As Ireland’s first and largest film festival, we are proud to screen the latest and best Irish fiction and documentary films, both features and shorts. In addition to our Irish Gala screening of Andrew Gallimore’s brilliantly entertaining One Night in Millstreet on Saturday 11th November, and our Best New Irish Feature Award titles, this year’s selection demonstrates the broad range and creativity of filmmaking talent in Ireland. Read on for some programme highlights.
IRISH GALA: ONE NIGHT IN MILLSTREET
Deep in the countryside of County Cork: a prizefight between Irish underdog Steve Collins and champion Chris Eubank in the Green Glens Arena grips an entire nation over St. Patrick’s Weekend in 1995. Take a ring-side seat to the giddy and hype-laden hoopla at 8.30pm, Sat 11th Nov at The Everyman.
Special guests and the filmmakers will be in attendance. One Night in Millstreet is also showing in Cork City and county as part of our Super Cine Saturday on 24th Nov.
BEST NEW IRISH FEATURE AWARD
In addition to our Irish Gala screening of One Night in Millstreet on Sat 11th Nov, the CIFF Best New Irish Feature Award, proudly supported by the Irish Examiner, features a folk horror tale, an intimate personal drama, a satirical film-within-a-film, and the true meaning of Christmas…
In Paul Duane’s All You Need is Death (Wed 15th Nov, The Everyman), folk song collectors Anna and Aleks secretly record a forgotten, taboo ballad and unwittingly release something dark and terrifying. Paul Duane will participate in a career interview in our Industry Event, First Take on 16th November.
An intimate, beautifully wrought and deftly handled meditation on trauma, offering hope and insight, Alan Gilsenan’s The Days of Trees is a skilfully told story, focusing charismatic subject, Tomás Hardiman (Sat 18th Nov, The Everyman). Alan Gilsenan’s The United Irishmen will also screen as part of the Festival, on 12th Nov.
Paul Mercier’s Prospect House features a group of protesters that film a period re-enactment in a dilapidated 18th-century house in a last-ditch effort to save it from demolition. Fuelled by an anarchic energy that gleefully blurs the lines between “real life” and dramatised events. (Fri 17th Nov, The Everyman)
In So This is Christmas, Ken Wardrop illuminates the challenges often unseen beyond the toys, trees and tinsel, as characters in a small Irish village reflect on their difficult relationships with Christmas. Showing in The Everyman on Fri 10th Nov. Venom Films, the team behind this feature, will participate in Doc Day as part of our Industry Events, on 24th Nov.
IRISH FICTION (OUT OF COMPETITION)
Co-produced by Irish filmmaker Alicia Ní Ghráinne (The Sparrow), Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania beautifully encapsulates the intricacies of love and relationships across age, gender and sexuality. The international cast includes Alison Oliver (Conversations with Friends). Showing in The Everyman on Sat 18th Nov.
2023 UCC Film Artist In Residence Maximilian Le Cain’s Solitaire is an unsettling experimental ghost story that explores family, home and identity as unfixed parasitic entities that propagate themselves through bodies and buildings. Maximilian Le Cain will participate in a UCC Film Artist in Residence ‘In Conversation’ following the screening (Thu 16th Nov, Triskel)
Images (left to right): Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania; Solitaire
IRISH DOCUMENTARIES (OUT OF COMPETITION)
Golden hour dawns on the River Lee and mist-covered landscapes are given an extra iridescence in Bury Our Hearts at the End of the River by Cork filmmaker Aoife Desmond, thanks to the magic of hand-processed 16mm film. (Mon 13th Nov, Triskel)
What do you do when the charismatic friend and collaborator you have filmed for years tells you he is dying? Director Leo Regan explores this in My Friend Lanre (Thu 23rd Nov, Triskel). The director and producer will participate in Doc Day as part of our Industry Events.
The United Irishmen, directed by renowned Irish documentarian Alan Gilsenan (see above for the premiere of The Days of Trees), is not just about past events of the Society of the United Irishmen, it also interrogates ideas of history and memory, and presents them in a way that’s not only enlightening, but also unexpectedly moving. Catch it on Sun 12th Nov in the Triskel.
I Dream in Photos by Gary Lennon is an honest and nuanced portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Cathal McNaughton, delving into his life, work and impressive visual legacy (Tue 15th Nov, Triskel). This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Gary Lennon and subject Cathal McNaughton.
Advances in science and engineering have created wondrous things but quite often the same processes can be inimical to nature. Katherine Waugh and Fergus Daly’s I See a Darkness explores a particular history of image production and its associated use in atomic testing. Showing in the Triskel on Fri 17th Nov.
January 2023 saw the release of Belfast harpist Úna Monaghan’s titular debut album Aonaracht (Singularity). Her journey exploring possibilities that might arise by combining the latest technological tools is captured from its onset in August 2021. Screening Tue 14th Nov at the Triskel.
Images (clockwise from top left): Bury Our Hearts at the End of the River; My Friend Lanre, I Dream in Photos; Aonaracht (Singularity); I See a Darkness; The United Irishmen
This year’s festival features five categories of Irish shorts, showcasing the latest and best Irish cinema in its most condensed state. In-competition programmes are eligible for the Grand Prix Irish Short Award, one of three Academy Award®-qualifying awards, ensuring that the winner in Cork will be automatically long-listed for the Oscars®.
Our Irish Shorts 1 programme (Sat 11th Nov, Triskel) bears the promise of an eclectic mix, combining absurdist humour, psycho-sexual horror and small town ennui, while also taking you around the world and back. Irish Shorts 2 (Mon 13th Nov, Triskel) showcases a selection of daring and innovative shorts with thoughtful, complex, but no less accessible approaches.
Our Irish Shorts 3 category, Pure Cork (Sun 12th Nov, The Everyman) showcases a collection of eight new works from Cork filmmakers. Playful, experimental and just downright celebratory – in a word, Cork!
The Best Cork Short Award is sponsored by Murphy’s
Irish Shorts 4 (out of competition): Some of our favourite Irish short films from the past year, featuring a few familiar names to Cork audiences. Mostly fiction, but documentary and animation are also represented. (Sun 19th Nov, The Everyman)
Images, clockwise from top: With Love, From Aidan; Whale Fall; Misread; The Immeasurable Grief of the Prawn
Poitín (Sat 11th Nov, Triskel) will screen as part of our Dreamers and Visionaries Retrospective. The first feature drama film entirely in the Irish language, Donal McCann and Niall Tóibín star as lawless louts alongside Cyril Cusack as a wily poitín maker. Print courtesy of the IFI Irish Film Archive.
Also in partnership with the IFI Irish Film Archive, in association with Maynooth University, CIFF will present amateur films made by Flora Kerrigan in 1960s Cork as part of Cork on Camera programme (Sun 12th Nov, Triskel).