The 2016 Cork Film Festival, Ireland’s oldest film festival, takes place November 11 to 20, 2016, and will screen more than 70 feature films, including Kelly Reichardt’s Montana drama Certain Women which won the best picture prize at the recent London Film Festival.
There are 52 documentary films, over 100 shorts, and 55 countries represented throughout the program.
Opening night of the 2016 refocused Cork Film Festival features the stunning new documentary, Dancer, profiling bad-boy ballet star Sergei Polunin, directed by Academy Awards® nominee Steven Cantor, while the acclaimed A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, will close the 61st Cork Film Festival.
Continuing to nurture home-grown talent, the festival will screen 39 Irish short films, with over a quarter from Cork. Submissions this year, both nationally and internationally, exceeded 1,500 and 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.
Speaking ahead of the launch at The River Lee, Festival Creative Director James Mullighan said: “Films have the ability to entertain, challenge, exhilarate, and surprise, and this year’s Cork Film Festival is encouraging audiences to regard features and documentaries as equally valid films. We are delighted to announce the addition of Doc Day, Ireland’s premier documentary industry event, presented in partnership with the Irish Film Board and Screen Training Ireland on 18 November. This flagship occasion at The River Lee brings together Irish and international industry leaders to explore the landscape in which projects are conceived, developed and distributed.”
James added: “From a special presentation of one of the most widely discussed films of 2016, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, to the world premiere of the thoroughly engaging Irish surf documentary Between Land and Sea, the Festival accurately reflects the fantastic diversity of global, contemporary cinema.”
This year will see an increased family program, including two major films, Rock Dog and The Eagle Huntress. In deference to Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday and as a tribute to the late Gene Wilder, there will be screenings of the much loved Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Other highlights include Mumford and Sons’ new music documentary We Wrote This Yesterday, hosted by Donal Gallagher, brother of music legend Rory Gallagher. Donal will be joined by special guests on the night.
Acclaimed screen star Fiona Shaw will attend the showing of the poignant Out of Innocence, based on the controversial events in Kerry in the 1980s which linked the secret birth of a stillborn baby and the brutal murder of another.
The Festival’s major Irish films include thriller I Am Not a Serial Killer from Irish producer Nick Ryan (director, The Summit) and Cork native writer/director Billy O’Brien; along with Forever Pure, a feature documentary about the most symbolic football club in Israel, Beitar Jerusalem.
Human rights activist Fr Peter McVerry will take part in a panel discussion with Fiona Dukelow of the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC after a screening of the RTÉ documentary Peter McVerry: The View from the Basement. The Cork Film Festival also welcomes the return of Illuminate, a series of film and discussion events, which use film to explore different aspects of mental health. This is presented in association with Arts+Minds and the HSE Cork Mental Health Services.
One of the award highlights will be the Ford-sponsored Award for Cinematic Documentary, with the films in competition including And We Were Young, LoveTrue, The Space In Between – Marina Abramović and Brazil, Tempestad, and Wolf and Sheep. Once again, the Audience Award will be presented by Festival partner, The River Lee.