The Bloomsday Film Festival (June 12th – 16th) returns for its 4th edition with an eclectic programme

by Brian Bowe

Straw hats at the ready! (Bowler hats are also encouraged). Ireland’s most literary film festival is back for its fourth year running. The Bloomsday Film Festival was set up to be a celebration of cinema, literature, and artistic innovation, inspired by the long reaching arm of Ireland’s patriarch of modernism, James Joyce. The festival is run in partnership with the Bloomsday Festival & the James Joyce Centre and will run between June 12 – 16, online and with live screenings in Dublin at the historic James Joyce Centre and the Irish Film Institute.

Actor Aidan O'Sullivan as Leopold Bloom
Actor Aidan O'Sullivan as Leopold Bloom.
Actor Aidan O’Sullivan as Leopold Bloom. (credit: ©Marcelline Roulleau)

Throughout the week, the Bloomsday Film Festival will present a rich and varied programme of events at various Dublin city venues interspersed by Writers’ Tears Whiskey tastings and receptions. A selection of the best Joycean and literary short films, features and documentaries will be screened, along with poetry and experimental films.  

The festival kicks off Monday, June 12, with an Opening Gala event in the period surroundings of the James Joyce Centre on North Great George’s Street, to be followed with a Writers’ Tears Whiskey drinks reception.

This year the festival is sponsored by Writers’ Tears Whiskey, who, along with conducting a number of tastings, will be staging other fun events throughout the exciting six-day event – yum! Plus, Writers’ Tears will award €1000 cash prize to the winner of Best Overall Short Film in addition to a limited edition bottle of Writers’ Tears Ulysses Centenary edition whiskey. Winners in all other categories will also receive a Writers’ Tears gift in addition to the Bloomsday Film Festival James Joyce Award.

On the evening of Tuesday, June 13, at Toast in the Temple Bar Hotel, the festival will present A Celebration of the Life and Literary Legacy of the Poet Niall McDevitt, in association with the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. McDevitt was an Irish poet, activist, scholar and leading light of the Irish literary scene in London who sadly passed away in September of last year. Filmmaker Sé Merry Doyle will introduce two award-winning films directed by himself and written and starring Niall McDevitt. WB Yeats – The Battle of Blythe Road and Joyce: the Reluctant Groom. There will be poetry readings throughout the night.

Aidan O' Sullivan as Leopold Bloom and Paul St Leger as Stephen Dedalus.
Aidan O’ Sullivan as Leopold Bloom and Paul St Leger as Stephen Dedalus. (credit: ©Marcelline Roulleau)

In celebration of Yeats’ Birthday, poetry and literary short films will screen throughout the afternoon at the James Joyce Centre.

On Wednesday 14th at the IFI, Sé Merry Doyle will introduce his most personal film Alive Alive O – A Requiem for Dublin (2001) which follows the plight of Dublin’s street traders as the scourge of heroin and an onslaught of commercialism threaten their fragile culture. This event is presented in association with the Friends of the Iveagh Market. In the James Joyce Centre that afternoon a selection of experimental short films will be screened.

What will surely be a delight for Joyceans is the short film Jackals and Fireflies (2022), directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Charlie Kaufman and written by poet Eva H.D, which will screen in the IFI, followed by a Q&A with the director and the writer.

The festival culminates on Bloomsday, Friday, June 16, with two very exciting screenings at the IFI – Charlie Kaufman’s astounding I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) and Translating Ulysses (2023) by Alyin Kuryel and Firal Yücel.

Tommy Creagh, Founder of <br>Bloomsday Film Festival.
Tommy Creagh, Founder of Bloomsday Film Festival.
(credit: ©Marcelline Roulleau)

More special events between the 12th – 16th are to be announced soon. All films will then be available to view online from Friday 16th until Sunday 19th June. For more information and tickets be sure to visit the festival website: