Irish Film Review @ Cork Film Festival: Sooner or Later

 

Jack O’Dwyer finds much to like in Sooner or Later, Luke Morgan’s no-budget feature from Galway filmmaking collective Project Spatula.

 

Luke Morgan, standing before a full crowd in the Gate cinema, proclaims that, in years to come, ‘’we’re gonna remember this day when our little film screened in Cork.’’ He is there to introduce his feature-length debut, entitled Sooner or Later, the latest project by an artistic collective from Galway known as ‘’Project Spatula’’, described by Morgan as a ‘’rock band, except for films’’, which is loosely comprised of 30-40 members who move fluidly from film to film, churning out shorts, features and other projects in spite of the complete absence of any solid budget or sponsorship. This film should rightfully mark the point at which Morgan and his band of dedicated players move from obscurity to celebrity; for while the film may be self-described by Morgan as ‘’rough around the edges’’, it is also brave, exuberant and comedically potent throughout the majority of its 95-minute runtime.

At the core of the film are Thaddeus and Sally, two strikingly original Irish characters played brilliantly by real-life husband and wife pairing Aeneas and Anna O’Donnell. Thaddeus is a truly ineffable character, part folkloric hero in the vein of Oisín and part cantankerous lout in the vein of Father Jack Hackett, with a spindly gait like Nosferatu and a leathered face like Mick Jagger. Matching his eccentricity perfectly is Sally, scatter-brained and prone to getting caught up in fads, yet wholly capable of delivering razor-sharp wit in a way reminiscent of the late Carrie Fisher. As an elderly pair who yearn to escape the confines of their retirement home and elope to Kerry in order to commit suicide on their own terms, the couple’s seasoned chemistry bursts off the screen from the first frame. Indeed, the film’s opening scene is an absurdly comedic bathtub sequence, lit primarily by candlelight, depicting an intimate moment between the two lovers being rudely interrupted by a Nurse Ratched-like member of staff at the care home. Featuring full-frontal nudity, hysterical one-liners, and a Lynchian debate about the spelling of a suicide note, the film’s opening is a stunning introduction to a film fuelled by exuberant, darkly comedic brilliance.

Acting as the foil to the mischievous duo is Alice, Thaddeus’s granddaughter, played by Muireann NÍ Raghaillach. She cares deeply for her erratic grandfather, and has remained weary of Sally’s role in his life for the duration of the couple’s six-month long relationship. It is her care and concern for Thaddeus which leads to her being duped into driving the pair to the old family home in Kerry, despite the fact that the residents have no permission to leave the care facility. Once at the family home, Alice discovers the pair’s suicide pact after a commemorative urn is delivered three days early to the house – just one example of how the film’s plot is structured upon well-executed dark comedy set-pieces. From this point in the film, Alice has a troubled scowl upon her face, not aided by the arrival of her hapless ex-boyfriend Nigel, a man ‘’easier to push over than a cereal box’’, played by co-writer Peter Shine. Alice as a character is not as memorable or engaging as Thaddeus or Sally, which is understandable given the difficulty of playing it straight in a world defined by comedic madness. The relative weakness of Alice’s scenes within the film does not reflect upon the talents of Ní Raghaillach, who performs capably in a challenging, emotional role.

Morgan, as well as engaging in all aspects of filmmaking, is also a poet and novelist, noting in the past the similarities between writing a poem and writing a screenplay, due to the exactitude and economy of language that is needed to be effective in both. The script, written by Conor Quinlan and Peter Shine, is infused with this ethos, with great attention paid to the clever turn-of-phrase and cutting, precise punchline. This is particularly relevant in the case of Thaddeus, who speaks in a sort of impactful lilt, sometimes humorous and sometimes empathetic; each line of dialogue, no matter how inane or bizarre, falls from his lips in natural, poetic fashion, which is testament to the quality of the script. After the film’s screening, Morgan explained the unique way in which the script was assembled. The director provided the actors with certain situations and told them to improvise based on their own knowledge of their characters. These interactions were livestreamed to a team of ten or so writers in a different room, who listened intently and took down the most memorable phrases, working them into future drafts of the script. This approach leads to an abundance of memorable lines. “Last time I met my girlfriend’s family, the Soviet Union was still going strong”, “I want to remain a human…not drugged up to me eyeballs in a care home’’, and Thaddeus’s oft-repeated insult “shut up bonehead!”. In addition to such quotable lines, the script contains numerous self-contained scenes of well-plotted, escalating humour. The hilarity reaches its peak during a night-time scene which somehow brings together a daddy long legs, an erection, and a misinterpreted suicide attempt to form a feat of sustained comic brilliance which compelled the entire Cork audience to uproarious laughter. 

