Jack Reynor back on home turf for Dublin film festival launch

Kenneth Branagh, Julie Andrews and Russell Crowe lined up as part of festival bill

Unstoppable Irish actor Jack Reynor was among the guests who joined Gráinne Humphreys, director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, to announce the programme for this year's event. Gerard Barrett's searing realist drama Glassland, for which Reynor won an acting prize at the Sundance Film Festival, is among the film's screening at JDIFF.

“We hope the diversity of this year’s programme lives up to the intelligence and wit of our audience who come in such large numbers to our screenings with a similar wide-eyed wonder to our own,” Ms Humphreys said.

She revealed that Sir Kenneth Branagh, born and raised in Belfast, would be attending to present his new take on Cinderella and to receive the festival's honour for lifetime achievement, the Volta Award.

Produced by Walt Disney, starring Lily James as the titular hero, Branagh's Cinderella seems guaranteed to be one the year's biggest box-office smashes.


It was also announced that Ryan O'Neal, the veteran star, would be at JDIFF for screenings of two of his most admired films: Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up, Doc? and Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. That last film, largely shot in Ireland, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015.

1970s star

After breaking through with

Paper Moon

and the enormously popular

Love Story

, O’Neal became one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s.

Alan Rickman and Danny Huston, both acclaimed actors, were also added to the bill. Rickman is here with his second film as director, A Little Chaos, a period drama featuring Kate Winslet. Huston will attend a screening of Ron Scalpello's diving thriller Pressure.

The festival had already confirmed that Dame Julie Andrews would be attending and that, like Sir Kenneth, she would receive a Volta Award.

The event closes with a 50th anniversary screening of The Sound of Music attended by its much-admired star Andrews, who may still be cooling off from her delightfully odd encounter with Lady Gaga at the Oscars on Sunday night.

Australian superstar Russell Crowe will present a screening of his directorial debut, The Water Diviner, the epic tale of a bereaved father searching for his three sons' remains amid the devastation of Gallipoli. The film emerges close to the centenary of that terrible campaign in the first World War.

Actors’ masterclass

Kim Cattrall

will present episodes of her series new TV series

Sensitive Skin

at in Movies@Dundrum and is to lead an actors’ masterclass.

Mark Cousins, the Northern Irish critic best known for his epic The Story of Film TV series, will talk about his new documentary, 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia.

Ms Humphreys announced that the opening film was to be Mary McGuckian's The Price of Desire, a study of the esteemed Irish architect and fashion designer Eileen Gray.

Other much anticipated films include Noah Baumbach's While We're Young, Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip and the Cannes hit The Tribe.

Irish films include Ivan Kavanagh's already lauded horror flick The Canal and Viko Nikci's excellent documentary Coming Home.

This is the last festival for which Jameson will be acting as title sponsor. The distiller has been partnered with the festival since its launch in 2003. "We wish the festival, and all involved in its organisation, continued success as it grows into the future," Anna Malmhake, chief executive of Irish distillers Pernod Ricard, said in the programme.

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival runs from March 19th until March 29th.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

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