Our retrospective programme in 2021 celebrated female directors and their uncompromising, original artistic visions. Audiences were invited to (re)discover films by daring, brave, visionary filmmakers that changed cinematic language and rewrote the history of film.

In our selection there were six international features by acclaimed directors such as Claire Denis, Naomi Kawase and Věra Chytilová. Ireland was represented by Pat Murphy’s Nora and Disco Pigs by Kirsten Sheridan, together with a curated programme of shorts. Works of experimental and ‘artist moving image’ filmmakers were available in two programmes created in partnership with aemi, and the work of one of the pioneers of female cinema in our online-exclusive documentary, In the Mirror of Maya Deren.


Beau Travail

Claire Denis / France / 1999 / 93 minutes / Subtitled

Claire Denis’ 1999 film Beau Travail has been included in countless ‘greatest films’ lists, including the ‘Top Ten films of the 90s’ by Indiewire and Sight & Sound’s ‘100 Greatest Films of All Time’. Inspired by Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd, Denis transports the tale to the Republic of Djibouti, where we follow French Foreign Legionnaire Sergeant Galoup (a fantastic Denis Lavant), who develops an obsession with new recruit Sentain (Gregoire Colin). Beau Travail is a visually breath-taking study of masculinity, jealousy and repressed desire, and features one of the most unforgettable endings in film history.

Sunday November 7th 2021, The Everyman, 12:45.


Daisies (Sedmikrásky)

Věra Chytilová / Czechoslovakia /1966 / 76 mins / Subtitled

Marie and Marie are very bad, very spoiled girls. For them nothing is sacred and nothing needs to be taken seriously, not food, life, war, the world in general and definitely not men. Anarchist, feminist and surreal, this imaginative, experimental comedy is a great example of the exciting new visions that emerged from Czech New Wave directors. The striking visuals are the work of Chytilová’s husband, the cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, and of Ester Krumbachová, a costume and stage designer and director and an important figure behind the success of many Czech New Wave directors.

Saturday November 6th 2021, The Everyman, 13:30.


Diary for my Children (Napló Gyermekeimnek)

Márta Mészáros / Hungary / 1982 / 109 mins / Subtitled


In a career spanning over 50 years, the Cannes Grand Prix-winning Diary for my Children remains Márta Mészáros’ most widely known film. Set in a politically tumultuous 1940s Hungary, the film follows teen orphan Juli, who has been sent to live with her Stalinist aunt. The first of a trilogy based on her own experiences, Mészáros’ film subtly weaves archival footage together with exceptional performances from her cast, especially Zsuzsa Czinkóczi as the defiant Juli, and Anna Polony as Magda, her strict aunt.

Monday November 8th 2021, Triskel Arts Centre, 15:15.



Disco Pigs

Kirsten Sheridan / Ireland / 2001 / 94 mins

Pig and Runt (breakout performances from Cillian Murphy and Elaine Cassidy) are inseparable friends. Born moments apart in the same hospital, and living next to each other, the two form an insular bond, and even their own language, in their kingdom of ‘Pork City’. But in the run-up to their 17th birthdays their world begins to fracture. The first feature from Irish director Kirsten Sheridan, written by Enda Walsh (adapted from his own successful stage play), Disco Pigs still retains the power it had when it screened as the Festival’s Opening Gala 20 years ago in 2001.

Thursday November 11th 2021, The Gate Multiplex, 20:45.


Fatma 75

Selma Baccar / Tunisia / 1976 / 61 mins / Subtitled

Fatma 75 is considered to be the first feature-length movie made by a woman in Tunisia. It follows Fatma, a fictional young woman fighting for her independence, whose story walks us through the history of exceptional women from the Maghreb region. Baccar – a well-known Tunisian filmmaker, producer and politician – combines fiction, re-enactment, interviews and archival material in this feminist essay on women’s emancipation and the fight for women’s rights in Tunisia. Despite being funded by the Tunisian government, the film was banned in its country of origin for 30 years.

Tuesday November 9th 2021, The Gate Multiplex, 15:45.


In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Martina Kudláček / Austria, Switzerland, Germany / 2001 / 103 mins

With her first film collaboration, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Maya Deren changed the face of experimental cinema. In Martina Kudláček’s exceptionally constructed documentary we follow Deren’s life from her birth in Kiev through a career which enveloped film, poetry, dance and ethnography. Aided by reminiscences from Deren’s friends and contemporaries – among them Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage – Kudláček paints a portrait of Maya Deren as an artist rich in life and celebrates a career that spread its influence throughout the art world.

Online Exclusive, 16th to 18th November 2021.



