Female directors are behind 23 of the 48 short films being screened at this year’s festival showcasing their talents in drama, comedy, animation, and documentary. We are delighted to welcome back Roisin Kearney with Paddy, a heart tugging family story of love and 70’s punk rock; Natasha Waugh with We Don’t Choose How, a small love story to a lost love and Claire Byrne with two films Sister This a story of love and determination and Ascending Grace about a young pilot who would love to impress the captain on her first day, please don’t jump to any conclusions. New to the festival are some amazingly talented directors including Deborah Grimes with a story about new beginnings and a transformative Yellow Dress, Laoisa Sexton’s The Lucky Man bringing lonely bar flies and runaway brides together for an afternoon and Ayla Amano with 4 X 4 and how two sisters with vastly different personalities view living in rural Ireland. Short filmmaking is truly an art form onto itself and these filmmakers, along with the other 16 female directors, have created shorts that are exciting, thoughtful, and honest.

Women are also behind all three of this year’s Festival Partnerships. Fionnghuala Ní Neal is the founder and director of the Dublin Animation Festival, now celebrating its 11th year, and showcases animated short films by Irish and international animators, holding industry events and introducing the process of animation and creativity to children. The Dublin Animation program, which Fionnghuala curated, highlights some of the amazing talent now working in Irish animation studios including two of the ‘In-Conversation” panelists, Jessica Patterson and Kristina Yee.

Una Feeley, co-founder of the Green Ray Agency, is also the co-founder of the Indi Cork Film Festival. With over twenty years in the industry Una’s knowledge and support of indie film in Ireland is renowned and the selection of films that are screening in the Green Ray program highlight not only the championing of diverse storytelling but also new filmmakers such as actress Eva Brithistle and her debut film Kathleen Was Here. 

As a director of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival Grainne Humphreys is a marvel at seeing where cultural interest are headed and this year’s partnership program is a wonderful example of looking at the relationship between filmmakers, musicians and recording artists working in Hip hop and R&B. The DIFF X Playback Program is a fascinating look at the process, styles and collaboration behind music video productions and easily fits into the festival’s goal to attract the next generation of filmmakers and filmgoers.