That’s A Wrap – 64th Cork Film Festival 2019 – Thank You

That’s a wrap! The 64th Cork Film Festival, 7th-17th November, welcomed an increased audience of 20,000 people to over 300 screenings, events and special presentations, during 11 packed days in venues throughout Cork and County.

More than 160 filmmakers and film industry guests from around the world attended to host 35+ post-screening Q&A’s, discussion panels and talks with audiences. The recipients of the prestigious Cork Film Festival Awards were announced on the final day of the Festival, with three Academy-Award®-qualifying award-winners in Cork joining the Oscars® long list in 2021. See below for some of this year’s highlights.

Thank you for supporting the Festival, we hope you had a great time. If you would like to be in with a chance to win a Festival Friend membership for next year complete our survey here.

We are delighted to announce that we will mark our milestone 65th edition in 2020 as Cork International Film Festival, with a year-round programme of events planned and 11 days of the best of Irish and International cinema, from Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd November 2020. We hope you will join us again next year for our 65th anniversary!

L-R Clockwise: Opening Gala: Ordinary Love; Closing Gala: The Other Lamb; Irish Gala and Audience Award Winner: The Last Right; Documentary Gala: The Cave.

Galas Galore!

Cork Film Festival’s Opening and Closing Night Galas in The Everyman Theatre showcased two powerful and breathtaking films, opening with Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Ordinary Love, a convincing, affecting love story, and Malgorzata Szumowska’s The Other Lamb , a stirring and visionary film to draw the Festival to a close.

Documentary Gala, Feras Fayyad’s hugely impactful The Cave, garnered both the Gradam Na Féile Do Scannáin Faisnéise/ Award for Cinematic Documentary, and the Youth Jury Award, for a second time (Last Men in Aleppo, CFF2017). Irish Gala, the World Premiere of road movie caper The Last Right, also picked up the Audience Award, launching writer and director Aoife Crehan as an exciting new voice in Irish cinema.

If you missed seeing them first at Cork Film Festival, three are being released in cinemas nationwide on December 6th:
Ordinary Love
The Last Right

The Cave (limited release The Gate Cinema, Cork)

Narrative and Documentary Feature Highlights

Cork Film Festival presented over 130 narrative and documentary features showcasing the latest and best of Irish and international cinema. With over 90% Irish Premiere’s including the sold out screenings of Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit and Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse, audiences caught the big films of 2020 first in Cork.

Other highlights included Wang Xiaoshuai’s family epic So Long, My Son, which spans three decades of Chinese history,  The Nightingale, Jennifer Kent’s follow up to her terrifying debut The Babadook (2014), a dark tale of revenge in colonial Australia. The Gradam Spiorad Na Féile/Spirit of The Festival Award was given to Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ debut feature Swallow, an intricate mix of body-horror thriller and social satire, fusing queasy delight with an on-point commentary of our times.

If you missed them at the Festival, or loved them and need to see again, here’s the release line-up:

The Nightingale: 29th November
So Long, My Son: 6th December
JoJo Rabbit: 3rd January

The Lighthouse: 31st January



Top to Bottom: A standing ovation for Tom Waller’s The Cave in The Everyman; Michiel Huisman, Aoife Crehan, Samuel Bottomley and Eleanor O’Brien ahead of the World Premiere of The Last Right. 

Programme Director Michael Hayden and family at the Family Gala Irish Premiere screening of Frozen 2

A Feast of Film for Families

Our Family Programme included five feature titles and Family Friendly Shorts, specifically selected to introduce our younger cinema-goers to great Irish and international films.

Families had a special opportunity to be the first in Ireland to see Disney’s highly anticipated Frozen 2; experience the world’s most remote school in Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom; relive the Irish family classic Into The West in a glorious 4K restoration; journey alongside a boy who is trying to find safety in Away, an animation created by a single animator Gints Zilbalodis; meet Akane in Birthday Wonderland ,who must save the world; and eight bite-sized films in our always popular family friendly shorts!

L-R Clockwise: Industry Manager and Programme Advisor Roisin Geraghty interviews director Dina Naser after the screening of her documentary Tiny Souls; Pianist Stephen Horne accompanies 1920s classic Der Golem; Crowds gather in The Everyman for the Opening Night Gala, Ordinary Love.

#CFF2019 Live

Alongside numerous events during the Festival, we hosted the ever popular Cine-Concert this year with Der Golem in a glorious 4K restoration, presented with a live score by leading silent film accompanist, Stephen Horne, house pianist at London’s BFI Southbank for thirty years.

Above: Doireann O’Malley’s ‘Prototype I’ was presented in partnership with the National Sculpture Factory.

Special Presentations

Cork Film Festival continued it’s unique longstanding partnership with the National Sculpture Factory with Doireann O’Malley’s ‘Prototype I’, installed in the National Sculpture Factory for three nights only.

