3 November 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Irish film is in the spotlight at this year’s Cork Film Festival, with the European premiere of I Am Not a Serial Killer among the highly acclaimed homegrown productions to be screened from 11-20 November.
The psychological thriller directed by Cork’s own Billy O’Brien, produced by Nick Ryan (The Summit, Cork Film Festival 2013), and starring Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd and Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are), will be screened on 17 November, and is one of 80 Irish films included in this year’s Festival. The film, which was partially funded by the Irish Film Board, scooped three nominations this week in the 2016 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), up for Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Both O’Brien and Ryan will attend the screening in Cork, and participate in a Q&A.
The strong Irish representation continues across the 61st Cork Film Festival with the poignant Out of Innocence on 13 November at the Triskel Christchurch, starring acclaimed Cork actress Fiona Shaw, in a powerful drama in which a link is wrongly made between the secret birth of a stillborn baby and the brutal murder of another found 50 miles away.
Other stand-out Irish films include the world premiere of epic surf film, Between Land and Sea. The documentary by director Ross Whitaker is about a year in the life of Clare surfing town Lahinch and the screening on 19 November will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. Irish/Belgian co-production Brother (Broer), starring Bond actress Alison Doody and filmed in west Cork, will be screened 20 November while Crash and Burn on 19 November will tell the tale of Drogheda’s Tommy Byrne – also attending the Festival – who, for a fleeting moment in the 80s, was the world’s greatest Formula 1 racing driver. In View, an Irish independent feature film to be screened 12 November, focuses on depression and features a towering performance by Love/Hate actress Caoilfhionn Dunne, and is directed by Ciaran Creagh.
RTÉ documentaries set for the big screen include Power on the Box (17 November), which looks at how television changed Irish politics; and Know All (18 November), following Mashable’s UK editor Anne-Marie Tomchak as she explores how digital fingerprints are rapidly becoming the most valuable commodity on the world’s economy. Peter McVerry: A View From the Basement (November 16) tells the story of the Jesuit priest’s 40-year fight against the devastation of addiction and homelessness, and will see Fr McVerry attending the screening.
The festival will also screen 39 Irish short films, with submissions this year, both nationally and internationally, exceeding 1,500. Cork short Oíche Nollaig na mBan, which is a visual response to the famous poem by Irish language poet Seán Ó Ríordáin and features a schoolgirl choir and intergenerational cast of Cork-based women, is included in the selection. 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.
Festival Creative Director James Mullighan said: “Irish film has been flourishing in recent years with a host of outstanding home-grown features, documentaries and shorts, receiving critical success on the international stage. We are very proud to celebrate the accomplishment of the country’s film industry, with screenings of some of the year’s most insightful and trailblazing Irish films.
“In total, there are more than 200 films – both home-grown and international – in this year’s programme, offering a rich and varied selection of films that challenge, amaze, evoke debate, and above all, entertain.”