Wednesday 11 November: Daily Festival Highlights


Burning Like Wildfire

The Hottest Films at CIFF2020

Day four at CIFF2020 includes two new releases, which means from this evening you can choose from a grand total of sixty-one screenings including fourteen programmes of shorts! Stay tuned throughout the week for daily releases, award winners and some exciting announcements…

Joining the Festival today, we are delighted to present the Irish Premiere of ‘Wildfire‘ Cathy Brady’s debut feature this evening at 7.30pm – “a raw domestic drama set against the backdrop of an Irish border town community” (Screen Daily). ‘Short Circuit: Screening from Scotland‘, a special touring Shorts Programme selected by Glasgow Short Film Festival is now also available to view until the end of the festival.

To celebrate the Irish Premiere of ‘Wildfire’, please join us for ‘CIFF2020 Live from the Living Room’ streaming live on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and tonight at 7pm!  The CIFF team will be joined by ‘Wildfire‘ Director Cathy Brady, cast member Norah-Jane Noone and producers David Collins & Carlo Cresto-Dina for a  special pre-screening live chat show. The ‘Wildfire’ screening will also be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with the filmmakers, hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Esther McCarthy.

Read on for more scheduled releases, international fiction highlights, our ‘CIFF Team Pick of the Day’, and select Industry Sessions.

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Scheduled Releases: Thursday 12th & Friday 13th November

The 8th
Reflective, considered and highly evocative, ‘The 8th‘ depicts the struggle of activists in the lead-up to the 2018 Irish abortion referendum. Though the film respectfully addresses both sides of the debate, it is rooted in voices from the pro-choice campaign, positioning it within the history of the 8th amendment, the grassroots abortion rights movement, and the build-up to the 2018 referendum, and coalescing into a powerful reflection of the progressive changes in Irish society in recent times. Followed by a Q&A with the Filmmakers
Online: 6.00pm Thu 12
Available to Sun 15 Nov

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Monika, a thirteen-year-old Lithuanian girl and aspiring pianist, lives with her mother and grandmother in Dublin. While Monika dreams of performing in the mysterious ‘Castle’, her hard-pressed mother sells the family keyboard, forcing Monika to take extreme measures to get it back. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Michael Lavelle, this psychological coming-of-age story by Lina Lužytė offers rare insights into the inner lives of economic migrants in Ireland. Followed by a Q&A with the Director
Online: 8.30pm Thur 12
Available to Sun 15 Nov
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Special Presentation
NSF ‘In Conversation’: Gerard Byrne & Michael McDonough

Renowned Irish artist Gerard Byrne in-conversation with L.A. based Scottish cinematographer Michael McDonough.

Gerard Byrne is one of Ireland’s leading visual artists working with film, video, photography and live art and here, he will host an interview with Michael McDonough, a Scottish cinematographer with an international reputation working across cinema and television.

Michael has worked on some of Gerard’s early film works in New York in the late nineties and they have continued their professional and personal relationship since then. Gerard talks to Michael about his most recent projects including ‘Bosch’, an American T.V. series produced for Amazon Studios, while also looking back on his successes as Director of Photography on the award-winning ‘Winter’s Bone’ with director Debra Granik, with whom he has made a number of features. They will also discuss Michael’s engagement with artist Douglas Gordon, on the cinematography for Gordon’s video installation ‘Play Dead’ and his role in making of ‘Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait’, before they discuss Gerard’s work ‘Why it’s Time for Imperial, Again’, filmed in New York.

Online: Thu 12 – Sun 15 November
Presented in partnership with the National Sculpture Factory

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County Lines

14 year-old Tyler (Conrad Khan) gets involved in drug trafficking in the English countryside in this stylish and powerful coming-of-age debut from Henry Blake, who drew on his own experiences as a youth worker, as well as many real-life cases of children drawn into organised crime in the UK. Khan excels in his first lead role, ably supported by Ashley Madekwe as his struggling mother.

Online: Fri 13 – Sun 15 November

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CIFF Team Pick Of The Day

Programme Manager Si Edwards (and Top Cat) recommend ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan‘ with honourable mentions for ‘The Trouble with Being Born‘ and ‘Bloody Nose Empty Pockets‘!

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European Film Award Nominees at CIFF2020


The European Film Awards 2020 Nominees have been announced and we are delighted to present two of the nominated films as part of the CIFF2020 programme.

