Film festival emerges from the snow to hand out the gongs

ADIFF ends run with film critics’ awards, but rescheduled screenings will continue

Custody, by Xavier Legrand, which was named Dublin Film Critics Circle best film at the 2018 Audi Dublin International Film Festival

Custody, by Xavier Legrand, which was named Dublin Film Critics Circle best film at the 2018 Audi Dublin International Film Festival


A snowbound Audi Dublin International Film Festival (ADIF) marked the end of its original scheduled run on Sunday night with the presentation of awards from the Dublin Film Critics Circle. Headed by this newspaper’s Tara Brady, the DFCC awarded best film of the event to Xavier Legrand’s Custody. Also a hit at last year’s Venice Film Festival, the French film details the traumas of a child forced to spend time with an abusive father following a divorce. The film was liked by all the jury.

Best Irish film went to Feargal Ward’s extraordinary documentary The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid. Ward and Luke McManus, the film’s producer, were at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield to receive their award. The film studies one farmer’s brave resistance to corporate advance.

For the first time since its inception at the start of the decade, the Michael Dwyer Discovery Award went to an overseas film-maker. The French director Coralie Fargeat took the prize for her slick, disturbing thriller Revenge. Matilda Lutz plays a rape victim who visits appalling vengeance on her assailants. The Michael Dwyer Discovery Award is named for this newspaper’s late film correspondent.

The George Byrne maverick award, dedicated to a famously flinty DFCC member who died in 2015, was put the way of the Irish actor Stephen Rea. The great man was detained in Donegal. But Lance Daly, who directed him in the forthcoming Black 47, a thriller set during the Famine, was on hand to accept the award. Black 47 opened ADIFF following a successful premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.


Rebecca Daly received the prize for best Irish director for her work on Good Favour. The gifted Charlie Plummer was named best actor for his work on the touching drama Lean On Pete. The Australian director Warwick Thornton was one of several taking home a jury prize. Also honoured were Lynne Ramsay, best screenplay for You Were Never Really Here, and Chloé Zhao, winner of best director for The Rider.

Sponsored by Limelight Communications, the DFCC awards were granted by a jury of professional critics comprising Brogen Hayes (, Cara O’Doherty (Evening Echo), Chris Wasser (Herald), Daniel Anderson, David Turpin (No More Workhorse), Donald Clarke (The Irish Times), Gavin Burke (, John Maguire (Sunday Business Post), Nicola Timmins (Average Film Reviews), Paul Whitington (Irish Independent), and Tara Brady (The Irish Times). The award recreates an image from Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon in glass.

Festival director Grainne Humpreys and her team were forced to reschedule a number of screenings following unprecedented weather disruption. The festival has extended into the coming week to ensure as many films as possible get a screening.

Dublin Film Critics Awards

Best Film: Custody

Best Director: Chloé Zhao, The Rider

Best Irish Director: Rebecca Daly, Good Favour

Best Screenplay: Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Best Cinematography: Monika Lenczewska, Under the Tree

Best Actor: Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete

Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling, Hannah

Best Documentary: So Help Me God

Best Irish Film: The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid

Michael Dwyer Discovery Award: Coralie Fargeat, Revenge

George Byrne Maverick Award: Stephen Rea, Black 47

Extraordinary Achievement: Bill Morrison, Dawson City: Frozen Time

Jury Prize: Warwick Thornton, Sweet Country;Kathleen Hepburn, Never Steady, Never Still; Jian Liu, Have a Nice Day; Ryan Killackey, Yasuni Man