L-R: Emer Kinsella, composer, In Orbit, Laragh McCann, director, Hasta La Vista, Karie McNeice, director, In Orbit, Olivia J Middleton, director, Rosalyn, Sinead O’Shea, director, Humblebrag, Laura Kavanagh, director, No Place, Michelle McMahon, actor, No Place

Shorts Programmes

18 Shorts Programmes showcased 135 of the latest and best in Irish and international short filmmaking talent, including the sold out Screen Ireland World Premiere Shorts. Our six shorts awards honour the best in the Festival; three of our shorts Awards – the Grand Prix Irish Short Award, the Grand Prix International Short Award and the Documentary Short Awards – are Academy Award®-qualifying, ensuring that the winners in Cork will be automatically long listed for the Oscars®.

Guest Curator director Carmel Winter’s extended introduction to Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter

Illuminate Film and Mental Health Programme

Illuminate, Cork Film Festival’s Mental Health Film Programme offered three unique films as a platform for discussion about mental health and wellbeing, in partnership with Arts+Minds and Cork Mental Health Service HSE, First Fortnight and ESB. This carefully curated programme presented a series of film and public discussion events which explore different aspects of mental health and wellbeing in an open and welcoming space.

Ernie & Joe is an intimate and effectively crafted vérité documentary, following two Texas police officers who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment – one 911 call at a time.

Nora Fingscheidt’s striking debut feature System Crasher is a sensitive and moving depiction of mental illness, challenging the way it is treated. A troubled, confrontational nine-year-old, Benni is abandoned by her exasperated mother and left in the care of social services, where practitioners are running out of options for how to deal with her.

Guest curator Carmel Winters presented an extended introduction to Atom Egoyan’s classic The Sweet Hereafter, a story of grief as a small mountain community is devastated by a school bus accident that leaves many of its children dead.

L-R Clockwise: Everybody Knows; This Crazy Heart; 2040.

School Screenings

Cork Film Festival was delighted to present a selection of IFI Education Department titles as part of our Schools Programme, which expanded to include screenings in Youghal, in addition to Midleton, Mallow and Cork City this year. Over 2,000 students viewed a carefully-curated selection of films which support Junior and Leaving Cert Spanish, German and French curricula, as well as screenings for Transition Year students. 

Building on the success of Illuminate, Cork Film Festival has created a new outreach programme for young people called Intinn meaning ‘mind’ or ‘way of thinking’ in Irish, which will offer 2,000 Transition Year students a programme of curated film screenings, participative workshops and resources, exploring themes of mental health and wellbeing. Following its successful pilot in Cork in September, the Intinn programme will be rolled out to schools throughout Munster, in Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Waterford in 2020.

A big thank you to all our patrons who have so generously supported this outreach programme through their donations online.

Top to Bottom: Attendees enjoying the panels at Doc Day and First Take; Dearbhla Regan, Project Manager, Screen Ireland, Paul Donovan, Producer, The Last Right, Aoife Crehan, Writer/Director, The Last Right, Pippa Cross, Producer, The Last Right at the Irish Feature Film Case Study: The Last Right panel during First Take.

Industry Days at #CFF2019

Cork Film Festival welcomed over 160 film industry guest to Cork to engage in post-screening Q&A’s and take part in our professional development, training and networking series of Industry Days: Doc Day, First Take, and Focus: Filmmaker Forum. 

Over the course of four days, topics such as ‘Exploring Script Development’, ‘Demystifying Sales & Distribution’, and ‘Distributing Docs: Managing Festival, Theatrical & VOD’ were explored by industry experts. Filmmakers presented case studies on their work and gave advice to emerging filmmakers in a series of panels and roundtable sessions.

Careers in Screen was a new dynamic and interactive audience-led event for students which explored the nature of filmmaking as a career, with case studies of major Cork productions, Float Like a Butterfly and The Young Offenders, featuring contributions by writer-director Carmel Winters and members of the creative teams involved.

The Festival also hosted many public post-screening Q&A events which enabled audiences to glean fascinating behind-the-scenes insights about many of the films presented, including an ‘In-Conversation’ event with Arts Council/UCC Film Artist in Residence 2019-20, Alan Gilsenan after the screening of his classic film The Yellow Bittern.

Above: The Cork Film Festival team gather in The Everyman ahead of the Closing Night Gala screening of The Other Lamb. 

Tell Us About Your Festival Experience & Be In With a Chance Of Winning a Free Friend Membership

Cork Film Festival wants to hear from you! 

Your feedback helps us to improve your Festival experience. Please complete our survey by December 7th and be in with a chance to win a Cork International Film Festival 2020 Friend membership, which will offer you free access to all standard screenings in the 65th Cork International Film Festival, along with a range of great benefits and exclusive access year-round to the very best the Festival has to offer.

Take Our Survey

Thank You

Cork Film Festival would like to thank all our
Funders, Sponsors, Partners, Supporters,
Corporate Members, Festival Friends and Volunteers
And You, our Audience
For supporting the Festival this year.

We hope you had a great time at the Festival and in Cork
and we look forward to welcoming you back for the
65th edition of Cork International Film Festival
12th – 22nd November 2020!