The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival was established in 2003. It was revived by Michael Dwyer, renowned international film critic and The Irish Times Chief Film Correspondent, along with David McLoughlin, film producer. The duo had started the initial Dublin film Festival in the 1980s when Mc Loughlin was still an undergraduate in TCD. The festival was established to present an opportunity for Dublin's cinema-going audiences to experience the best in Irish and international cinema.
"Dublin has remarkable film attendance per capita, among the highest in Europe, certainly the highest in the EU," Dwyer said in a 2003 interview. "It seems absurd that the city didn't have an international film festival."
The festival secured €25,000 in funding from the Arts Council of Ireland for planning purposes the first year which has since increased to over €100,000. Jameson Irish Whiskey continues to be the title sponsor of the festival providing significant support each year and backing the festival with a major marketing campaign. The festival is currently in the third year of a three year sponsorship agreement with Jameson. The festival is also supported by a number of significant partners including The Irish Times, FM104, Conrad Hotel, Cineworld, McConnells, MSL Mercedes-Benz, Windmill Lane and Cine Electric. Other funders include The Irish Film Board, Dublin City Council, Failte Ireland and a number of Cultural Institutions including the Goethe Institut.
In 2007, the festival introduced a career achievement award, the Volta Award, in order to celebrate individuals who have made a significant contribution to the world of film. In the same year the festival also introduced the highly popular Audience Award recipients of which have been the highly acclaimed ''Once'' and the popular surfing documentary Waveriders'.
Festival venues include the Screen Cinema in Dublin's city centre, Cineworld on Parnell Street, the Savoy Cinema and the Irish Film Institute. In 2008 Movies@Dundrum was added to the list of venues and in 2009 the Lighthouse Cinema was added.
2008 saw a significant change to the festival's executive with Grainne Humphreys replacing Michael Dwyer as Festival Director and Joanne O'Hagan assuming the role, formerly held by Rory Concannon, of Chief Executive Officer. Michael Dwyer assumed the position of Chairman of the Dublin International Film Festival Board with David McLouglin stepping down.
Over 38,000 admissions were recorded for the 2008 festival for ticketed events. Non ticketed events include a citywide installation Dublin On Screen to celebrate Dublin's cinematic heritage. The initiative featured films shot on location in Dublin and screened on the very spot that they were shot on.
The festival has come to be regarded as an important event for the cinema of Ireland, bringing together film-makers, actors, producers and other celebrities from Ireland and around the world. The festival continues to be committed to supporting film and in 2008 initiated a significant International Screen Writing Award, Write Here, Write Now. The winner of the award was announced at the 2009 festival which took place from the 12th - 22 February 2009.
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