The Apparition by Xavier Giannoli to open Cork French Film Festival

Welcoming renowned French actors and directors to Cork, the 29th Cork French Film Festival will include a number of French premieres in Ireland, in particular the opening film, Xavier Giannoli’s The Apparition and the closing film, Reinventing Marvin directed by Anne Fontaine.

Curated by Guest Festival Programmer, Marie-Pierre Richard, this year’s festival runs from 2nd to 7th March, and is rich in diversity and intensity of themes, featuring contemporary topics ranging from the role of women in society, coming out, the impact of custody battles on children, religion and faith, living in conflict and of course, the search for love.

Opening the Festival, The Apparition tells the story of war reporter Jacques Mayanno (Vincent Lindon) on a mission from the Vatican investigating a young woman and her alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in South East France. Like Giannoli’s previous films (In the BeginningMarguerite and The Singer), his characters want to believe, and the lead protagonist finds himself at odds with his conviction to find the truth in a world where faith rules rather than proof.

Winning at the Venice International Film Festival, the closing film to premiere in Ireland is Reinventing Marvin, and recounts the journey of Marvin/Martin leaving his small countryside village where he is singled out as ‘different’. His mentor and role model will encourage him to tell his story on stage.

Award-winning French actress, director and screenwriter Sandrine Bonnaire will be in Cork along with director Gaël Morel for the screening of Catch the Wind, and will participate in a masterclass at UCC as well as a Questions & Answers session following the screening of their film on Monday 5th March. Catch the Wind offers an affecting portrait of a woman who traverses two troubled worlds – the collapsing working class structures of France and the archaic conditions and exploitation she encounters in Morocco.

Women feature strongly in this year’s Cork French Film Festival with another film, The Guardians, depicting the life of women left behind in rural France while the men have gone to fight in World War I. Xavier Beauvois’ latest wonder is a beautifully paced intimate account of the peasant world and the women heroes of the First World War.

The festival will present two classic French films by master director Jean-Pierre Melville, Léon Morin, Priest and The Red Circle, as well as a number of school matinees with Educational Kits organised by the festival in partnership with the Irish Film Institute (IFI), which provide an ideal French cinematic experience to the young audience.

Taking place at the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), a free screening of Marie Curie – the courage of knowledge and also a concert of French repertoire will be performed at the CIT Cork School of Music, along with French food for those enjoying the lunchtime recital.

This year’s programme also includes the visit of the French street artist, Daco, who will display his work of geometrical and colourful wild animals at Alliance Française de Cork on Mary Street. To accompany this exhibition, short films of Daco’s work and experiences will screen at the Crawford Art Gallery, including a Questions & Answers session in collaboration with Mad About Cork artists.

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