The Last Right directed by Aoife Crehan
The Last Right directed by Aoife Crehan

Three more Irish premiere Galas have been added to the 64th Cork Film Festival, which runs from November 7 to 17. The Irish premiere of Feras Fayyad’s gripping film on war-torn Syria The Cave will be featured as the Documentary Gala, the Irish Gala is Aoife Crehan’s comedy-drama debut The Last Right, and the Family Gala is Disney’s long-awaited Frozen 2, ahead of its general release. This brings to five the number of Galas at this year’s festival, with Opening Gala Ordinary Love and Closing Gala The Other Lamb.

Over 300 films and events are included in the packed 2019 program, with 90% of the features, documentaries and shorts having their first screening in Cork.

Further key Irish premieres are Le Mans ’66 starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby and British-born driver Ken Miles of when Ford took on Ferrari. Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Roman Griffin, will be screened well ahead of its January 2020 release date; and Michael Winterbottom’s British satirical film, Greed, starring Steve Coogan, David Mitchell and Isla Fisher, also receives its Irish premiere.

Among the stand-out documentaries is Academy Awards®-winning director Alex Gibney’s acclaimed Citizen K about Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once believed to be the richest man in Russia, that reveals the dark, compelling history of post-Soviet Russia. Lost Lives, directed by Dermot Lavery and Michael Hewitt and based on David McKittrick’s book, will also grip audiences, documenting the lives of those who died during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Patricio Guzman’s stunning exploration of the impact and legacy of Pinochet’s era in Chile, The Cordillera of Dreams, will also be screened.

Cannes Film Festival 2019 winners include The Lighthouse, which won the Fipresci Critics Award, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which won the Queer Palm – the first film directed by a woman to win the award – and Best Screenplay.

Cork Film Festival Program Director Michael Hayden said: “This year’s Cork Film Festival program is packed with thrilling debuts, including Annie Silverstein’s Bull, an evocative portrait of lost souls in dusty Texas; Africa by Oren Gerner, a profound and personal contemplation on aging, masculinity and nationhood from Israel; Mounia Meddour’s Papicha, a fierce feminist statement set during the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s; and Alaa Eddine Aljem’s The Unknown Saint is a deadpan delight from Morocco. Grace Glowicki’s Tito is remarkable, at turns hilarious and unsettling, while Nora Fingscheidt’s System Crasher is an important and empathetic depiction of the treatment of children with mental health issues.”

Music features significantly in the 2019 program, with documentaries that take a fresh look at cult artists. These include Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero; The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps; My Friend Fela, What Time is Death?; Where Does a Body End? and Other Music, following the New York record store Other Music. The Classics program also includes 1964 romantic French musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Tommy, the 1975 British rock film based upon The Who’s famed album.

Further classic highlights include 1967 crime film Bonnie and Clyde – screened as a companion piece to Rob Garver’s documentary What She Said: the Art of Pauline Kael – and the 20th anniversary screening of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Families can enjoy Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, the mesmerising Latvian animation Away and Japanese family-fantasy animation Birthday Wonderland.

This year’s Cine Concert celebrates a new 4K restoration of German expressionist horror film Der Golem, presented with live score by leading silent film accompanist, Stephen Horne, with support from the Goethe-Institut Irland.

Special Presentations with artist collaborations, exploring LGBTQ+, gender transitioning and self-identification themes, include Doireann O’Malley’s Prototype I and Bríd Murphy’s Blue I, II, III, as part of a long-standing partnership with the National Sculpture Factory. Artists Vicky Langan and Maximilian Le Cain’s enigmatic Personal Growth in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, opens with a talk, screening and Q&A.

The popular Cork on Camera program also returns for 2019, curated from the collections at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) Irish Film Archive. These include a portrait of Cork sculptor Séamus Murphy by Oscar®-nominated documentarian Louis Marcus, Silent Art (1958); the US homage to the Aran jumper Through Erin (1978); road-movie Dark Moon Hollow (1972), and Jim Mulkern’s travelogue of two young couples touring the county, Car Touring (1965).

Looking beyond Cork city screenings, the Festival’s expanded County Program will meet the growing demand for cultural cinema in the wider Cork region. Films include Scott Z Burns’ new political thriller The Report; Mike Newell’s family favorite Into the West; Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s 1952 musical classic Singin’ in the Rain; and a selection of festival shorts, Around the World in 80 Minutes. Together with a Schools’ program of seven films, these will be screened in Principal Venue Partner The Gate Cinemas in Midleton and Mallow, and the Regal Cinema in Youghal.

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