Irish Film Institute documentary festival 2022

by Alison O'Hanlon
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The 2022 IFI Documentary Festival which will run over five days and nights this month, presenting an intriguing mix of screenings, panel discussions and public interviews to enjoy in person with select screenings also available online on IFI@Home.

Intimate portraits, stories of remarkable human connections, kindness and empathy, a rare look behind the music and tales that are truly stranger than fiction await. 

On announcing the programme, IFI Director Ross Keane said “The IFI Documentary Festival is always a firm favourite amongst our audiences and is a staple in the cultural calendar each Autumn. This year’s programme features an eclectic mix of fascinating stories from Ireland and around the globe, shining a spotlight on stories, both personal and societal, that are sure to engage, enlighten and entertain a broad range of audiences.”

This will be the first IFI Documentary Festival in three years to welcome audiences back into the Eustace Street cinemas at full capacity, and we have been pleased to retain an online element to the festival in response to the large numbers from outside Dublin who are engaging with IFI@Home. The festival is programmed by IFI Irish Film Programming team Sunniva O’Flynn (Irish features) and Dean Kavanagh (Irish shorts) and IFI Head of Programming David O’Mahony (international titles). This year discover: 

  • All These Sons, following two community programmes trying to break the cycles that produce violence among young men in Chicago. 
  • An honest and intimate look into the life of Simon who returns home to care for his elderly dying uncle in Much Ado About Dying.
  • The story of three children and a team of dedicated social workers at a safe haven for at-risk children temporarily removed from their parents, in Eastern Ukraine, in A House Made of Splinters.
  • Girl, Taken, a gripping story of how a baby girl was kidnapped in Cape Town, and 17 years later she befriends her younger sister.  
  • While making a documentary about the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran in 1953, never-seen-before archive material is unearthed and brought to life by Ralph Fiennes, in Coup 53.
  • The journey of the Middle East’s first all-female thrash metal group, Sirens, as they wrestle with friendship, sexuality, and the destruction of their city.
  • A much anticipated public masterclass with multi Oscar winning editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Godfather Part II)
  • The annual Irish Shorts Programme presenting new and exciting aspects of the documentary form
  • Million Dollar Pigeons, taking flight into the world of pigeon fanciers where tensions simmer between old-time purists and the new breed whose eyes are fixed firmly on the big prize.
  • Atomic Hope – Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement, following a tiny global movement of unpopular pro-nuclear activists, who advocate for nuclear power to avoid calamitous climate change.
  • Nothing Compares, an archive-led documentary and interview with Sinéad O’Connor.
  • Two brothers in New Delhi care for thousands of birds that drop daily from the city’s skies in a makeshift hospital in All That Breathes.
  • A Scottish artist finds fellow enthusiasts in Granard, Co Longford and together they work to build a Wall of Death in The Artist & The Wall of Death.
  • An intriguing portrait of Prog Rock icons King Crimson and Robert Fripp filmed over three years In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50.
  • An investigation into the much-loved maverick poet in The Peculiar Sensation of Being Pat Ingoldsby.

Now booking at 

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