As Morgan himself admirably admits, the film is slightly bumpy from a technical perspective. It is far too easy to dwell upon unavoidable faults which plague the film such as inconsistent lighting, uneven sound design, and a conventional mischievous soundtrack which repeats awkwardly throughout the film’s first act. Given the virtual absence of any budget at all, these are easily ignored, especially in light of the inarguable directorial vision and ambition which pervade the film. Morgan’s compositions often convey the tone of a scene before any words are spoken. This is the case in a gloriously mundane scene between Sally and Nigel, wherein the actors’ postures communicate their mutual discomfort more effectively than words ever could. Similarly, a tragicomic shot of a melancholy Thaddeus sitting among party decorations (which he himself had put up in celebration of his own death) is perhaps the most affecting in the entire film. The film’s rural Kerry setting, which also includes locations shot in Galway and West Cork, is evoked vividly throughout the film, especially during two poignant scenes between Thaddeus and Alice that take place on a beach which plays a symbolic role in the family’s identity.

Redolent of Dylan Thomas’s famous poem ‘’Do not go gentle into that good night’’, the film is a courageous portrayal of dying on one’s own terms rather than simply fading away in conventional fashion. This mature subject matter is, in Morgan’s own words, Project Spatula’s latest attempt ‘’to shout as loud as we can’’ until the industry takes notice. If the standard set by Sooner or Later is maintained or surpassed with future efforts, then it cannot be long until the Galway collective’s calls are heard; the film is a sparkling paean to life, death, and all the love and hardships in between.

 

 

Sooner or Later screened on Saturday, 10th November 2018 as part of the Cork Film Festival (9 – 18 November)

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Irish Film Review @ Cork Film Festival: Float Like a Butterfly

Loretta Goff finds a voice to the voiceless in Carmel Winters’ film Float Like a Butterfly, which opened the 63rd Cork Film Festival.

The second feature-film of writer-director Carmel Winters, Float Like a Butterfly was the Opening Gala of the 63rd Cork Film Festival and screened again the following day, with packed out audiences at both showings. Introducing the second screening of the film, the Festival’s Programme Director, Michael Hayden, described it as “highly intelligent” and “full of humanity”. This proved to be true as audiences connected with the story unfolding onscreen over the next hour and forty minutes, laughing, gasping, clapping and crying along the way.

Float Like a Butterfly, set in rural Ireland in the 1960s, follows the story of Frances (Hazel Doupe), a fifteen-year-old Irish Traveller, as she comes of age amidst turmoil and fights back against societal expectations. The film opens with a young Frances sharing a happy moment with her family—boxing with her father and listening to her mother sing. This is quickly shattered with the arrival of Guards demanding that Frances be brought to school. Trying to take the child leads to an altercation that results in the tragic death of Frances’ mother, who is pushed by a Guard, and the arrest of her father, who fights back.

Several years later, we see Frances carrying on her father’s fighting spirit while channelling her hero, Muhammad Ali. She stands strong against the discrimination and vitriol she and her family face, reminding herself that they are “the greatest” (like Ali), and resists prescribed gender roles, focusing on boxing rather than the marriage she is continuously pushed towards. However, when her father, Michael (Dara Devaney) returns from prison as a broken man struggling with alcoholism, Frances’ strength is put to the test as she tries to hold her family together.

Tensions boil over when Michael takes Frances and her younger brother on the road. As the trio begin their journey, they come to a split in the path and, after pausing for a moment, Michael comments that “there’s no wrong way” and allows the horse to choose their direction. This neatly reflects the overall position of the film—that it is OK to follow your own path—and acknowledges the many directions one’s life might take. However, Michael does not seem to follow his own philosophy for most of the film, undermining his daughter’s passion for boxing and her more “masculine” strengths, while scolding his young son for being too “soft”.

