9 November 2020
By Mary Bermingham
The 65th annual Cork International Film Festival kicked off on Sunday 8th November with the 65th Anniversary Gala, the Irish premiere of The Racer, with the film available nationwide online at corkfilmfest.org through to 15th November. The 2020 programme features 50 features including 4 world premieres, extensive shorts programme, industry events and an in-person Cork Costume trail.
CIFF2020 will present a further nine tentpole events showcasing new Irish features and documentaries scheduled throughout the week, including: The Sheriff, (9th November at 6pm), Irish Gala, World Premiere The Bright Side (9th November, 8.30pm); Irish Premiere The Edge Of Chaos, (10 November, 6pm); Documentary Gala, World Premiere, Castro’s Spies (10th November, 8.30pm); Irish Premiere, Wildfire, (11th November, 7.30pm); documentary The 8th (12th November, 6pm), and feature The Castle (12th November, 8.30pm); World Premiere, Home Is A Sacrifice Zone, (13th November, 6.30pm) and the Festival’s 1920 Commemoration Gala, Irish Destiny presented with the Irish Film Institute, with support from Cork City Council, (14th November, 7.30pm). All films will be available for the remainder of the Festival.
Outstanding Feature Films
The programme features luminaries of the screen and award-winning stars including Willem Defoe in Siberia, and Viggo Mortensen in Falling. International features by established auteurs such as Philippe Garrel (The Salt of Tears), Ai Weiwei (Vivos) and veteran documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (City Hall), are joined by strong female voices including Zeina Durra (Luxor), Talya Lavie (Honeymood), Jane Magnusson (Maddy the Model) and Caru Alves de Souza (My Name is Baghdad).
Irish and International Shorts
Cork International Film Festival will also present a world class programme of short films, presented in themed curated programmes of six to eight titles. Irish, International and documentary shorts are in competition for three Grand Prix Oscar®-qualifying awards, with the winners in Cork automatically making it onto the long list for the Academy Award®s. Look out for Afterlife, starring Cork actor Ray Scannell and Drifting with Paul Mescal, plus a special presentation of Screen Ireland’s new short films, including four world premieres.
The Cork Costume Trail continues to light up Cork venues throughout the city featuring stunning costumes worn by Cillian Murphy, Angela Lansbury, Jonathan Ryes Meyers and Joss Stone. They can be viewed on your daily 5km walk and are accompanied by an interactive app and podcasts.
The Festival’s acclaimed film industry training days, First Take, (Mon 9th November) and Doc Day, (Tuesday 10th November), will be accessible online for free, and CIFF is thrilled to welcome award-winning international filmmaker, activist and philanthropist Abigail Disney as its Doc Day keynote guest. CIFF’s online schools programme includes two French titles for Senior Cycle and a new film and mental health outreach programme, ‘Intinn’, is available direct to the classroom.
Full programme including industry events, trailers and booking information available at corkfilmfest.org. Films will have a 30 hour ‘watch window’, and there are a limited number of tickets per film, so early booking is recommended. A €99 ‘all access’ pass to the whole Festival is also available or you can avail of a 10 Film Digital Pass for €60. Download the Festival App – CIFF2020 – to book, and manage tickets and passes. Visit corkfilmfest.org for a helpful list of Q&As to assist with enjoying a tailored online Festival experience.
More About The World Premieres
The Bright Side by Ruth Meehan is an irreverent dark comedy with an amazing cast (including Gemma-Leah Devereux and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) inspired by Anne Gildea’s battle with cancer and Ruth Meehan’s experiences of personal loss from cancer – a poignant, funny and a refreshing approach in an accomplished debut film.
Castro’s Spies is the world premiere documentary on the experiences of an elite band of Cuban spies who led dangerous double lives in the 1990s, living and working in Florida with fabricated identities.
Another world premiere is Irish documentary Home is a Sacrifice Zone, an emotive and highly personal account of the controversial issue of hydraulic fracking in Ireland, told from the first-hand perspective of filmmaker and environmental activist Johnny Gogan.
The Edge of Chaos is a compelling world premiere debut feature exploring the consequences of dark familial secrets. It follows the well-respected and wealthy Keenan family, and the reverberations made when their alcoholic daughter Carrie attempts to blackmail the family patriarch Derek over his corrupt business dealings.
Irish Premieres of New Irish Features
Wildfire by Cathy Brady is a highly-rated Irish drama set in a border town. Two sisters eventually realise they’ll have to confront the truth about their mother’s death. Poignantly, one of the leads in the film is Nika McGuigan, the daughter of Barry McGuigan who lost her battle with leukemia last year at the age of 33.
The Racer by Kieron J. Walsh is our opening film on Sunday evening. A fast-moving comedy feature set in 1988 when the Tour de France passed through Ireland that packs an adrenalin-filled punch right to the finish line.