The 63rd Cork Film Festival, running from 9-18 November, is jam-packed with a range of fabulous Irish and international films.
Below we take a peek at the Irish films screening at this year’s festival, including Carmel Winters’ highly anticipated and award-winning second feature Float like a Butterfly, the Irish premiere of Yorgos Lanthimos’ feminist comedy The Favourite and The Dig.
Float Like a Butterfly (Carmel Winters)
09/11/2018 – 19:30 & 10/11/2018 – 16:00
In rural Ireland during the 1960s, Frances is a teenage Traveller who has coped with tragedy from a young age. With her father Michael in prison, she has learnt to fend for herself and her devotion to Muhammad Ali has inspired a passion for boxing. When Michael is released, though, he has forthright opinions about how a young woman should behave. As Michael decides to uproot his family and go roaming, fiery Frances begins her own journey of discovery.
Cast: Hazel Doupe, Dara Devaney, Johnny Collins
Irish Shorts 1
10/11/2018 – 14:00
Sooner or Later (Luke Morgan)
10/11/2018 – 19:00
With the unwitting assistance of his granddaughter Alice, the roguish and cantankerous Thaddeus and his girlfriend Sally escape from their nursing home to carry out their plan in a coastal hideaway. It’s unusual for a debut director to focus in on themes of death and ageing, albeit in a comic drama, but it is to Morgan and his leads’ credit that they do so with little vanity.
Cast: Aeneas O’Donnell, Muireann Ní Raghaillagh, Anna O’Donnell, Peter Shine
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
10/11/2018 – 21:00
England, 1704, and Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) heads a country at war. While her army battles the French, there are squabbles in her parliament between the hawkish Whigs and the landowning Tories. In poor health, Anne relies heavily on confidante Lady Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), though when poor relation Abigail (Emma Stone) starts gaining influence at court a dual of wit begins, with the queen’s affections dangled as a prize.
Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone
Jumpman (Ivan I Tverdovskiy)
10/11/2018 – 21:15
Russian teen Denis lives in an orphanage where he and his friends play at testing how much pain Denis can withstand, and Denis just happens to have an almost superhuman resistance to pain. One day, to Denis’ delight, his mother Oksana arrives to take him out of the orphanage to live with her. However, will Oksana’s ulterior motives for springing Denis from the orphanage threaten their relationship?
Cast: Vilma Kutaviciute, Anna Slyu, Daniil Steklov
The Curious Works of Roger Doyle (Brian Lally)
11/11/2018 – 12:15
Known as ‘The Godfather of Irish Electronica,’ Roger Doyle has, over the course of five decades, created an impressive body of work ranging from minimalist piano and electronic pieces to orchestral works. Doyle might have been alone in his chosen field but he has always surrounded himself with remarkable creative types, forming Operating Theatre with Olwen Fouéré as well as providing distinctive soundtracks for the exciting wave of late 70s Irish filmmakers such as Bob Quinn, Cathal Black and Joe Comerford. And here he is captured embarking on Ireland’s first electronic opera.
11/11/2018 – 14:45
Cellar Door (Viko Nikci)
11/11/2018 – 20:30 & 12/11/2018 – 16:15
Aidie doesn’t know who or where she is. As she searches for a baby that she may or may not have had, and who may have been taken from her, she struggles to decipher her past by repeatedly re-visiting it: dancing with her lover Aidan, visiting her artist mother, escaping from the unmarried mothers’ home and being in various stages of pregnancy, childbirth and searching for her child. Constantly at sea but tantalisingly close to the truth, revelation comes in a surprising and poignant ending that provides a fragile anchor for Aidie, through an exploration of love regained and loss re-lived.
Cast: Karen Hassan, Catherine Walker
12/11/2018 – 20:30
A selection of experimental film works to disturb and delight. In memory of Josephine Massarella 1957 – 2018.
Please note this programme features the use of stroboscopic effects.
13/11/2018 – 13:45
Town of Strangers (Treasa O’Brien)
13/11/2018 – 20:30
Using the device of an open-call film audition to meet the locals in the County Galway town of Gort, this documentary encounters a diverse cast, including young Irish Travellers, English New Age hippies, Brazilian factory workers and Syrian refugees and asks them to share their dreams and stories.
