Pride as Leeside local opens film fest
Cork pride was on full display last night as the city’s film festival got under way at the Everyman.
Always a big event on Leeside’s cultural calendar, this year’s opening swelled with extra significance as attendees rolled up for the Irish premiere of Float Like A Butterfly, a film very much created in Cork.
Among those attending was director Carmel Winters, who had made the film around Ballydehob and other locations a stone’s throw from her West Cork home.
The Kanturk-born filmmaker was accompanied at the screening by her wife Toma McCullim — the pair have been together 18 years, but were married recently in Toronto where the film won a prize at the Canadian city’s prestigious festival.
Also at the MacCurtain St venue was Butterfly’s young lead, Hazel Doupe, whose performance as a Traveller girl with ambitions to become a boxer has marked her out as one of the emerging stars of Irish cinema.
The last time the festival opened with a Cork film was Song For A Raggy Boy in 2003, and the event has had its fair share of ups and downs since then.
However, the country’s oldest and largest (by volume of screenings) film festival seems to be back on a firm footing, and has a strong programme to cater for both mainstream and niche tastes.
“Our ambition as we build towards our 65th anniversary in 2020, is to make Cork Film Festival the destination of choice for great storytelling on film, for film-makers and audiences alike,” said festival CEO Fiona Clark.
Among the other Irish premieres over the next nine days is The Favourite, an 18th-century tale that continues the fruitful relationship between Irish producer Ed Guiney and Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer). Due for release in January, it’s already being talked about as a possible Oscar contender.
See today’s Weekend supplement for eight pages of coverage of the Cork Film Festival
Carmel Winters, right, writer/producer of the award-winning ‘Float like a Butterfly’ with its stars, Hilda Faye; Hazel Doupe; Johnny Collins; Noelle O’Regan; and Michael Collins at the opening of the 63rd Cork Film Festival at the Everyman last night.
Fiona Clark, film festival producer/CEO, and Michael Hayden, programme director at the Everyman.
Caroline Kennndy and Frank Brennan, both Republic of Works, at the opening of the 63rd Cork Film Festival.
Holly Ni Ghrada and Aoibhie McCarthy at the opening of the 63rd Cork Film Festival at The Everyman last night.
Sharon Brooks, Abigail Creed and Jan O’Connell at the opening of the film festival.
John and Jacqui Doupe at the opening of the film festival at The Everyman.
Frankie Ross, Helen Wells, and Hilary McCarthy, all from Fastnet films, at The Everyman last night.
Jessica and Stephen Warbeck at the opening of the festival.