Thursday 23 November 2017

Field day for star spotters as movie A-listers flock to festival

Brenda Fricker at the first night of the Jameson Dublin Film Festival yesterday
Brenda Fricker at the first night of the Jameson Dublin Film Festival yesterday

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

AL Pacino, Glenn Close, Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg are some of the Hollywood stars swapping Tinseltown for Dublin over the next week and a half.

They will visit here for the 10th anniversary Jameson Dublin International Film Festival which kicked off in the capital last night for 11 days.

Celeb spotters and autograph hunters will be able to catch Glenn Close on the red carpet outside the Savoy on Saturday for the premiere of Dublin drama 'Albert Nobbs', Al Pacino at the same cinema the following Monday for a screening of his Oscar Wilde-themed documentary 'Wilde Salome', 'Reservoir Dogs' star Michael Madsen at a special screening of a Quentin Tarantino cult classic next Tuesday, and 'West Wing' star Martin Sheen attending the screening of Irish made film 'Stella Days' in Cineworld on Thursday.

But the 11-day festival couldn't have picked a more down to earth acting legend to kick off proceedings last night.

She has a habit of telling it as it is, as the organisers of the IFTAS found out earlier this week.

Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker is equally as hard on her own work, including her latest movie 'Cloudburst', which opened the festival last night.

Festival Director Grainne Humphreys described 'Cloudburst' -- the tale of two elderly lesbians who escape from a rest home to marry in Canada -- as "beguiling as its lovely title suggests".

However, the 66-year-old film's lead actress was telling it straight as usual.

"It's a flawed little film. We had no money. There are things wrong with it, we hadn't enough time -- the usual thing but I think it works," Brenda admitted.

It certainly does, starring Fricker and Olympia Dukakis, as lovers Stella and Dot, 'Cloudburst' has been racking up film awards around North America since its release last autumn -- most recently winning Best Canadian Film Award at the Edmonton International Film Festival.

"People call it a road movie. It's not. It's a love story. I fell in love with a love story, and that's all it is," said Fricker.

But the movie is just one of 130 films from around the world being screened during the capital's cinefest, which includes features, shorts and documentaries.

Having screened 1,137 movies since it began in 2002, sponsors Jameson are renewing their partnership for another three years.

But the whiskey maker came out strongly against government plans to limit alcohol sponsorship and advertising, claiming it would put the firm at a "significant disadvantage" to its competitors.

The festival continues tonight with the world premiere of 'Saving The Titanic', director Maurice Sweeney retelling of the last few hours of that fateful ship which is screened at Cineworld on Parnell St, Dublin at 6.15pm.

Tickets are available for each screening and range from €8 to €18. For more information visit

Irish Independent

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