The acting in this film is strong across the board, but Hazel Doupe stands out, expressing great emotional depth and variety throughout the film. Several shots focus on Doupe’s face, allowing it to guide the audience through both her character’s experiences and their own emotional responses to the film. Through Doupe’s subtle and nuanced performance, Frances becomes both a strong, determined individual and representative of humanity (and our fears, struggles, hopes and successes) more broadly. The audience connects with her, feels her pain and roots for her. In the Q&A following the film, Winters explained that the “character of Frances drove this… she had a story to tell and she didn’t let me go until I told it.”

Locating this film in the past gives it a mythological quality that softens and romanticises some of the tough issues the film addresses, but these remain affecting and the audience can easily relate to them. In the Q&A, Winters stated: “What I really want is everyone to open their hearts” and expressed that she hoped the film allows audiences to connect with their pain, but also find beauty. She explained: “That’s where I come from as an artist … how can I serve, whatever that might be … I want to give a voice to the voiceless.”

Float Like a Butterfly is a standout film that tells a unique story while simultaneously tackling a myriad of topical social issues relevant not only in Ireland, but across the world. It captures humanity at its best and worst, offering a message of hope throughout.

 

Float Like a Butterfly screened on Friday. 9th & Saturday, 10th November 2018 as part of the Cork Film Festival

 

 

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Irish Film Review @ Cork Film Festival: The Favourite

 

Charline Fernandez takes a break from duck racing and pineapple eating to send us this review of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite from the Cork Film Festival.

 

Royal satire The Favourite is a brilliant dark comedy, shattering notions of aristocratic decency with glee. Screening as part of Cork Film Festival, Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest had its audience at the Everyman Theatre on Saturday in howls of laughter.

Set in the early 18th century, England and France are at war. However, the real battle is taking place in the Royal Palace. Two cousins are fighting for the attention of the childish and ill Queen Anne (Olivia Colman – The Iron Lady, The Lobster). Her closest friend is Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz – Youth, Disobedience), a strong, determined woman with a sharp tongue. Sarah’s distant cousin Abigail (Emma Stone – La La Land) is a former noble fallen on hard times attempting to social climb.

Although one could expect a formal atmosphere stressing a rigid and romanticized type of life, The Favourite subverts all expectations of typical historical drama, feeling like a breath of fresh air. Oscillating between tense and grotesque moments, the narrative keeps surprising the viewer. A recurrent element playing on these contrasts is the presence of tamed ducks – who race for the court’s pleasure – punctuating the conversations with their quacks.

Breaking the stereotype of the old princess movies, one scene shows new servant Abigail in a wood picking up plant medicine. Suddenly, a charismatic young man appears on his horse looking at the beautiful seemingly innocent person. However, the tables are soon turned when the lady bites the lip of the noble in her bedroom and literally kicks his ass during a twisted sort of role play in the same forest.

The subversion even extends into the editing as The Favourite is happy playing with the codes of filmmaking. Scenes fade in on one another resulting in a corny superimposition of images, which creates a dissonance between old-school historical drama and Lanthimos’ use of more provocative elements of modern filmmaking. Divided into several acts, the titles are often taken from a character’s venomous line.

Some of the humour even dares to cross the line of historical inaccuracies. Sofia Coppola had already challenged the conventional ballroom scene in Marie-Antoinette, having its central royal figures dancing to punk-rock band Siouxsie and The Banshees. Here, Lanthimos takes it further with a dance between Lady Sarah and a noble that starts old-school but quickly switches hilariously into more contemporary choreography with break dance and hip-hop movements.

The script is just one verbal swordplay after another, particularly the scenes involving Nicholas Hoult’s Robert Harley, a master manipulator campaigning for lower taxes. While its three central women shine throughout, the X-Men actor has his fair share of the screenplay’s provocative lines. When Abigail asks him for a favour, he dryly replies: “Favour is a breeze that shifts direction all the time. Then in an instant you’re back to sleeping with a bunch of scabrous whores.”

The cinematography from Robbie Ryan adds to the non-conformity of the film. Fish-eye lenses are strategically placed in the corner of the enormous rooms while low-angle shots breeze through endless corridors. These two combined elements create a sense of distorted reality. The same goes for the soundtrack announcing the tone from the beginning. Although it is a classical score in the opening scene, the long silences in the melody create some dissonance. As the film continues, electronic notes become more discordant.

