Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2021

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2021 announces 40 Short Films

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (VMDIFF) Director Gráinne Humphreys today announced its exciting 2021 Short Films programme featuring 40 international and Irish films that are sure to delight, challenge and entertain audiences.

For 2021, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will host its largest programme of short films to date, with four programmes dedicated to the best Irish and international short films of the past 12 months, together with an additional strand highlighting short films funded by Screen Ireland,  a dedicated LGBTQ season and a Young Audience focus. 

The short film format has always been a crucial part of the festival, acting as both a showcase for future talent and as an art form in its own right. I am excited to see who the recipients will be of the 2021 Short Film Awards announced at the close of the festival which will recognise the best Irish and International shorts as chosen by the festival jury.

Gráinne Humphreys

Emerging and established film makers from 16 countries are represented in the Short Film Programme, programmed by Maeve McGrath (International programme) and Céline Roustan (Irish programme), with themes that include, war, social isolation, gender inequality, the rural landscape, faith, grief, tradition and coming of age. 40 films feature in the programme, with submissions, both national and international, exceeding 800. 

Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann is again supporting Irish shorts this year with a curated programme from Screen Ireland’s Short Stories, Focus Shorts and Real Shorts funding schemes.  

The wide range of stories on display in this collection of short films reflects the breadth of imagination inherent in our upcoming film-makers. From comedy to horror, from grief to redemption, these films reach out to boldly engage with the capital’s audiences. 

Emma Scott, Production & Distribution Manager – Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann

International titles include 2020 Canne Palme D’Or winning I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face and highly anticipated Sundance 2021 selection Inabitável/Unlivable from Brazil. The Irish programme includes award winning actor and writer Eva Birthistle’s directorial debut Kathleen Was Here and Lia Campbell’s accomplished student debut To All My Darlings starring Demi Isaac Oviawe. Emmy nominee and Normal People global star Paul Mescal will also make an appearance in Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney’s Drifting, which along with Michael-David McKernan’s How to Fall in Love in a Pandemic, will feature music from Irish electronic artist Daithí.


Programming Shorts is a wonderful process of discovery. From established voices to discovering exciting new talent, we love the focus on small moments and the beauty and creativity that you can only get from the freedom of the short format. Representing short film from 16 countries, we are delighted that the programme has achieved a 50/50 gender balance and hope this is a good sign for the future in filmmaking.

Céline Roustan & Maeve McGrath

The 2021 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival will take place both physically and digitally from 3rd – 14th March. Online shorts screenings on sale now at www.diff.ie.  

The full programme of multi-platform events during the Festival will be announced on 3rd February, selected highlights include the Virgin Media Closing Gala presentation of Irish comedy Deadly Cuts and a Festival Retrospective focusing on Black Women Filmmakers including screenings of Amma Asante’s Belle and Maïmouna Doucouré’s Maman(s). Festival Ticket Bundles are now on sale starting from €30, giving access to online, cinema and drive-in screenings.  To note, all Festival screenings and events will adhere to government guidelines and Covid safety regulations. 

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