Documentaries at Cork Film Festival

A Lens on Life

With over a third of our feature-length programme represented by documentary film, Cork Film Festival is the place to be for documentary fans and filmmakers alike. This year we continue to develop our focus on high-quality Irish and international documentary by presenting a diverse range of stories and perspectives from home and abroad to create an insight into the human experience and what it is to be alive today. These films present the gamut of human experience; encountering the struggles, journeys, triumphs and sometimes even the sheer joy of daily life.

The following are just a taste of the veritable smorgasboard of documentaries on offer this year. With so many to choose from, why not treat yourself to a 7 Film Fan Pass and see 7 films for the price of 5!

For the full documentary programme click here.

Documentary Gala: Promised Land
Eugene Jarecki traverses the US in Elvis Presley’s Rolls Royce gathering interviews. An ambitious and entertaining documentary that ultimately resonates as a state of the nation address for America.

Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
The latest film from pioneering US director Frederick Wiseman, a brilliant study of a valued institution. All human life is here, scrutinised in Wiseman’s keen, affectionate gaze.

The Venerable W.
A film that becomes desperately more pertinent by the day, it shows the roots of the outrage in Myanmar as influenced by Burmese Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu. From acclaimed director Barnet Schroder.

Rat Film
This dazzlingly brilliant and fragmentary debut freewheels through several threads essaying the ills of contemporary America. A film that blurs lines and plays with form and expectations, questioning how we define documentary.

Last Men in Aleppo
A brutal, visceral and vital portrait of life in a war-zone. Following the Syrian Civil Defence’s White Helmets, an organisation comprised of ordinary citizens, volunteers on the frontline of the conflict in the country’s decimated capital.

Mrs Fang
Documenting the effects of Alzheimer’s on a woman in her home in Southern China. Mrs Fang is an extraordinary study of someone at the end of life; provocative, disturbing and exceptional film-making.

Doc Day

Presented in partnership with Bord Scannan na h’Eireann/the Irish Film Board our industry event, Doc Day, returns to Cork Film Festival this year. Building on the success of last year’s event Doc Day has been specifically developed to inform, inspire and connect established and emerging directors and emerging directors, producers and writers to further develop opportunities in the documentary landscape.

We are delighted to welcome double Academy Award®-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) to Doc Day as Keynote Speaker.

Tickets and info here.

If you require any assistance with your booking, please visit our box office at 119 Patrick Street, call the number above or email:

*€1 telephone booking fee applies