18 October 2017, 11pm
By Mary Bermingham
The 62nd Cork Film Festival launches its 2017 programme today, showcasing the best in Irish and international film. Taking place across 10 days from November 10-19, this year’s Festival will screen more than 200 films, with the majority being Irish premieres.
Over 16,000 people are expected to attend Ireland’s first and largest film festival, which generates €2.5 million in revenue locally. The programme includes 115 feature films, including 34 documentaries and 116 shorts, while 50 countries are represented. Screenings take place at The Everyman, Gate Cinema and Triskel Christchurch. For full details and tickets visit corkfilmfest.org.
Opening the 2017 Cork Film Festival is the Irish premiere of Irish/Canadian co-productionThe Man Who Invented Christmas at The Everyman on Friday, November 10. Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens assumes the role of Charles Dickens in Bharat Nalluri’s film, a festive romp that recounts how Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol was created.
The Irish premiere of Alexander Payne’s science-fiction road movie Downsizing at the Everyman will close the Festival on Sunday 19 November. It stars Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig as a husband and wife who decide to shrink themselves to simplify their lives, though things don’t go to plan. Other highlights include Ruben Östlund’s The Square, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and Documentary Gala, Promised Land, directed by Eugene Jurecki. The film looks at how America has changed since Elvis Presley died 40 years ago.
Celebrating the best of home-grown talent, some of the most celebrated Irish films of the year feature across the 10 days. The screening of Frank Berry’s acclaimed Michael Inside takes place on 16 November, telling the story of an 18-year-old living in Dublin who is sentenced to three months in prison after he is caught hiding drugs for his friend’s older brother. Following its successful screening at the Toronto Film Festival, the Irish premiere of gothic horror The Lodgers, takes place on November 12.
The Festival will present the world premiere screening of short films produced under the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board’s Focus Shorts and Real Shorts schemes. Over 50 Irish short films feature in the programme, and for the first time, a selection will be invited to feature on the RTÉ Player post-Festival, as part of RTÉ’s principal media partnership. Shorts submissions, both nationally and internationally, exceeded 3,200 and the Cork Film Festival is the only Irish festival to have two awards with Academy Awards® accreditation. The winner of the Grand Prix Irish Short, presented by RTÉ Supporting the Arts, and the winner of the Grand Prix International Short, will automatically qualify for the Academy Awards® longlist.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Cork Film Festival Producer Fiona Clark said: “The 2017 programme is a unique opportunity to see some of the best established and emerging talent working in film today.”
Guest Programme Director, Michael Hayden added: “This is truly a Festival for everyone, an opportunity to be challenged, inspired, surprised and entertained. From our Industry Days, to our popular Family and Schools programme, these 10 days in November offer the chance to enjoy films not otherwise available on the big screen in Cork.”
Ireland’s premier documentary industry event Doc Day, presented in partnership with the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, returns on November 17. It takes place at The Metropole Hotel, and brings together Irish and international industry leaders to explore the landscape in which projects are conceived, developed and distributed. Keynote guest is acclaimed double Academy Award® winning documentary producer Simon Chinn. Additionally, the First Take industry event on November 16, will offer newly established professionals and students the opportunity to explore all aspects of the Irish filmmaking landscape.
For a younger audience, an increased Schools and Family programme runs this year, presented in association with the Irish Film Institute Education Department. Films include Red Dog: True Blue, along with Buffalo Rider and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The Festival will also screen the 40th anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and there is a special event to mark the release of Paddington 2 on November 11 from 10am at the Gate Cinema, with an adventure around the city in celebration of the marmalade loving bear. A screening will follow at 11.30am. This year there is also a new family ticket pass priced at €25 for two adults and two children.
The Festival is delighted to announce the Gate Cinema as principal venue partner, with a packed programme over 10 days, together with sponsorship of the Gradam Spiorad na Féile (Spirit of the Festival Award) for feature filmmakers who push boundaries. The Festival’s Audience Award will once again be presented by principal accommodation partner, The River Lee hotel.
Ms Clark added: “We are hugely grateful to our principal funder, the Arts Council, and Cork City Council, as well as all our funders, sponsors, local businesses, cultural organisations and Festival staff and volunteers who continue to support this significant Festival. We would also like to thank the filmmakers, the industry, and above all the paying public, who return year after year to explore and celebrate this feast of film.”