Moving Irish film about HIV disclosure, How to Tell a Secret, to premiere at DIFF 2022

The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival returns this spring from February 23 to March 26.

A screenshot from film 'How to Tell a Secret'.
Image: Twitter: @DublinFilmFest

The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has been teasing its programme for 2022, and it includes a whole host of unmissable screenings. Among them is How to Tell a Secret, a film by IFTA award-winning director Anna Rodgers and artist Shaun Dunne.

The feature is being described as part documentary, part theatre, and is an intimate exploration of HIV disclosure in Ireland. A portrait of a community at a pivotal point of change, the film examines the relationship between advocacy and art, stigma and secrecy.

How to Tell a Secret is one of three documentaries from the Reel Art funding programme that have been selected for the DIFF 2022 programme. 

In December 2021, the filmmaking duo released Positive Storytelling, a moving short film for World AIDS Day which was also a part of this wider project. 

Another queer highlight of this year’s festival is Irish filmmaker Kate Dolan’s new horror You Are Not My Mother. After its successful debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, the creepy and unsettling psychological thriller is set to have its Irish premiere on March 4. 

Deeply rooted in eerie Irish folklore, the film stars Carolyn Bracken, Paul Reid, Ingrid Craigie, Jordanne Jones,  and last year’s VMDIFF Aer Lingus Discovery Award winner Hazel Doupe.

Speaking about the film’s Irish theatrical release, Dolan said: “It is surreal to know your debut feature film will be seen in cinemas, particularly after the past two years of uncertainty. The film was made possible by a team of brilliant cast and crew and I can’t wait to share it with everyone and I am so excited to work with Wildcard on the next leg of the film’s journey.”

DIFF 2022 launches on February 23 with a historical opening night screening of An Cailín Ciúin. The Irish language coming-of-age drama from Colm Bairéad is based on the acclaimed story, Foster, by Claire Keegan. Set in 1981 rural Ireland, it tells the story of a quiet, neglected girl sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer.

Speaking on this year’s festival, Head of Branding and Marketing at Virgin Media, Niamh O’Driscoll said: “We’re extremely proud to be associated with Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. Our ongoing support to this prestigious event underlines our commitment to foster creativity in film production and television content as Ireland’s leading connected entertainment provider and commercial broadcasting company. 

“Dublin will once again become a global showcase for the best films and talent,” she added.

The full festival programme will be revealed on Wednesday, February 2, with the lineup promising to bring the best in world cinema to Dublin.

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