While The Favourite is hysterically funny, Lanthimos’ does not skirt over the darkness of the story he is telling, leaving it to linger heavily in the last act. The decadence of the members of the court leads to a tragic ending where all protagonists are prisoners – for better or worse – of their own condition despite all their efforts to escape.

In Lanthimos’ satire, power corrupts. Yet, to his credit he never forgets the people caught in the power plays.

 

The Favourite screened on Saturday, 10th November 2018 as part of the Cork Film Festival

 

 

 

 

 

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Natasha Waugh, Director of ‘Mother’

Natasha Waugh’s latest short film, Mother, screens at this year’s Cork Film Festival. In the film, hardworking mam Grace, played by Hilary Rose, has the perfect happy family: a loving husband and two wonderful children. But when her husband arrives home one day with a brand new kitchen appliance, she slowly starts to realize that there might not be room for both of them in this house.

Gemma Creagh sat down with Natasha to find out more about her quirky short, her journey into film and her IFTA-nominated 2016 film Terminal.

 

 

Mother screens at Cork Film Festival 2018 as part of Irish Shorts 2 – Flesh and Blood at 14:45 on 11th November 2018 at The Gate Cinema.

 

Tickets

 

 

Terminal

 

Natasha Waugh co-founded Fight Back Films in 2013, and has, to date, directed four short films (Food Fight, Running Commentary, Lag, and Terminal) and co-directed another (The Betrayal) with filmmaker Kamila Dydyna. The films have enjoyed success on the festival circuit.

Terminal, inspired by the women affected by the 8th amendment, has gone on to critical acclaim, winning Best Short Film at Indie Cork 2016, Director’s Choice Short Film at the 2017 Irish Film Festival, Boston, the Writers Guild of Ireland Zebbie Award for Best Short Film Script, 2017, and Best Irish Short Film at the 2017 Dub Web Fest.

Terminal has received other nominations for Best Short Film at the Dublin Feminist Film Festival, Irish Film Festival London, Fort Worth Indie Showcase, and played in competition at Manchester International Film Festival 2017. Terminal picked up other prestigious nominations for Best Short film at the 37th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards, and at the 2017 Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (IFTAs).

Natasha’s latest film, Mother, premiered at the 30th Galway Film Fleadh 2018 and screens at Cork Film Festival 2018.

 

Running Commentary

 

 

 

http://filmireland.net/2018/10/18/irish-film-preview-2018-cork-film-festival/

 

 

Film Ireland Podcasts

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Treasa O’Brien, Writer/Director of ‘Town of Strangers’ 

Writer/Director Treasa O’Brien takes us behind the story of Town of Strangers, a film about a stranger who comes to make a film in the small town of Gort in the West of Ireland, and the people she meets when she holds auditions. Together, they go on a cinematic journey to explore their waking and dreaming lives. Featuring a cast of migrant workers, hippies, Travellers, blow-ins and newly arrived refugees, we are ushered into the private worlds of people living between two cultures, sharing their desires of longing and belonging.

 

When I started making Town of Strangers, the town of Gort boasted two remarkable statistics: it was the town with the most nationalities in Ireland, relative to its small population; and it was the town ‘worst hit by austerity’. I had been visiting Gort with the idea to make a film there when the Goethe Institute, after seeing my film Eat Your Children, commissioned me to make a short film based on the theme of home.  The project Europoly matched filmmakers around Europe, and that is how I got to work with Catalan DoP Gina Ferrer.  It was a kind of blind date – she came and worked with me for a week-long shoot that became the short film called The Blow-in.  I used a day of the shooting schedule and budget for that film to shoot auditions for Town of Strangers, a film script I was developing. I did not yet know what form that film would take, but I knew it would not be a ‘straight’ documentary nor a fiction.  I was searching for a cinematic language that would transcend the binary of documentary and fiction and find a way to express the lived experiences of people with hybrid cultural identities.  I wanted to incorporate stories from the town and potentially cast first-time actors as themselves.

The auditions, however, irrevocably changed the course of the film, due to the particularity of the encounters that occurred. I was astonished and honoured by the stories divulged to me.  People showed me their strengths and vulnerabilities in a way that moved me. The more I got to know the people from the auditions, the more I adapted and improvised the film.  I soon left the script far behind and together with some of the people I met, we went on a cinematic journey to explore their waking and dreaming lives.

