Film festival opens with world first


THE 12th Dublin Film Festival opened last night at the Ambassador Cinema with the world premiere of the Irish film A Further Gesture.

The film was introduced by its star, actor Stephen Rea, on whose original idea the story is based. He plays an IRA man who escapes from prison in Northern Ireland and travels to the US to begin a new life. Also present were the film's writer, Ronan Bennett, its director, Robert Dornhelm, and cast members Brendan Gleeson and Maria Doyle Kennedy.

The festival runs for 10 days, closing on March 13th with another world premiere in Inventing the Abbotts, the latest film from Irish director Pat O'Connor. Several showings have already sold out, among them David Cronenberg's controversial Crash, which has not yet received a certificate in Ireland. Also sold out are this year's leading Oscar contender, The English Patient, and the new Irish films Gold in the Streets and The Brylcreem Boys.

The strong Irish theme of this year's festival is reflected in the inclusion of seven Irish features.

Last night's opening film was attended by the Minister for Social Welfare, Mr De Rossa.