Pat Murphy / Ireland, Italy, Germany / 2000 / 102 mins

The third feature from acclaimed Irish director Pat Murphy (Maeve, Anne Devlin), Nora tells the true story of Nora Barnacle (portrayed in a remarkable performance by Susan Lynch), and her tempestuous relationship with James Joyce (Ewan McGregor). From their first meeting in Dublin, and continuing with their move to Trieste, the film boldly explores Nora’s passion – brave, honest and sexual – whilst highlighting the influence she had on Joyce and his writing. A story driven by lust, jealousy and betrayal, Nora is far from your average tale of true love.

Saturday November 6th 2021, The Gate Multiplex, 18:15.


The Mourning Forest (Mogari No Mori)

Naomi Kawase / Japan / 2007 / 97 mins / Subtitled

Shigeki and Machiko meet in a small, comfortable retirement home. Shigeki, an elderly resident, still mourns the passing of his wife 33 years earlier, whereas Machiko, a caregiver, secretly feels guilt over the death of her child. When Machiko decides to take Shigeki for a drive on his birthday, an incident forces them on an altogether different path, and brings them together in unexpected ways. Naomi Kawase’s gentle, mysterious film – which won the Grand Prix at Cannes – is like a road movie with very few roads, but remains a rewarding journey.

Thursday November 11th 2021, Triskel Arts Centre, 12:30.


Ticket of No Return (Bildnis Einer Tinkerin)

Ulrike Ottinger / Germany / 1979 / 109 mins / Subtitled

From director Ulrike Ottinger comes this dazzling gem of German New Wave cinema. A rich, fashionable and enigmatic woman travels on a one-way ticket to Berlin to fulfil her destiny: to drink herself into oblivion. The unnamed woman’s quest is a whirlwind tour through Berlin drinking haunts, where she meets a local alcoholic woman with a similar modus operandi, and the two odd companions embark on their self-destructive mission amidst a grotesque gallery of artists, punks, taxi drives and fellow imbibers. An eye-popping spectacle from one of German cinema’s great auteurs.

Wednesday November 10th 2021The Gate Multiplex, 20:15.


Female Visions: Award Winning Shorts from Irish Filmmakers

Various Directors / Ireland / 1998 to 2020 / 91 minutes

From a rich constellation of Irish female filmmaking talent we select award-winning gems, which announced these future feature stars.

PATTERNS Kirsten Sheridan

Jimmy and Tommy are inseparable brothers.


An afternoon at the beach. Young girls are working intensively on a suntan whilst boys of the same age desperately try to gain their attention.

JOYRIDERS Rebecca Daly

As ten-year-old Kylie struggles to come to terms with her grief, she discovers that imagination can be more powerful than reality.

THE DOOR Juanita Wilson

After stealing an old door, a man reflects on the desperate circumstances that led him to do so.


The everyday becomes an adventure for Becky.


A single mother escapes the monotony of her supermarket job through the excitement of the slot machines at a local arcade.

Wednesday November 10th 2021, The Gate Multiplex, 15:30.


aemi: Contested Legacies: Lynne Sachs & Myrid Carten

Myrid Carten, Lynne Sachs / 2020 and 2021 / 94 minutes

The Irish premiere of Lynne Sachs’ celebrated feature Film About a Father Who screens here alongside the world premiere of Myrid Carten’s short film Sorrow had a baby. Both artists will be in attendance for a discussion of their work following the screening.

Both Film About a Father Who and Sorrow had a baby deal, in very different ways, with familial legacy incorporating personal archives and pushing against the traditional boundaries of documentary practice. Myrid Carten’s film Sorrow had a baby is also the first film produced through aemi’s annual film commissioning programme, supported by Arts Council of Ireland.


Sorrow had a baby [WP] Myrid Carten

(aemi Film Commission 2021)

Sorrow had a baby explores the mother-daughter relationship through multiple lenses: memory, beauty, inheritance. Who writes the stories in a family? Who can change them?

Film About a Father Who Lynne Sachs

Between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot film and video images of her father.

[WP] denotes World Premiere

Wednesday November 10th 2021, Triskel Arts Centre, 20:00.


aemi: Artist in Focus: Lynne Sachs

Lynne Sachs / United States, Ireland / 1986-2021 / 90 minutes

Making work since the 1980s Lynne Sachs’ films have incorporated a cross-pollination of forms that extend to the essay film, documentary, collage, performance, and poetry. Deeply reflexive, Sachs’ films to date have outlined a rich interplay between the personal and the socio-political. aemi is delighted to present this overview of selected short works by Lynne Sachs at Cork International Film Festival, many of which are screening in Ireland for the first time.

In addition to this shorts programme Lynne will also be in attendance at the festival for the Irish premiere of her celebrated feature Film About a Father Who.


From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.


A portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.


Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.


A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

GIRL IS PRESENCE Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer

Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.

LONGINGS Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney

A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.


Lynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.


Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.

MAYA AT 24 Lynne Sachs

Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.

A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer

In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.

Online Exclusive, 16th to 18th November 2021.