I asked people in the auditions to tell me ‘a dream, a lie, a memory, a story or a piece of gossip”. The resulting scenes are not re-enactments, but rather performative enactments improvised together. By inviting the participants to enact their dreams or memories, I was documenting the process of this imagining, rather than trying to create a product based on the content of the story itself.  Sometimes it is the making-of the scenes that were more interesting than the scenes themselves and these form part of the film’s story.

I was doing a PhD in Film Practice at the same time, with Joshua Oppenheimer, director of The Act of Killing, as my supervisor. Joshua has developed a way of working that has expanded the documentary genre that includes filming the process of making scenes with protagonists acting as themselves.  Joshua became my chief mentor and creative advisor on the process of making Town of Strangers over the three years of its making.  I made a first cut and a trailer with Julian Triandafyllou, a London filmmaker, mainly using the audition material and some extra material I had shot.  Martha O’Neill of Wildfire Films came on board as a co-producer based on that cut. We kept developing the film, even though we had no budget, and we invested our own funds and a lot of time.  Later, the Arts Council of Ireland came on board and supported the main production with a Project Award.  We also got some smaller funds from Clare County Council and Faroe Islands supported a sound designer to work on the post.  I worked on and off for over a year with editor Mirjam Strugalla, to build the narrative arc of the film, filming more material with people in between editing sessions.  Gina Ferrer came back for two more shoots and I shot a lot of the footage on my own, gaining confidence as a cinematographer as well as a director. The editing process was an intense collaboration as we tried out several different structures before we decided how the interlocking stories and characters could resonate and have the feeling of a developing narrative.

I constructed a character loosely based on myself, and performed by me, whom I call T, who appears alongside the other characters in the film. She is living in her van, and trying to find a place to live in the town.  She is seen in the van, parked up by a petrol station, sleeping, reading, making breakfast, doing yoga.  My own emplacement as director is semi-fictionalised within the film, inventing a poetic truth of my engagement with the people and place in the film, that is nevertheless based on my real lived experiences.

On another level, Town of Strangers is a human rights film about migration and identity in our times.  It is a cinematic and philosophical exploration of the lived experiences of ‘the other’, people who make their home in a small town in the west of Ireland, in the age of austerity politics, the refugee ‘crisis’, and the rise of nationalism and right-wing politics in Europe and the USA.  I spent time working in refugee camps in Greece while making this film, where I made several short films about the journeys people were making, working with them as co-makers. Town of Strangers explores the aftermath – the shifting sand between our shared human experiences of longing for home, and our search for belonging.

 

Town of Strangers screens at Cork Film Festival 2018 at 14:45 on Tuesday, 13th November 2018 at Triskel Arts Centre.

Tickets here

Town of Strangers premiered at Galway Film Fleadh in July 2018 and is nominated for Best Cinematic Documentary at Cork Film Festival. 

 

 

Town of Strangers – Official Website

Written and directed by Treasa O’Brien

Executive Producer: Joshua Oppenheimer

Producers: Martha O’Neill and Treasa O’Brien

Cinematography: Gina Ferrer & Treasa O’Brien

Editor: Mirjam Strugalla

 

Town of Strangers – Facebook Page

Director’s Website

 

 

http://filmireland.net/2018/10/18/irish-film-preview-2018-cork-film-festival/

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Roisin Kearney, Producer of ‘Prodigy’

 

Producer Roisin Kearney tells Film Ireland about Prodigy, in which a young boy begins to suspect his new neighbour is a world-famous pianist who has been missing for over twenty years.

The making of Prodigy was a dive into the collective madness that is indie filmmaking. While shooting another short together Naomi Sheridan [Writer/Director] got the news that the legendary pianist John O’Conor would like to play the part of Sebastian in a script she had sent him called Prodigy.

Not only was he willing to play the part but he had a suggestion as to who could play Gabe, the young boy in the film, his student and up-and-coming talent, Joe O’Grady.

John, who was in virtually every scene was available for 5 half days – he was working in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in the mornings. It was insane, but we did it anyway. There were numerous locations, crew changes, and an incredible amount of goodwill and advice, but most of all help, from too many people to mention. But I would like to give a special shout out to Filmbase and its staff, there is no way we could have done it without their help and advice.