Viggo Mortensen has received a European Actor Nomination for ‘Falling‘ and the D’Innocenzo Brothers have received a European Screenwriter Nomination for ‘Bad Tales‘.



CIFF 2019 titles ‘The Cave’ and ‘The Painted Bird’ also received nominations for European Documentary and European Film, respectively.


International Fiction Highlights

‘Working Girls’ (Filles de joie) 

Official Belgian Oscar® Entry for the Academy Awards 2021

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’.

Presented in association with the French Embassy in Ireland.

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A Common Crime

Middle-class sociology lecturer Cecilia lives with her young son and employs a maid who cleans and helps with childcare. One night, the maids’ son, Kevin, appears at the house, banging on the door. Cecilia doesn’t answer. After Kevin is found dead in the river, murdered by police, Cecilia finds herself increasingly haunted by him. Director Francisco Márquez has created a work of social commentary every bit as gripping as a thriller, with a transfixing central performance from Elisa Carricajo.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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The Trouble with Being Born

A father and daughter are sitting by the pool. There’s nothing unusual in this, but a feeling of uneasiness grows in the viewer. Something uncanny is hiding behind the ordinary. Is it the strange colour of the girl’s skin, the repetitive dialogue, or the camera gazing at the half-naked child? This science fiction drama by Sandra Wollner, a strong new voice in Austrian cinema, has earned widespread acclaim and won the Encounters Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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La Fortaleza

Director Jorge Thielen Armand interrogates one man’s tortured existence in ‘La Fortaleza‘, a fascinating semi-improvised drama in which his own father plays Roque, a veiled version of himself. The outward expression of the man’s inner turmoil provides a chaotic and addictive energy – his violence visceral, his pain instinctual. This is highly original filmmaking, imbued with the feeling of a turbulent fever dream, as Roque exorcises his demons through intense alcoholism and overt hysteria, in a cathartic creative expression for both performer and filmmaker.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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My Name is Baghdad’

17-year-old Baghdad (Grace Orsato) is a skater. She spends her time either with her family and her mother’s friends, or skateboarding out in the streets of working-class São Paulo with her male friends. Then one day Baghdad meets a group of female skaters and her world changes. Deftly blurring the lines between drama, documentary and skate video, Caru Alves de Souza’s lively coming-of-age tale (which won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival) celebrates unity and solidarity, driven along by a glorious punky soundtrack.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness

On the night of Yalda, the Iranian winter solstice festival, Maryam, a young woman sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, is due to appear on a reality TV show to plead with her husband’s family for forgiveness and her life. Between her nervousness and the reconstruction clips, there soon emerge revelations which call into question many of the case facts. Massoud Bakhshi’s pacy melodrama won a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and will keep you enthralled until the very end.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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Games People Play

Ever thought about inviting a group of friends for a surprise weekend birthday party to a remote villa? What could possibly go wrong, right? Many things, if there are secrets involved, and if the birthday girl doesn’t feel like celebrating her big day. As a special treat, this Finnish comedy about love, friendship and a weekend without mobile phones, features Christian Hillborg as a Swedish actor famous for his role in a TV series about Vikings.

Online: Mon 9 – Sun 15 November

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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 3
‘In Her Own Voice’ | Women talk film

Presented in partnership with Women in Film & Television Ireland, this session celebrates the recent successes and accomplishments of Irish female filmmakers. It assesses the initiatives and structural changes that have occurred in the industry over the last few years with the aim of recognising, encouraging and promoting women in film.


Susan Liddy – Chair, WIFT (Chair)
Cathy Brady – Writer & Director, Wildfire
Ailbhe Keogan – Screenwriter, Run & Jump
Katie McNeice – Director, In Orbit

Online: Monday 9 – Sunday 15 November

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Doc Day Session 3
Working with your Subjects

A cohort of seasoned documentary professionals examine their experiences working with their subjects – responsibilities towards contributors, building trust, examples of films where this has worked (and hasn’t!), and the ethics of documentary filmmaking.


Tom Burke – Director, Losing Alaska
Gary Lennon – Co-director, Castro’s Spies
Eimhear O’Neill – Producer, Fine Point Films
Eva Marie Rødbro – Director, I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die

Online: Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 November

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