The Bright Side of Monday: CIFF2020 Daily Highlights

The Bright Side of Monday

CIFF2020 Daily Highlights

The 65th Cork International Film Festival is live, opening last night with a sold out screening of Kieron J. Walsh’s thrilling sport-drama ‘The Racer’! If you missed it, fear not, a limited number of additional tickets have just been released – Book Now to catch up on the film everyone is talking about!

Tonight’s scheduled releases are the World Premiere of Ruth Meehan’s poignant dark comedy ‘The Bright Side‘ at 8.30pm and Irish documentary ‘The Sheriff‘  at 6pm – a timely study of the polarization in contemporary US politics in the context of small town America.

Join us tonight at 8pm for ‘CIFF2020 Live from the Living Room – Big Girls’ Night In‘ a pre-screening chat show with the cast of ‘The Bright Side‘. Catch it live on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or before logging in to watch the World Premiere of ‘The Bright Side‘. The screening is followed by a live Q&A with the Director and Cast. 

Ticket capacities are limited for all films so download the CIFF2020 App to pick your films and pre-book your tickets. Read on for more scheduled releases, French Film highlights, Industry Sessions and an exclusive competition!

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Scheduled Releases: Tuesday 10 Nov

Castro’s Spies‘ recounts the experiences of an elite band of Cuban spies who led dangerous double lives in the 1990s, living and working in Florida with fabricated identities. Told from the perspective of these men and their families, the documentary provides impressive unprecedented access to the so-called ‘Cuban 5’, weaving a fascinating narrative of intrigue, intelligence and espionage, set within the context of the highly fraught US-Cuban diplomatic relationship. Followed by a Q&A with the Filmmakers
World Premiere
Online: 8.30pm Tue 10 – Sun 15 Nov

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A compelling debut feature exploring the consequences of dark familial secrets, ‘The Edge of Chaos‘ follows the well-respected and wealthy Keenan family, and the reverberations made when their alcoholic daughter Carrie attempts to blackmail the family patriarch Derek over his corrupt business dealings. An extremely powerful and realistic dissection of how unhealed wounds and unexpressed grief can shatter families, scrutinising what lies beneath the veneer of often polished surfaces. Followed by a Q&A with the Director

World Premiere
Online: 6.00pm Tue 10 –  Sun 15 Nov
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French Film Highlights


French film at Cork International Film Festival is proudly supported by the French Embassy in Ireland

I Am Samuel

Samuel is a young gay man in Kenya, navigating a caring, yet tenuous relationship with his traditional parents (who can’t understand why he has yet to marry), and a blossoming new romance. Combining the harsh realities of social discrimination and criminalisation of homosexuality with a simple story of falling in love and negotiating familial woes, ‘I Am Samuel is a warm, honest and compassionate depiction of LGBTQ+ people in Kenya.

The feature is accompanied by ‘I Still Breathe‘ (25 mins), about the impact of George Floyd’s killing. This film is a statement of hope for all of us.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

Presented in association with the French Embassy in Ireland in resonance with the forthcoming Africa 2020 season in France.

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Our hero (Pierre Deladonchamps) arrives in Paris without money, a place to live or plans. All he has to go on is his charm and he uses it to get work, to love and to kill, in this dark, magnetic and visually stunning tale. ‘Rascal‘ was selected for the prestigious First Features section of the Cannes Film Festival, and this strong debut feature firmly establishes Peter Dourountzis as a director to watch.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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Working Girls

Axelle, Conso and Dominique are friends; they are also prostitutes and travel every day from France to Belgium to work in a legal brothel. Their lives are not easy but nor are they too different from those of their neighbours. What’s special is their friendship and the ways in which they care for each other. This visually striking, heartfelt story is the second collaboration between Fonteyne and Paulicevich, following the success of their comedy, Tango Libre.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November
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The Salt of Tears

When Luc – a young and good-looking carpenter’s apprentice – somehow gets involved with two women, it takes a third to make him pay for his lies and mistakes. Veteran French filmmaker, Philippe Garrel, delivers another delightful black and white love story. Only a French filmmaker can treat serious subjects such as love and toxic masculinity with such a light touch, yet beneath Garrel’s deceptively simple style we can recognise his New Wave origins and his mastery of the cinema as an art form.
Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November
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House of Cardin

