Fáilte romhat. On behalf of our passionate and incredibly hardworking board and our Deputy Chairperson Elaine Gill, it is my personal and professional privilege to offer a warm welcome to you: our audiences, our filmmakers, industry colleagues and partners, supporters, friends, patrons and guests to our 2024 Dublin International Film Festival. This is our second year as an independent festival and we simply could not do this without your vibrant and active collaboration.
In my introduction last year as the newly appointed Chairperson, I spoke about how film is an exceptionally powerful medium that transports us to other worlds, how it enables us to experience the lives of others and, crucially, encourages us to explore our own ideas and feelings more deeply. I truly believe film festivals especially offer us unique opportunities to immerse ourselves intensely in so many such experiences over a short period, in the company of other fans, both losing and finding ourselves repeatedly through the portal of journeys and stories offered only by, and on, the big screen.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about collaboration. Of all the art forms and cultural pursuits, film, irrespective of whether you are involved in the production side or the more direct-facing or commercial areas such as distribution, exhibition and marketing, totally depends on collaboration. Quite literally, none of what we do in film can be achieved without working together to help create wonderful things, and it has struck me that film festivals themselves are both a microcosm and inspiring exemplar of this great quality, so badly needed in our societies at this moment. From showcasing amazing work to helping launch movies and careers; enabling deeper dives into genres; helping deals get made; sparking a passion for storytelling; and of course, celebrating both the business and the art form, collaboration is always upfront and central.
Scorsese expresses this very well: “Collaboration is essential in filmmaking; it takes a village to make a great film.” Cinema is the bringing together of a diverse range of talents and perspectives whose unique expertise and creative input contribute to the overall vision and success of a film. I think that collaboration is vital for festivals too, and it takes a city and nation to help make a great film festival. Dublin International Film Festival is a true epitome of this collaboration and all that can be achieved through working together. Collective effort and dedication elevates us to new heights.
On that note, I and the board wish to thank the dynamic DIFF team (and our invaluable volunteers), who are led by the inspired and inspiring Gráinne Humphreys. They live and prove daily the power of collaboration. Gráinne and the team have assembled a truly wonderful feast of films and events for 2024, including 20 feature length Irish films, and I for one cannot wait to start feasting on them.
However, it is to you, our audiences, that our most heartfelt thanks are due. I and the board so look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the next ten magical days as we all immerse ourselves in this wonderful programme, and we thank you for your collaboration – yes, that key word again! – in helping create a memorably vibrant, nurturing, exciting and challenging 2024 Dublin International Film Festival. See you at the movies…
Chairperson, Dublin International Film Festival