The lat­est re­views and in­ter­views

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

As the Cork Film Fes­ti­val heads into its 62nd year, the shorts pro­gramme is stronger than ever, with more than 2,800 sub­mis­sions this year. That’s a lot of watch­ing for the fes­ti­val pre­view­ers, a task to which they are more than equal, says shorts pro­gram­mer Don O’Ma­hony. “In one sense, it makes our job eas­ier; the chances of find­ing good stuff within that are pretty high but it also makes our job tougher be­cause it is a lot of films to get through. For­tu­nately, we have a great team that knows the stan­dards we strive for.”

The fes­ti­val fea­tures 15 pro­grammes of Ir­ish and in­ter­na­tional shorts, 12 of which are in com­pe­ti­tion. While a short film is of­ten viewed as a call­ing card to at­tract fund­ing for a fea­ture, O’Ma­hony says its merit as an art form in it­self is un­de­ni­able. This year’s fes­ti­val has a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on doc­u­men­taries, and O’Ma­hony says the short form en­hances the power of this kind of sto­ry­telling.

Themes cov­ered in­clude grief, body im­age, men­tal ill­ness and cre­ativ­ity. Ones to watch out for are Spike, about a Bri­tish sol­dier in North­ern Ire­land who is deal­ing with post­trau­matic stress; The Whistle­blower which of­fers a per­sonal view­point on the Sallins mail train rob­bery; and Con­dom Man, about those who pro­vided front­line and core ser­vices for haemophil­i­acs and other HIV/

AIDS pa­tients, and ul­ti­mately saved lives.

The Best of Cork strand of shorts is al­ways a big draw at the fes­ti­val and this year is no dif­fer­ent with many fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries be­ing show­cased. O’Ma­hony de­scribes Joe,

Search­ing, di­rected by Naoimh Reilly, as “a punch in the gut”. It tells the story of a man search­ing for women who went miss­ing in the 1990s and his frus­tra­tion at the lack of re­sponse from of­fi­cials. Also fea­tured is Jack Scott’s Wood, di­rected by Noel Holmes, which won Best Short at the Rus­sian In­ter­na­tional Hor­ror Fes­ti­val and was filmed around Far­ran Woods and the Gun­pow­der Mills in Ballincol­lig. The quirky com­edy Gus­tav, di­rected by Ken Williams and De­nis Fitz­patrick, the lead char­ac­ter wakes up to find the mu­sic of com­poser Gus­tav Mahler has taken up res­i­dence in his head.

One of the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated shorts screen­ing at this year’s fes­ti­val is Ben­jamin Cleary’s Wave, nar­rated by mu­si­cian Jarvis Cocker. An­other much-awaited short is For

You, from Cork film­maker Bren­dan Canty, who di­rected the mem­o­rable video for Hozier’s Take Me to

Church. For You fea­tures ris­ing star Barry Keoghan, who ap­peared in

Dunkirk ear­lier this year and has been at­tract­ing a huge buzz for his role in the up­com­ing The Killing of a

Sa­cred Deer along­side Colin Far­rell and Ni­cole Kid­man. Mar­jorie Bren­nan

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