Irish Shorts 4
14/11/2018 – 15:45
Five Red Roses – One for Every Syllable of Your Name (Cathal Black)
14/11/2018 – 18:30
Máirín de Burca’s name may only be familiar to a certain generation but, in the current era of social justice and women’s rights activism this documentary is nothing if not timely. An imposing figure, de Burca held the post of Sinn Fein Secretary General before turning her focus on social action and feminist causes in the 70s and founding the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement.
Irish Shorts 5
15/11/2018 – 15:45
Maeve (Pat Murphy)
15/11/2018 – 18:00
Pat Murphy, Film Artist in Residence at UCC and one of Ireland’s most radical filmmakers, best describes her debut feature: ‘Maeve was asking how does a woman position herself against the background of what was going on in the North and within the history of republicanism and memory and landscape. At the time, people were pushing competing narratives. But my experience was that there was no clear narrative, only a fractured one. I was influenced by Godard and Brecht. But, more than that, with Maeve, anytime I sat down and tried to create a straightforward film with a beginning, middle and end, it just wouldn’t work.’
Cast: Mary Jackson, Mark Mulholland, Brid Brennan
15/11/2018 – 20:45 & 16/11/2018 – 13:30
In the Tohill brothers’ tense drama, Callahan returns to his abandoned family farm-home having served 15 years for murder. His plan to sell up and move on is thwarted by the presence of the victim’s father on his land. Convinced that Callahan buried his daughter in the bog land, the father has spent every day of the previous 15 years digging it patch by patch. Knowing the only way he’ll get him off his land, and perhaps satisfy his own alcohol-shot recollection of events, Callahan joins him in the grim task. Dark secrets eventually surface.
Cast: Moe Dunford, Emily Taaffe, Francis Magee and Lorcan Cranitch
Irish Shorts 6
16/11/2018 – 16:00
The Belly of the Whale (Morgan Bushe)
16/11/2018 – 21:00
Having been sent away from his home following a tragedy some years before, 15-year-old Joey Moody returns to the now-derelict caravan park his parents once ran in rural Ireland. With a notion to revive the place, though lacking the wherewithal to do it, he finds himself committed to an unlikely partnership with Ronald Tanner, a recovering alcoholic struggling to raise funds to help his sick wife. Resentment for corrupt arcade owner and aspiring politician Gits unites the pair
Cast: Art Parkinson, Michael Smiley, Lewis MacDougall
17/11/2018 – 11:30
When a grandfather offers his shabby old overcoat as a Christmas present to his disappointed granddaughter it reminds him of a story he was told from the old country, Russia, about Akaky, a lowly and lonely office worker whose purchase of an extravagant overcoat makes him the centre of attention. But then, fate takes a ghostly hand…
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Alfred Molina, Michael McElhatton, Fiona O’Shaughnessy
One Million American Dreams (Brendan Byrne)
17/11/2018 – 13:15
Though Hart Island has been mythicized by New Yorkers for over two centuries, for the over one million people who are buried here, there has been no eulogy. Laying claim to the unclaimed dead, they are interred in trenches; without memorial or ritual. Through the vignettes of four families reconciling the plight of their kin buried on the island, One Million American Dreams captures the alienation and anonymity of the city of New York through honest reflections on the rich tapestry of lives of those who find their final resting place here.
Cork On Camera
17/11/2018 – 14:45
An exciting new programme of short films from the collections of the IFI Irish Film Archive. The programme features a wide range of films about Cork city and county and includes: silent films of Patrick St. and Cork Harbour in 1902; local newsreels by the Horgan Brothers from Youghal (1910s); the charming Oscar®-nominated Three Kisses about a young Cork hurler (1955); a lively canoeing film, Blackwater Holiday (1964); the elegiac Irish Village about Crookhaven in 1959; and a series of Amharc Éireann newsreels from the 1960s. The silent element of the programme will be accompanied by pianist Morgan Cooke.
Technology, Nature and the Essay Film Form
17/11/2018 – 15:15
Three non-fiction films linked by shared themes of man’s interaction with nature and distinct formal approaches.
Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland World Premiere Shorts
17/11/2018 – 16:00
Premiere screening of short films produced under Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland’s Focus Shorts and Real Shorts schemes.
Best of Cork
18/11/2018 – 15:00
Full festival programme here