BRENDAN Gleeson says starring in a new film alongside his son was like "going into a boxing match with your best friend".
The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2014 kicked off last night with the Irish premiere of John Michael McDonagh's 'Calvary' at the Savoy Cinema.
The film, which tells the story of a local priest marked out for death by one of his parishioners, sees lead actor Brendan team up with his son Domhnall.
"It's like going into a boxing match with your best friend," said Brendan. "You have to spar, so you leave the emotional stuff to one side and get on with it.
"Domhnall had just come from working in Russia on 'Anna Karenina', to getting in to a tractor on his way to Sligo," Brendan said. "It was a very different experience."
'Calvary' is the second in a planned black trilogy from writer and director McDonagh and follows 'The Guard', which also starred Glesson.
"'The Guard' was set in Galway – where my dad is from," McDonagh explained.
"'Calvary' is set in Sligo where my mum is from and the third will be set in London – where I am from.
"Brendan will play a paraplegic on a mission to track down the people who killed his friend. He's said he'll do it but he might change his mind when he reads the script. It'll be another black comedy."
'Calvary' premiered at Sundance and landed a distribution deal with Fox Searchlight. "I was confident it would do well but was thrilled it got distribution," McDonagh said.
The premiere marked the beginning of the 12th annual film festival which runs until February 23, with over 130 films being screened.
John Hurt was delighted to be part of the festivities. "I feel like I'm at home when I come back to Dublin. I can do and say whatever I like."
Festival director Grainne Humphreys was delighted with the turnout.
"This is such a special night. 'Calvary' is a real celebration of the best Irish cinema and it's a genuine honour to have so many people involved with the film come out to support it at our Opening Gala," she said.