The distinctive Darklight Festival is back this coming April, gracing us with more documentaries, workshops, discussion panels, and the odd party.
Priding itself on being a platform wherein emerging filmmakers and artists can introduce their work, this year’s events are divided into four categories that represent different aspects of this year’s theme.
With the aim of providing a unique experience for its audience, Darklight considers itself to be ‘the foremost festival for independent creativity in Ireland’, and its showcase focuses on exposing, exploring, and sharing the perpetual evolution of storytelling through the medium of the moving image.
Over the course of one weekend, patrons will have access to (amongst other things) visual art, live music, film screenings, and street games, in various venues around Smithfield.
One of the main focuses of this year’s Darklight is ‘What’s Up Doc?’, which features screenings and a discussion series based around exploring new methods and ethics developing in the art of documentary filmmaking – especially with regards to the new wave of documentary cinema that is blurring the lines between fact and fiction, dramatization and the ‘straight-forward’ recording and exploration of world events.
Screenings for this section of the festival include Last Hijack, which explores the lives of Somalian pirates, and the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing. Panels include a free roundtable discussing the opportunities and ethical issues involved in such hybrid-documentary, and a retrospective on the visual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.
The ‘Digital Storytelling’ side of the festival looks at the new technologies and platforms available for those interested in exploring the narrative side of filmmaking. It also aims to investigate how, and in what ways, the worlds of documentary, journalism, coding, and art are becoming increasingly conflated and indistinguishable.
Amongst the events falling under this heading are the festival’s keynote speaker Anna Higgs (Film4’s Commissioning Executive and Head of Digital), and a workshop on making your own Virtual Reality headset.
Not least is the festival’s continued devotion to promoting and exploring the medium of short film, and this year is no different. For this edition we are presented with two selections of award-winning shorts never before screened in Ireland, as well as a series of short documentaries.
With Darklight presenting material that is not otherwise readily shown in Ireland, cinephiles both lay and professional will find much to get their teeth into at this year’s festival, which runs from Thursday 24th to Sunday, 27th April. For more information, a full list of events and to book tickets, please visit the festival website.
1 – 6, Haymarket
Tel: 01 535 1014