In a year when Dublin, the country's capital, appears to have lost its film festival, the Cork Film Festival is consolidating its position with its 47th annual appearance from October 6 to 13.
A total of 1,300 Irish and International shorts films were submitted to Cork's competitive shorts competition this year. The festival will once again host the Jameson Award and offer other cash and facilities prizes to shorts from home and abroad. There is also a selection of Iranian shorts compiled with the Young Iranian Cinema Society and the Irish premiere of Underground Zero, thirteen short films from the US which were made as a response to the events of September 11th.
Some 40 feature films will be shown, led by Peter Mullan's Magdalene Sisters which opens the festival. The screening will be the Irish premiere of the Venice prize winning, Irish set film, which opens wide later in the month. Mullan's similarly dark 1996 short film, Fridge, was a prize winner at Cork.
Before closing with Phillip Noyce's Rabbit Proof Fence, the festival will host, among others, the Irish premieres of David Cronenberg's Spider, Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past, Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, and Irish director Damien O'Donnell's Heartlands. Other Irish feature film interest will centre on Richard Harris's leading performance in My Kingdom, a British updating of King Lear set in a Liverpool criminal gang which was scored by Irish composer Deirdre Gribbin.
The Cork Film Festival will platform the third annual UIP Awards for Irish filmmakers, including the Euros20,000 UIP Director's Award which is the largest of its kind for local 'emerging' feature film directors. The UIP Awards for short film and animation directors are limited to films produced through Irish Film Board schemes.
The festival is rounded off with a focus on the career of animator Phil Mulloy; a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Austrian sales and distribution outfit Six Pack Film; a documentary programme which includes the world premiere of John Ford's War, Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary and numerous other films concentrating on social, cultural and historical issues; and a celebration of the long career of Jack Cardiff who will be present for screenings of restored prints of Black Narcissus and The African Queen.
Meanwhile, Dublin has cancelled its festival this year, and is currently without staff or an office - due to a combination of factors including lack of finance, sponsorship and direction.