And now here we are, in the Cork Film Festival for our Irish premiere. It’s been a long road to get here but worth the wait and I have no doubt the sleepless nights of Neil Horner, who looked after almost all of the post-production after picture lock. We had one or two of them ourselves, but it’s kind of like childbirth, you forget the pain and only see the result, a result that I hope will bring plenty of joy to those who see it. We feel it captures a moment in time, a permanent record of two of the greatest pianists in the world, together on screen in a little Irish indie film called Prodigy.

 

Prodigy screens at Cork Film Festival 2018 as part of Irish Shorts 1 at 14:00 on Saturday, 10th November, 2018 at The Gate Cinema

 

 

 

http://filmireland.net/2018/10/18/irish-film-preview-2018-cork-film-festival/

 

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Cork Film Festival Industry Days

Are you going to the Cork Film Festival later this month? Here are a few important dates for your calendar.

On top of a fantastic line-up, the Cork Film Festival’s designated ‘Industry Days’ really knocks it out of the park when it comes to getting the top names from the Irish film scene. Their First Take and Doc Day will be extended to include a new event, Focus: Filmmaker Forum. These Industry Days provide invaluable opportunities for established and emerging filmmakers to connect, and to explore all aspects of the film industry.

First Take – Thursday 15th November

First Take is a training and development event aimed specifically at newly established film professionals, emerging filmmakers, and film and media students. Case studies and panel discussions will promote fresh thinking amongst attendees and to inspire them to be proactive in promoting their own film work.

 

Read More & Book Now

Doc Day, In Partnership with Screen Ireland – Friday 16th November

Cork Film Festival’s annual documentary-focused Industry Day, Doc Day is a major event that engages and connects Irish and international documentary filmmakers and industry leaders, it provides a vital platform to promote Irish documentary film and filmmaking talent.

Read More & Book Now

 

Focus: Filmmaker Forum – Saturday 17th November

This new event compliments the Screen Ireland-supported Focus Shorts World Premiere programme at The Everyman. It will provide attending filmmakers with the opportunity to take part in informal networking and a series of roundtable sessions, which will help guide participants through the process of developing their first feature; from development and financing, through production, festival strategy and distribution.

Participants will sign up to partake in five 20 minute sessions, where key Irish and international film sector professionals will take their questions and advise on the vital components of making the transition from short to feature filmmaking, and explore strategies to efficiently produce and exploit their film.

Read More & Book Now

 

http://filmireland.net/2018/10/18/irish-film-preview-2018-cork-film-festival/

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Global Issues at the Fore for 63rd Cork Film Festival

The 63rd Cork Film Festival, running from 9-18 November, is to showcase Irish and international films with a focus on current global issues.

The 2018 programme for Ireland’s first and largest film festival, launched today (16 October), 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% being Irish premieres. For further details see corkfilmfest.org.

Speaking on today’s programme launch, Festival Producer and CEO Fiona Clark said: “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.

“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.”

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

Speaking on the representation of Irish film in the Festival, Programme Director Michael Hayden stated: “It is fantastic that we can open the Festival with a film with such distinct Cork connections. Carmel Winters’ highly anticipated and award-winning second feature 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 on 9 November.

“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. These include the Irish premiere of Yorgos Lanthimos’ feminist comedy The Favourite on 10 November, produced by Element Pictures and starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz; and The Dig, directed by Ryan and Andrew Tohill, starring Moe Dunford, which was awarded Best Irish Feature at Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year.”

The Closing Night Gala will also feature the work of an outstanding female director, with the Irish premiere of Nadine Labaki’s multi-award-winning Capernaum (18 November). This urgent and important film is on child poverty and the denial of an individual’s human rights. Other Irish premieres of international features include The Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford as a septuagenarian bank robber; Peter Strickland’s sumptuous and spooky tale, In Fabric; and Wash Westmoreland’s period biopic, Colette, starring Keira Knightley.

The programme features 40 documentaries, with highlights to include veteran auteur Frederick Wiseman’s Monrovia, Indiana, and Werner Herzog’s Meeting Gorbachev, cementing Cork Film Festival as the destination festival for documentary in Ireland.

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 MachineFor the Birds, and Ordinary People.

The fun-packed family strand will be screened throughout the Festival at The Gate Cinema. The programme includes the highly-anticipated family friendly animations, The Grinch (10 November) and The Overcoat (17 November), which features the voice of Cork actor Cillian Murphy.

In total, 117 world-class 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 18 November at the Triskel, will be automatically longlisted for the Oscars®.

 

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