The new Dublin International Comedy Film Festival promises some well needed giggles this Thursday and Friday

A new film festival in Dublin dedicated to comedy promises some much needed winter levity with an online programme of films and live stand-up acts.

The Dublin International Comedy Film Festival hits online screens from 3rd to 4th December with a jam packed programme of comedy events including films, sketches and web series from Ireland and around the globe. There’s also a terrific line up of virtual live comedy acts, filmmaker Q&As and a glitzy Awards Ceremony on Zoom to wrap up the two days of side-splitting fun.

A festival pass which includes entry to all films and events is great value at only €5 and can be purchased here . Films will go live at 9am on Thursday and close at 11.55pm on Friday and are viewable throughout that period. Pass holders will get links to all of the events happening via Zoom

The festival is the brainchild of filmmaker and actor Maureen O’Connell, an award-winning actor, writer, director and producer whose short films, wide ranging comedies like Thespish to the 1916-themed Proclaim! are regular selections for any solid Irish festival programme. The director’s debut comedy feature Spa Weekend has been a hit at festivals home and abroad, screening in British and Irish festivals and last year winning the ‘She Is On Fire’ Award at the Female Filmmakers Festival in Berlin.

You have to be braver to make a comedy because if your film screens at a festival and it doesn’t make people laugh- that stings! So I want to celebrate those of us who are brave enough -or stupid enough- to try our hands at comedy!

Maureen O’Connell

In celebration of some of her favourite Irish and International comedians, Maureen has come up with aptly named awards such as the Deirdre O’Kane Award for Best Irish Short film, the Seinfeld Award for Best International Short and the Charlie Chaplin Award for Best Composer with many other legendary comedians being commemorated with awards.

The live comedy acts kick off at 7pm each night with stand-up sets from Ireland’s smartest up and coming comedians including Emma Doran, Grace Mulvey, Stephen Ryan and Taran O’Sullivan as well as Killian Sundermann whose mock RTÉ Radio 1 news report went viral during the Summer lockdown. Audiences can also enjoy a Q&A with online sensation Michael Fry aka @BigDirtyFry who will share an exclusive new sketch!

Feature Films  

The festival is proud to award its ‘Elaine May & Richard Pryor Award for Best of Fest’ to American indie debut feature Dave Made a Maze. This award winning fantasy-adventure-comedy co-written and directed by Bill Watterson is a delightfully inventive and absurd comedy with a big heart and impressive practical effects. The film will be available to view throughout the festival and cast and crew will take part in a Q&A at 8pm on Thursday evening.

Irish features screening include ‘The Last Roll’, the fourth feature by Dáire McNab, a comedic satire on struggling actors and the independent film industry. Also screening is The Comeback, the last feature to be made as part of the feature film course with Filmbase, Thank You Come Again by Stephen Clarke Dunne and State of the Union, a student film about university politics. International features include ‘Pretty Man (My Bittersweet Family)’ by Kim Jung Wook a comedy drama from Korea shot on an iPhone, horror mockumentary from the UK South African Spook Horror and Canadian comedy Hotel Limbo

Shorts ,Sketches and Web Series

The selection of short films and comedy sketches consists of some excellent home-grown humour including Natasha Waugh’s surreal Mother starring Hilary Rose, an award winning hilarious sci fi Rip to the Rescue by Paudie Baggot starring Rosemary Henderson & Clare Monnelly and Two Cats by John Morton (writer of RTE’s popular Victorian drama Dead Still). Life during the Covid 19 pandemic is documented with humour by Megan K Fox in her RTE Illuminations commissioned short Love in the Time of Corona. Comedy sketches include the knee slapping Captain Tiny Hands written by Joe Rooney and Antoinette Scherer and the dark irreverent humour of teenagers JILL & LILL by Keith Jordan.

In addition to the showcasing of Irish talent, audiences can expect a diverse assortment of side splitting humour from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France and Denmark.

There will also be a number of round table discussions with filmmakers via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Although I have been thinking about this festival for a few years now, it kind of feels like now is the right time to do it. I’ve always found comedy very cathartic, very healing- and I think everyone could do with that at the moment. Laughter has a therapeutic power. I love that about comedy. It’s soulfulness. I find comedy deeply soulful

Maureen O’Connell

As well as their official selection of comedy films, sketches and web series , the festival is currently running a social media competition for budding comedians and sketch-makers. If you think you have what it takes, just upload a sketch to your preferred platform and make sure to tag the Dublin International Comedy Film Festival on Facebook Twitter or Insta. Deadline is Tuesday 1st December at 8pm. The winner will be featured online during the festival.

More info on the festival can be found on the website  Tickets for the full festival are a mere €5 and can be purchased here  You can follow the Dublin International Comedy Festival on Facebook and Twitter and Insta

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