Cork Film Festival Will Be ‘The Favourite’ For Film Fans

Programmers for the 63rd Cork Film Festival, running from November 9-18, say the event will showcase Irish and international movies with a focus on current global issues.

The 2018 programme for Ireland’s first and largest film festival features films with themes centred on LGBT, mental health, child poverty, gender equality, and human rights. Over 250 Irish and international features and shorts will be screened across the Festival, with 90 per cent being Irish premieres.

“Our mission is to bring people together through an outstanding programme of films and events and to create an unforgettable festival experience over 10 days in Cork,” said Festival Producer and CEO Fiona Clark in a statement. “As a destination for great storytelling on film, this year’s programme includes numerous award-winners from the 2018 international festival circuit, alongside fresh new voices, together showcasing the latest and best independent cinema. For many films presented, this is the only opportunity to see them on the big screen in Cork and Ireland.”

Picking up an award at the prestigious Toronto film festival this year, Cork-born director Carmel Winters’ Irish drama Float Like a Butterfly will open the event. Set in the 1960s, a young girl must fight to pursue her dreams of becoming a boxer after her jailbird father says the sport is not for women.

“It is fantastic that we can open the Festival with a film with such distinct Cork connections. Float like a Butterfly is a special film that fiercely challenges patriarchy and stereotypes. Carmel, and many of the cast and crew, will be in attendance for this European premiere,” said Programme Director Michael Hayden in a statement. “Selecting Float like a Butterfly as the Opening Gala is indicative of the Festival’s commitment to celebrating Irish film, and we have secured some of the most celebrated films of the year.”

Another homegrown film playing at the festival is Yorgos Lanthimos’ two-time Venice Film Festival winner The Favourite, produced by the Irish company Element Pictures and starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. There’s also The Dig, starring Moe Dunford, which was awarded Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh this year, as well as thrillers Cellar Door and The Belly of the Whale.

Cork Film Festival also will screen a number of films that competed for the Palme D’or – the top honour at Cannes Film Festival, a stamp of quality in film circles. The winner of that award, Shoplifters, will play Saturday, November 17 at the Gate Multiplex. Set in Tokyo, a family who live in poverty, shoplifting to make ends meet, discover a homeless girl who shows signs of abuse. Despite their strained finances, they informally adopt her. 

Other acclaimed international movies to screen at the festival include American indie comedy Sorry to Bother You, South Korean thriller Burning, Samurai action flick Killing, sumptuous haunted dress horror In Fabric, Lizzie Borden biopic Lizzie, the Matthew McConaughey starring crime drama White Boy Rick and the legendary Robert Redford’s final leading role The Old Man and the Gun.

The festival’s closing movie is the Irish premiere of Nadine Labaki’s multi-award-winning Capernaum, which the festival programmers are calling an ‘urgent, important film’ on child poverty and the denial of an individual’s human rights.

The programme also features 40 documentaries. Highlights include work from veteran auteurs such as Frederick Wiseman’s Monrovia, Indiana and Werner Herzog’s Meeting Gorbachev, as well as Hal – the documentary on the life and career of legendary filmmaker Hal Ashby.

Special presentations include a cine concert of the 1920s silent horror Nosferatu (November 13) at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, with a new score by Cork composers Irene and Linda Buckley. Also, this year the festival collaborated with the National Sculpture Factory for Alan Butler’s On Exactitude in Science (November 12-14) a work comprising Godfrey Reggio’s 1983 masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi in synchronicity with Butler’s 2017 remake Koyaanisgtav.

Illuminate, the Festival’s unique series of film and discussion events exploring mental health and wellbeing, is presented in association with Arts+Minds, the HSE Cork Mental Health Service and Irish Rail Iarnród Éireann. Screenings include Trauma is a Time Machine, For the Birds, and Ordinary People.

The family strand – a series of movies aimed at children – will be screened throughout the Festival at The Gate Cinema. The programme includes the highly-anticipated family friendly animations, The Grinch (November 10) and The Overcoat (November 17), the latter featuring the voice of Cork actor Cillian Murphy.

In total, 117 shorts will be presented across the 10 days and will be considered for either the Grand Prix Irish Short or the Grand Prix International Short Awards. The winners of both, announced at the Awards Ceremony on November 18 at the Triskel Arts Centre, will be automatically longlisted for the Oscars.

For more details about this year’s Cork Film Festival, visit

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