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Cork International Film Festival launches 2023 Programme
12 Oct 2023 : News Desk
All of Us Strangers
Cork International Film Festival (CIFF) has launched the programme for the 68th edition of the Festival. The expanded 2023 event will screen Irish and international films across Cork city and county from Thursday 9th to Sunday 26th November. The Opening Night Gala is the Irish premiere of Yorgos Lanthimos’ award-winning Poor Things.

Highlights in the packed 2023 programme, featuring over 200 films, include the International Gala and Irish premiere of All Of Us Strangers, starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, and written and directed by CIFF alumnus Andrew Haigh, the World premiere of So This Is Christmas from award-winning Irish filmmaker Ken Wardrop, the Irish premiere of Eileen directed by William Oldroyd and starring Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie, and the Irish premiere of the highly Cannes Jury Prize winner, Fallen Leaves, from renowned filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki.

The Festival will also showcase premieres from Irish filmmakers Paul Duane (All You Need Is Death), Alan Gilsenan (The Days Of Trees) and Paul Mercier (Prospect House), all of which are in competition for the CIFF Best New Irish Feature award, alongside So This Is Christmas and the previously announced world premiere and Irish Gala One Night In Millstreet. The CIFF Best New Irish Feature Award is supported by the Irish Examiner. The award jury will be chaired by Oscar®-winning film producer, educator and CIFF Patron, Lord David Puttnam. The winner will be announced on Sunday 19th November.

“Cinema can transport us to other worlds, spark new conversations, and inspire action and change, and film festivals are uniquely special places that bring us together to experience the extraordinary and the ordinary, collectively,” said Lord David Puttnam, CIFF Patron. “The 68th edition is bursting with films that encourage us to reimagine the world, to discover and share new experiences.  I am extremely proud to represent Cork International Film Festival as its Patron and I warmly encourage you to explore this year’s wonderfully exciting programme.”

Lord Puttnam is a film producer and executive, having brought audiences award-winning films such as The Mission, Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields and Midnight Express.

“I’m hugely proud of the whole CIFF team for their dedication in bringing together this world-class programme, which I believe cements our reputation as one of the most prestigious and dynamic film festivals internationally,” said CIFF Director & CEO Fiona Clark, speaking on this year’s expanded festival. “Our programme this year is truly diverse, championing new voices alongside award-winning auteurs, and local and global talent, all carefully curated to celebrate and create greater access to a huge diversity of stories on screen.  With so much happening around the Festival it’s impossible to select just a couple of highlights, but we’re very excited to bring the world to Cork with a special guest programme from Cannes Director’s Fortnight, and to showcase a selection of films in venues across the county of Cork, expanding our reach and enabling wider audiences access to an exciting programme selection of cultural cinema.”

Cork International Film Festival is delighted to have teamed up with six Cork city and county venues for Super Cine Saturday on November 25th. The Reel Picture Ballincollig and Blackpool, Cinemax Bantry, Gate Cinemas Midleton and Mallow, and Regal Cinema Youghal will exclusively show a ‘Taste of CIFF’ with three specially selected feature films from the 68th Festival programme, including Fallen Leaves, One Night In Millstreet, and family film Robot Dreams.

The Documentary Gala at the Festival is Is There Anybody Out There?, which marks the Irish premiere of this new film from filmmaker Ella Glendining, who will be in attendance at the Festival. The Festival will showcase a selection of Documentary features at the 2023 event, continuing its long-standing focus on highlighting factual storytelling that examines societal issues of the day. This focus continues with Doc Day as part of the Festival’s Industry Programme, presented in partnership with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.

The Festival also continues its commitment to championing the work of short filmmakers, and three of the Festival Shorts awards (the Grand Prix Irish Short, the Grand Prix International Short and the Grand Prix Documentary Short) are Academy Award®-qualifying, ensuring that the winners in Cork will be automatically longlisted for the Oscars®. The short film award winners will be announced by Lord David Puttnam on Thursday 16th November.

Other awards to be presented at the Festival include: Gradam Spiorad Na Féile (Spirit of the Festival Award); Gradam Na Féile Do Scannáin Faisnéise (Award for Cinematic Documentary); and the Cork International Film Festival Youth Jury Award. The winners of these will be announced on Sunday 26 November. The Audience Awards (Features and Shorts) will be chosen by audiences voting online. All Festival features and shorts that have their Irish premiere in cinema are eligible for the Audience Awards, with winners announced on Monday 27th November. The recipient of the Parallax Emerging Film Artist Bursary 2024, a collaboration with National Sculpture Factory and Sample Studios that amplifies the Festival’s expanded programme of artist moving image works, will be announced on Thursday 16th November.

The Family Gala, Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, is a take on Alice in Wonderland from French director Benoit Chieux, which will take place at The Everyman on Saturday 18th November, a special accessible screening presentation with live narration from a very special guest. The Gala headlines a packed roster of films and workshops for young people, an expanded schools programme and return of CIFF’s award-winning youth film and mental health programme, Intinn.

From surrealist gastronomic adventures to exquisite French cuisine to elevating the humble pizza, audiences can feast their eyes on the Culinary Cinema strand, with special packages blending screenings of three food-themed films and Cork food experiences, including a pop-up supper at The Farmgate Café at the English Market, Italian treats at NeighbourFood Apple Market, and French dining and wine-pairing at L’Atitiude 51. 

The Green Screen feature for 2023 is Virgilio, a food sustainability documentary focused on a Peruvian chef, with a panel discussion in partnership with University College Cork (UCC).  Highlighting the urgent issue of climate change and environmental concerns, and promoting actions to make positive changes in our communities, Green Screen is sponsored by the Festival’s Sustainability Partner, Future Planet, an award-winning partnership to improve climate literacy and promote activism, recognised by the Business to Arts Awards 2023.

This year’s Festival offers an exceptional opportunity to discover the selection of Cannes Film Festival’s parallel section, Directors’ Fortnight in the presence of Artistic Director Julien Rejl. From the fantasy world of She is Conann through the deserts of Morocco to gardens of rural France, audiences can come and experience the new and unexpected.

As the Festival approaches the 70th edition of the Festival in 2025, this year’s Cork Film Trail invites guests to take a wander through the streets of Cork City to explore CIFF’s heritage and connection to the city over the past seven decades, drawing on the CIFF Digital Archive with accompanying walking tours. This year’s curated Retrospective is themed Dreamers and Visionaries, and the Guilty Pleasures strand profiles genre and cult classics. For those unable to travel to Cork, a capsule online programme of new European features will be available to stream nationwide from 20th - 26th November.  All tickets are on sale now at corkfilmfest.org and the MyCIFF app.

The 68th Cork International Film Festival will run from Thursday 9th to Sunday 26th of November, 2023. For more information and to view the full programme, and to stay up to date with the latest news and programme announcements, click here.

IFTA Q&A Series: Joanne O’Brien on Costume Design
IFTA Q&A Series: Eleanor Bowman on Cinematography
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