Focus On Ireland: From Rebels to New Romantics

This short season curated especially for Sydney Film Festival celebrates the high point of Irish cinema.

At the launch of the Dublin International Film Festival last February, I commented that 2016 would prove to a hugely significant year for Irish cinema. This hyperbole was based both on the Oscar nominations for Brooklyn and Room (as well as the winning short film Stutterer), but also the exceptionally rich group of new work which would soon be seen, significant films which I knew would appeal to broad audiences both in Ireland and internationally. This short season curated especially for Sydney Film Festival celebrates this high point with the Australian premieres of Sing Street, Viva, Love & Friendship, vibrant documentaries such as The Queen of Ireland, Mom and Me, Atlantic and Neil Jordan’s classic Michael Collins.

Gráinne Humphreys, Director, Dublin International Film Festival Director
Guest Programmer

Presented by


An eye-opening account of corruption narrated by Brendan Gleeson, Atlantic rails against the big oil companies that threaten one of our most precious assets: the ocean.

Michael Collins

2016 is the centenary of the Easter Rising and the 20th anniversary of Michael Collins. There has never been a better time to revisit this controversial milestone of Irish cinema.

Mom and Me

Irish documentary-maker Ken Wardrop travels to Oklahoma, voted America's manliest state, to explore complex and touching relationships between men and their mothers.

The Queen of Ireland

An uplifting documentary about Ireland's superstar drag queen Panti Bliss’ rise from ‘giant cartoon woman' to one of the highest-profile activists in the LGBTIQ community.

Sing Street

John Carney's latest is a beguiling portrait of '80s Dublin, complete with stone-washed denim, wild haircuts and a soundtrack by The Cure, Duran Duran and The Police.


Paddy Breathnach uncovers authentic Cuba in this heartbreaking family drama about a troubled drag queen; an audience favourite at festivals all around the world.