Float Like a Butterfly
Float Like a Butterfly

Float Like a Butterfly, written and directed by Carmel Winters, which had its European Premiere as the Opening Night Gala film at the 63rd Cork Film Festival, went on to win the The Audience Award at the festival. On winning the award, Carmel Winters said: “Winning the audience prize at the oldest and largest festival in Ireland is the greatest gift I could wish for. So many of us bared heart and soul to make this film. Thank you, thank you, thank you Cork for championing the right of all of us to be our truest and best selves.”

The Gradam Spiorad Na Féile / Spirit of The Festival Award went to Ali Abbasi’s Border (Gräns). Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the author of Let the Right One In, Ali Abbasi’s second feature is one of the year’s great discoveries – an extraordinary, highly original work that melds modern Nordic noir with the region’s folklore.

Irish short Stigma, directed by Helen Warner, won the prestigious award of Grand Prix Irish Short Award, and now join the longlist for the Academy Awards® in 2020 in the Live Action Short Film category.

The Festival’s second Academy Awards® qualifying award, for the Grand Prix International Short Award, was Maria Eriksson’s Schoolyard Blues (Skolstartssorg) a Swedish short film which the judges recognised as being “both uplifting and heart-breaking and prompts us to consider continuity and change, the struggle for survival on the margins and the enduring and potentially restorative power of love”.

The Cork Film Festival Short Film Candidate for the 2019 European Film Awards is Black Sheep, directed by Ed Perkins, and produced by Academy Awards® winners Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. This short documentary is about a young man who finds himself the target of extreme racial abuse, and follows his decision to become more like the people who hated him.

The award for Documentary Short went to Black Line, directed by Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi (Switzerland), and the Best Cork Short Award, proudly presented by Media Partner RedFM, was won by Megan K Fox for her film, The Shift, set in the final disco of the Gaeltacht, and one 15-year-old who is determined to get the shift against all odds.

The new award for Best Director: Irish Short, supported by Screen Directors’ Guild Ireland, went to Oonagh Kearney, for her short Five Letters for the Stanger Who Will Dissect My Brain. The film provides an insight into the soul-searching journey of first-year medical student Viv, whose first encounter with a cadaver in the anatomy room sends her on a quest into the nature of what it means to be alive.

Other prize winners announced at the Awards ceremony included Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross, which won the Gradam Na Féile Do Scannáin Faisnéise / Award for Cinematic Documentary. The film presents an intimate and heart-breaking depiction of the Southern African American experience and was the recipient of the Special Documentary Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year too.

The Cork Film Festival Youth Jury Award went to Crystal Swan (Khrustal), directed by Darya Zhuk, who attended the Festival to present her debut film, a fascinating study of post-communist youth.

Speaking on the 63rd edition of the Cork Film Festival, Cork Film Festival Producer and CEO Fiona Clark stated: “It has been an inspiring 10 days of exceptional cinema in Cork. From the high calibre of award winners, to the strength of the Opening and Closing Gala films, and with over 250 Irish and international features and shorts in between, this year’s Festival has been an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. We welcomed over 170 filmmakers and special guests to Cork this year and 18,000 people joined them for many sold-out screenings.

“We look forward to building on this success for 2019 and beyond, and would like to thank all our funders, sponsors, partners, friends, jurors, filmmakers and audience who together make Cork Film Festival possible.”

63rd Cork Film Festival Award Winners

Stigma, directed by Helen Warner — Grand Prix Irish Short Award
Schoolyard Blues (Skolstartssorg), directed by Maria Eriksson — Grand Prix International Short Award
Float Like a Butterfly, written and directed by Carmel Winters — Audience Award
Border (Gräns) , directed by Ali Abbasi — Gradam Spiorad na Féile (Spirit of the Festival Award)
Black Sheep, directed by Ed Perkins — Cork Film Festival Candidate for the European Film Awards 2019
Black Line, directed by Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi — Documentary Short Award
The Shift, directed by Megan K Fox — Best Cork Short Award
Oonagh Kearney (Five Letters for the Stranger Who Will Dissect My Brain) — Best Director: Irish Short
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross — Gradam na Féile do Scannáin Faisnéise (Award for Cinematic Documentary)
Crystal Swan (Khrustal), directed by Darya Zhuk — Cork Film Festival Youth Jury Award

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