outside of that art knew anything about her," Brady told The Irish Times.


The festival, which runs until March 29th, features an impressive clutter of celebrities, special events and premieres. Russell Crowe arrives this weekend for a screening of his directorial debut The Water Diviner. Other guests include Alan Rickman, Kenneth Branagh and Julie Andrews.

Ms Humphreys is particularly excited about the festival's 40th-anniversary celebration of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. Ryan O'Neal will be in Dublin to discuss making the film in a very different Ireland.

This is the last festival to have Jameson as a title sponsor. The brand has supported the event since its inception in 2003, but Ms Humphreys expressed undiluted optimism for the jamboree’s future.

“This line-up is testament to the relationship we have had with Jameson and our other key funders,” she said. “We are having lots of productive and exciting meetings. I feel confident that we’ll be making an important announcement . . . not in the next few weeks maybe, but shortly.”

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist