The CorkFilm Festival opens on Sunday night (Oct 10) with the Irish premiere of DamienO'Donnell's Edinburgh crowd pleaser Inside I'm Dancing.

Now in its 49th year - and building to major 50thanniversary celebrations next year with an international symposium on the shortfilm during the city's tenure as European City of Culture - the Cork festivaloffers a growing local audience a diverse blend of features, shorts anddocumentaries.

Documentaryselections in the Cork programme include premieres of the Irish films Coach,directed by Liam McGrath, and Rebel Frontier, directed by Desmond Bell.There is also a special programme of short documentaries made by the talentedyoung Irish producing/directing team of Andrew Freedman and Ken Wardrop whohave carved out productive careers while still students at the National FilmSchool at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology.

Theinternational documentary programme includes The Corporation, Ramones:The Other Side of the Century, In Good Conscience, Mondovino, andthe Oscar-winning short documentary Chernobyl Heart about the work ofthe Irish charity which assists children suffering the after effects of theChernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.

Theinvariably strong selection of Irish and international shorts this yearincludes Six Shooter, the film directing debut of playwright MartinMcDonagh, and The Carpenter and His Clumsy Wife directed by localfilmmaker Peter Foott, which received a jury Special Mention at the recentVenice Film Festival. Short film awards presented at the festival include theJameson Short Film Award and Gradam Gael Linn for the best Irish-language shortfilm.

Foott'sshort film will share opening night honours at the Cork Opera House with DamienO'Donnell's third feature film, Inside I'm Dancing, a moving portrayalof two disabled young men's attempts to make an independent life forthemselves. O'Donnell's film will go on general release in Ireland on October15. Other Irish features being screened by the festival include Lance Daly's HaloEffect and Stephen Kane's Starfish.

A blend ofinternational features includes Woody Allen's San Sebastian prize-winner, Melindaand Melinda; Finding Neverland, with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet;Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes; Michael Cunningham's A Home atthe End of the World, for which Colin Farrell has just been nominated foran Irish IFTA award; Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate;Sundance success Maria Full Of Grace, Zhang Zimou's Hero, and theDisney fantasy Ella Enchanted which was shot in Ireland.

Tribute programmes include the work of the young Austriandirector and screenwriter Barbara Albert and a retrospective look at the mostprolific but mostly forgotten Irish director, Brian Desmond Hurst.