This entertaining documentary focuses on the life and work of the great Italian-born French designer, Pierre Cardin. Cardin, now 98, is famous for his avant-garde, space age, geometrical shapes and motifs, but he is also a maverick who never endorsed the conventional ideal of the female body and who promoted diversity and inclusiveness from the start of his career. This authorised film features Cardin himself, together with exclusive archive footage and interviews with co-workers and muses, including Naomi Campbell and Sharon Stone.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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ILLUMINATE Film & Mental Health Screening: ‘Into Dad’s Woods

Gina is 15 and admires her father Jimmy: a funny, unpredictable, extravagant man (at least in her eyes), who takes his kids to the woods in the middle of the night, but sometimes leaves them there. One day Jimmy goes too far and the fragile harmony of his family is broken. Will Gina take this chance to escape her father’s influence? Vero Cratzborn’s first feature film is a touching family drama that asks important questions about the impact of parents’ mental health issues on their children. Followed by a Post-Screening Discussion.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

Presented in association with the French Embassy in Ireland and proudly supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Ireland.

Cork International Film Festival’s ILLUMINATE film and mental health programme is proudly supported by ESB Energy for Generations Fund and the HSE.

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French Films for Families and Younger Audiences

Fahim, the Little Chess Prince

Eight-year-old Fahim arrives in Paris from Bangladesh with his father. Fahim is a promising chess player and his talent is immediately recognised by one of the top French coaches, Sylvain Charpentier (Gérard Depardieu). But while Charpentier prepares Fahim for the junior French championship, Fahim’s father struggles in vain to obtain legal immigrant status. This heartfelt drama is based on the true story of the French-Bangladeshi chess player and, since 2017, FIDE master, Fahim Mohammad.

Age Recommendation: 9+
Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November
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Presented in association with the French Embassy in Ireland

A l’abordage

Felix convinces his best friend, Chérif, to accompany him on a road trip for a surprise visit to his new love, Alma, who is vacationing in the south of France. Short of funds, they sign up for a rideshare with ‘mummy’s boy’ Édouard. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned for this unlikely trio. Guillaume Brac’s delightfully fresh and fun film feels natural throughout, even in the most unlikely situations, and it’s a pleasure to spend time with these characters.

Age Recommendation: 15+
Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November
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Presented in association with the French Embassy in Ireland and Alliance Française Cork.

Industry Sessions in Focus

This year CIFF’s acclaimed film industry training days are available online for filmmakers worldwide to attend on our dedicated Industry Portal. Sessions are free but ticketed, participants must sign up for each session separately.

Presented in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland
Supported by Screen Skills Ireland

First Take Session 1

Changing the Conversation | Parents, Carers and the Irish Screen Industries

Women in Film and Television chair, Dr Susan Liddy (Raising Films Ireland) in conversation with producer Ailish Bracken (Chair Raising Films Ireland), writer/director/ producer Roisin Kearney (Run; Paddy; The Ferry) and writer/producer Niall Murphy (Scannain & Raising Films Ireland).

The panel will discuss the ways in which the Irish screen industries can better support parents and carers.

Online: Monday 9 – Sunday 15 November

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Doc Day Session 1 
Archival Case Study | Castro’s Spies

‘Castro’s Spies’ Co-director and editor Ollie Aslin discusses his experiences researching, collating and working with the incredibly rich archival footage exhibited within the documentary, with Shane O’Sullivan, Film lecturer at Kingston School of Art, filmmaker and archival expert.


Ollie Aslin – Co-director & Editor, ‘Castro’s Spies

Shane O’Sullivan – Filmmaker and Senior Lecturer, Kingston School of Art

Online: Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 November

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Competition Corner


We have teamed up with the Farmgate Café in The English Market, Cork to offer two lucky winners the chance to win a Digital Pass to ‘The Castle‘ and a sumptuous Click & Collect meal for two! Think fire lighting, feet up, and a delicious meal organised!



To be in with a chance to win simply send your answer to the question below to by midday on Wednesday 11th November.

Question: What instrument does Monika play in ‘The Castle‘?

A. Violin

B. Flute

C. Piano

T&Cs: The click & collect meal is a set menu and cannot be changed to accommodate dietary restrictions. The meal must be collected from The English Market Cork on Thursday 12th November. Competition open to entrants living within 5km of Cork City Centre only.