Cork International Film Festival 2022 will offer audiences the first chance to see major new films from Ireland and around the world on the big screen.
From a beautifully observed Irish drama to a multi-layered documentary about a renowned American photographer, and spectacular family and animation films to a love letter to cinema, there are five Gala events this year to excite any film lover.
Opening Gala – Aisha
Our Opening Gala is Frank Berry’s tender and touching Aisha, which charts the experiences of a young Nigerian woman as she seeks asylum in Ireland.
Caught in limbo for years in the Direct Provision system, Aisha (in an outstanding performance by Letitia Wright – Black Panther), develops an unlikely friendship with kind Conor Healy (Josh O’Connor – The Crown), a former prisoner now employed by her accommodation centre. Aisha and Conor’s burgeoning friendship soon looks in jeopardy as Aisha’s future in Ireland comes under threat. Frank Berry’s (Michael Inside, I Used to Live Here) beautifully observed and brilliantly acted drama is immensely moving, a delicate and intimate character study, and a quietly powerful critique on bureaucratic systems which exacerbate the trauma of those seeking refuge.
Frank Berry will attend the Gala screening on 10th November.
There will also be a panel discussion with Berry and special guests following the screening in Gate Cinema on 11th November, in partnership with UCC Equality Week.
Letitia Wright also stars in The Silent Twins, 20:00, Thu 17 Nov at The Everyman.
Family Gala – Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
Matilda Wormwood (impressive newcomer Alisha Weir) is a little girl with big curiosity, a sharp mind, and a vivid imagination – and the worst parents in the world. While her parents (played by Andrea Riseborough and Stephen Graham) content themselves with trashy TV and dodgy money-making schemes, she loves to lose herself in the pages of her beloved books, and think up cheeky acts of rebellion and revenge.
Alicia Weir, who plays Matilda, will be in attendance at this Gala.
Documentary Gala – All The Beauty and The Bloodshed
Academy Award®-winning documentarist Laura Poitras’ portrait of American photographer Nan Goldin won the Golden Lion Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
This multi-layered documentary includes rare footage and intimate interviews with Goldin, and covers not just her own life journey, her famous friends, and iconic photographic work, but also her fight against the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin.
Animation Gala – Strange World
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed adventure Strange World introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures.
The star-studded voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu. A true celebration of the wonder of animation, as Disney turns 100!
Closing Gala – Empire of Light
Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes delivers a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema. Manager Hilary (an outstanding, brave performance by Olivia Colman) and her colleagues (a stellar ensemble cast including Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, and Toby Jones) are sprucing up their seafront picture palace in preparation for a regional premiere of Chariots of Fire. Empire of Light is a reminder that cinema offers us beautiful tales we cherish for life.
The winners of the CIFF2022 Features Awards will be announced at the Closing Gala.