Cork Film Festival

More than 200 films will be showcased at the Cork Film Festival from 11 – 20 November. Ireland’s oldest film festival will this year showcase home-grown talent and international features, as well as a strong focus on documentary film, with 52 documentaries, over 100 short films and 55 countries represented throughout the programme.

Over 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which opens with the stunning documentary Dancer, which tells the story of bad-boy ballet star Sergei Polunin. The acclaimed A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, will close the festival. Amma Asante’s powerful and heartwarming tale tells the true story of the interracial marriage of Englishwoman Ruth Williams to the former Bechuanaland royal Seretse Khama, who led his nation to independence from the British Empire. David Oyelowo plays the new country Botswana’s first President, and Rosamund Pike the accomplished white middle class office worker, whose romance and then marriage outrages everyone – his family, hers, South African Government officials, the Botswanian people and British officialdom and society alike.

Elsewhere, there is something for everyone to enjoy with this diverse line-up of cracking films. As festival Creative Director James Mullighan puts it: “From a special presentation of one of the most widely discussed films of 2016, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, to the world premiere of the thoroughly engaging Irish surf documentary Between Land and Sea, the Festival accurately reflects the fantastic diversity of global, contemporary cinema.”  

Films will be screened at four locations across the city; The Everyman, Gate Cinema, Triskel Christchurch, and a special visual and audio experience, fLux, at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, with musical innovators, Eat My Noise. Continuing to nurture home-grown talent, the festival will screen 39 Irish short films, with over a quarter from Cork. Submissions this year, both nationally and internationally, exceeded 1,500 and the winner of the Grand Prix Irish Short, presented by RTÉ Cork, and the winner of the Grand Prix International, will automatically qualify for the Academy Awards longlist.

This year will see an increased family programme, including two major films, Rock Dog and The Eagle Huntress. In deference to Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday and as a tribute to the late Gene Wilder, there will be screenings of the much loved Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Fans of Wilder can also catch him in Mel Brooks’ classic comedy Blazing Saddles which wil also screen during the festival.

Other highlights include Mumford and Sons’ new music documentary We Wrote This Yesterday at The Everyman on 19 November, hosted by Donal Gallagher, brother of music legend Rory Gallagher. Donal will be joined by special guests on the night. Acclaimed screen star Fiona Shaw will attend the showing of the poignant Out of Innocence on 13 November at the Triskel Christchurch, based on the controversial events in Kerry in the 1980s which linked the secret birth of a stillborn baby and the brutal murder of another.

The Festival’s major Irish films include thriller I Am Not a Serial Killer at The Everyman on 17 November from Irish producer Nick Ryan (director, The Summit) and Cork native writer/director Billy O’Brien; along with Forever Pure on 18 November, a feature documentary about the most symbolic football club in Israel, Beitar Jerusalem.

Human rights activist and homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry will take part in a panel discussion with Fiona Dukelow of the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC after a screening of the RTÉ documentary Peter McVerry: The View from the Basement. The Cork Film Festival also welcomes the return of Illuminate, a series of film and discussion events, which use film to explore different aspects of mental health. This is presented in association with Arts+Minds and the HSE Cork Mental Health Services.

With a range of brilliant films, engaging panel discussions and thought provoking documentaries, there is so much to enjoy at the Cork Film this year. It promises to be ten days of fantastic, intelligent entertainment with something for everyone to enjoy.

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