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Coming Up: Animations at ADIFF

ADIFF, Dublin's International Film Festival, is taking place this month from 21st February to 4th March and there's a whole slew of great animations being screened as part of their festival programme!

Wondering what to watch? We've got the low-down, from enchanting classics like My Neighbour Totoro to modern marvels like the recently Oscar-nominated feature from Cartoon Saloon, The Breadwinner, and everything in-between. You'll find something to cater for all tastes and ages.

Take a look at the impressive line-up and be sure to grab your tickets stat!

My Neighbour Totoro directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Selected by top Irish animator Nora Twomey as an inspirational flm, Studio Ghibli’s beautiful classic comes to ADIFF as a 30th-anniversary screening. Richly detailed with a story that builds delightfully, Hayao Miyazaki’s flm is told through two young girls who, as their mother lies sick in hospital, discover their new home is near a magical, remote forest. On exploring this special place, they fnd it’s populated by mystical creatures called Totoros, and befriend their leader. It’s a charming testament to the power of childhood imagination.

Screening: Thursday 22nd February in the Light House Cinema at 11am.

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The Breadwinner directed by Nora Twomey

Irish filmmaker and animator Nora Twomey makes her solo directorial debut in this acclaimed feature that takes us to the streets of Afghanistan via Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon. Our heroine is Parvana, an 11-year-old girl whose family, like many others, struggle for a better life under Taliban rule in 2001. Based on Deborah Ellis’s much-loved novel, Parvana cuts her hair and dresses like a boy in an attempt to help her family survive following the wrongful arrest of her father. Twomey’s powerful film drew the attention of UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, who is executive producer.

For the Cork-born animator, who founded Cartoon Saloon with Tomm Moore and Paul Young, The Breadwinner is a passion project several years in the making. The studio has created such award-winning films as The Secret of Kells, but this is Twomey’s first solo run, and its powerful storytelling and striking animation have garnered a great deal of international attention throughout awards season.

Screening: Thursday 22nd February in Cineworld at 8pm.

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Vampirina directed by Ehud Landsberg, Marten Jonmark, Nicky Phelan, Norton Virgien

Vampirina, inspired by Disney Publishing’s popular children’s book series “Vampirina Ballerina” by author Anne Marie Pace and illustrator LeUyen Pham, tells the story of a young vampire girl who becomes the new kid in town when her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania.The series is centered around Vampirina (Vee), as she settles into her new surroundings, including making friends and attending a new school. Excited to experience everything that the human world has to offer, Vee will learn it’s important to celebrate the differences that make everyone unique.

Screening: Friday 2nd March in the Light House Cinema at 10am

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Fantastic Flix Shorts - (compilation of shorts)

Stars director/writer: Han Zhang

Grandpa and grandson street sellers sell stars in
a town near the shore. One night, they run out of
the stars…

Looney Foodz! director/writer: Paolo Gaudio

What would happen if the food and drink that every
day we put in our refrigerator could move and
speak? What would be the dynamics within this big
'condominium' that clearly separates the foods for
the top rack from those of the first?

Dark, Dark Woods director: Emile Gignoux

Young princess Maria has had about enough of
her royal life – it’s all lesson, responsibilities and
duties on top of each other, every hour of every
day. Overwhelmed, Maria is swept away on an
adventure into the monster-filled dark, dark woods.

Hedgehog’s Home Director/Writer: Eva Cvijanovic

In a lush and lively forest lives a hedgehog. He is
respected and envied by the other animals. However,
Hedgehog’s devotion to his home annoys a quartet of
insatiable beasts.

Our Wonderful Nature Director/Writer: Tomer Eshed

The feeding habits of the common chameleon as
never seen before.

Wishing Box Director: Wenli Zhang

The pirate Derek and his sidekick monkey after
years sailing, finally found a treasure box, and this
box is a magic box can make your wishes come

Macarooned Director/Writer: Alan Short & Seamus Malone

Mac is marooned, hungry, and pines for the lush
tropical island across the water – if he can only get
past Feargal the Shark, who happens to be hungry


Departure Director: Aoife Doyle

An Irish grandmother’s unexpected departure from her lonely life.


Screening: Saturday 3rd March in Omniplex Rathmines at 11am / Saturday 3rd March in Light House Cinema at 11am

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Mary and the Witch’s Flower directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Award-winning director Hiromasa Yonebayashi -  whose former work for Studio Ghibli included the beloved Arriety and When Marnie Was Here -  continues his fine form with the recently formed Studio Ponoc. The charming story centres around an awkward girl who is given a place in a secretive school for witches, reminiscent of Hogwarts. The story is based on the much-loved 1971 novel The Little Broomstick, penned by British novelist Mary Stewart. Mary, a girl who struggles to soar, is a heroine to root for.

Screening: Saturday 3rd March in the Light House Cinema at 11am

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The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales directed by Patrick Imbert

Energetic animation and great humour and sight gags loom large in this film from attending director Patrick Imbert Oscar nominee Benjamin Renner, sourced from his own graphic novel.

There’s a spirit of the classic ‘Looney Tunes’ style in the zany sense of fun in this movie, a three-part story in which characters we think we know as ‘types’ are anything but. The action, peppered with little wisdoms, is set around such vibrant characters as a cute but clumsy rabbit, a wacky duck and a well-meaning pig.

Screening: Sunday 4th March in the Light House Cinema at 11am

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ADIFF Shorts 2 - (compilation of shorts)

Late Afternoon

Director/Writer: Louise Bagnall

An elderly woman drifts back through her memories. She exists between two states: the past and the present.

Late Afternoon

Screening: Sunday 25th February in the Light House Cinema at 1:30pm

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Isle of Dogs directed by Wes Anderson

The groundbreaking Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation - following Fantastic Mr. Fox - for his latest adventure, which is set in a futuristic Japan.

It is a dystopian place for dogs, where canine flu has ravaged the population and dogs have been sent to a remote island off the Japanese coast to prevent the disease from spreading further. Their only hope of avoiding isolation comes in the form of Atari, a boy who ventures to the island in search of his pet.

Screening: Wednesday 28th February in Cineworld at 6:30pm

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Have a Nice Day directed by Liu Jian

Director Liu Jian’s gritty, groundbreaking animated feature is a violent and darkly funny take on the gangster genre. A young driver, in a bid to help overturn his fiancé’s failed plastic surgery, steals a bag of money containing a fortune. This places him on the radar of several unsavoury characters from different backgrounds, who are all drawn into the resulting bloody conflict by their own motives. The action literally follows the money as gangsters, criminals or others struggling to get by get their hands on the cash.

Screening: Friday 2nd March in the Light House Cinema at 8:30pm

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Liyana directed by Amanda Kopp & Aaron Kopp

A young girl embarks on a perilous journey to rescue her younger twin brothers in this beautifully animated, evocative tale set in Africa’s Swaziland. Part drama, part documentary, the story in this truly unique film evolves from the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland, a tiny nation with the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Filmmakers Aaron and Amanda Kopp allow the children’s complex stories and accounts to breathe, building into a tale of a resilient heroine whose courage and challenges are not unlike their own.

The astonishing spirit of these bright children is captured in this documentary, featuring a compelling narrative animation infused with the stories of their lives.

Screening: Friday 2nd March in Movies @ Dundrum at 12:30pm

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There you have it!

You can find more details of the full ADIFF festival programme HERE.

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Marketing Director, Digital & Social and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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