Capital Irish Film Festival

presented annually by

Solas Nua

Solas Nua in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center presents the annual Capital Irish Film Festival (CIFF) every March.

That's A Wrap on CIFF 2024! See Photos & Video Content from CIFF 2024 Here.

NEWS: Read the Full CIFF 2024 Program Announcement Here.

CIFF is one of the largest programs of Irish cinema in North America, showcasing the latest Irish dramatic and documentary features, shorts, art films, and animation releases by Irish and Ireland-based filmmakers. The four-day festival provides a US platform that amplifies the work of independent filmmakers working in Ireland and beyond and celebrates the great cinematic culture of Ireland. The festival highlights the rich cultural heritage of Ireland but also fosters an inclusive and diverse community of Irish filmmakers. The program spotlights emerging voices on Irish screen, showcases the exceptional talent and passion in Irish filmmaking, and reflects the robust and vibrant screen industry that has grown in Ireland in recent years. 

The festival accepts short film submissions via Film Freeway, and filmmakers are encouraged to share their unique stories and perspectives. All short film submissions from Northern Ireland or Northern Ireland filmmakers are automatically entered into consideration for the annual Norman Houston Short Film Award.


The 18th edition of the four-day festival took place February 29 - March 3 2024 in partnership with the prestigious American Film Institute's Silver Theatre & Cultural Center (Silver Spring MD). The lineup included 17 feature films (3 North American and 9 Regional Premieres), the addition of a third shorts program dedicated to films that have been funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (20 short films across all programming), the Norman Houston Short Film Award winner, introductions and in-person Q&As with filmmakers, and special events with dignitaries.

This year’s program highlighted the work of Irish women in film - 10 of the 17 features have either been written or directed by women. 14 titles screened were directed by women (7 features and 7 shorts) and 18 titles have been written or co-written by women (10 features and 8 shorts). The program centered exciting, new, and emerging voices in Irish cinema, with 6 Irish directors making feature film debuts - including 3 women, as well as Irish language titles, animation and family programming in the lineup this year. Films exploring power, misogyny, survival, belonging, and heroism, shocked, thrilled, inspired, entertained and enlightened. Themes of compassion, resilience and hope and the indomitable Irish spirit echoed throughout the program.

CIFF expanded on strategic partnerships with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland - the Irish national body for film, television and animation; Northern Ireland Screen, the national screen agency for Northern Ireland and the Irish Film Institute’s IFI International programme supported by Culture Ireland. The festival presented 18 film titles (10 features and 8 shorts) funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and 10 film titles (4 features and 6 shorts) funded by Northern Ireland Screen. The relationships and support reflect the increasing platform and profile the festival offers filmmakers and productions from the entire island of Ireland in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

On the announcement of the program, Capital Irish Film Festival Director Maedhbh Mc Cullagh shared, “In a year that has seen unprecedented growth and recognition of Irish film in the US, it gives me great pleasure to announce our largest and most expansive festival program to date, presented in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. There is an insatiable appetite and fervent passion for storytelling across this lineup, and it’s such an honor to showcase the talent, skill and artistry of these filmmakers to our audiences in Washington, D.C. As a whole, the program presents a rich, diverse, and fascinating portrait of the Irish imagination and offers some telling insights into aspects of Irish life today. It highlights the majestic, stunning and diverse landscapes of Ireland and beyond our island, featuring, framing, and presenting other worlds through Irish eyes. The best way to engage with the program is to buy a pass and see all of the films.”

Mc Cullagh added, “I’m particularly proud of the partnerships and relationships we have developed in support of the festival, including working locally with the Embassy of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Bureau, North America, and with Irish agencies like Culture Ireland, to bring filmmakers to over to attend the screenings and share their stories and processes with us. I’m incredibly grateful to our peers at partner film festivals in Chicago (Chicago Irish Film Festival), New York City (Craicfest), and Seattle (Emerald City Irish Film Festival)  whom we have worked closely with to create other screening opportunities and artist visits to other cities for some of the films in our program. Now we look forward to sharing them with you, to introducing you to these exceptional filmmakers and to meeting you at AFI Silver.”

“The festival films showcase the full humanity of the Irish people. They are tough without being mean, forgiving without being saccharine. Quiet, deadpan humor is never far from their lips. These films are almost all a welcome reprieve from the D.C. grind.” — Washington City Paper 

The Capital Irish Film Festival is supported by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme, Culture Ireland, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Embassy of Ireland, Northern Ireland Bureau, Northern Ireland Screen, and the Irish Film Institute’s IFI International Programme supported by Culture Ireland. Solas Nua is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.

sponsor card banner ciff24


Solas Nua - ‘new light’ in Irish, is a leading multi-disciplinary arts organization that is dedicated exclusively to bringing contemporary Irish arts to Washington, D.C. Solas Nua acts as an ambassador and advocate for Irish arts in the U.S., promoting multi-disciplinary Irish arts and culture. Solas Nua presents, produces, and commissions thought-provoking and ground-breaking work across the arts, and is recognized for making a substantive, unique contribution to the artistic and cultural richness of the city of Washington, DC and beyond. Support and follow Solas Nua via their newsletters, on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


A program of the American Film Institute (AFI), AFI Silver and Cultural Center offers a year-round program of the best in American and international cinema, featuring a dynamic mix of retrospectives, special events, tributes, on-stage guest appearances, specialty first-run movies,festivals, premieres and education and community-based programs in a theatrical setting of the highest standards. Anchored by the stunningly restored 1938 Silver Theatre, the three-screen AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art film and digital media exhibition venue that serves as a national model for preserving and honoring our shared film and film-going heritage. Read about all of these programs and more at, and follow AFI Silver on social media at, and follow AFI Silver on social media at FacebookYouTubeTwitter and Instagram.

Capital Irish Film Festival
February 29 - March 3
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910