Cork Film Festival to open with Australian film Charlie’s Country

Irish romantic comedy ‘Standby’ also to feature in extensive festival programme

An Australian film which has already earned its lead actor the best actor prize at Cannes and is Australia's entry for best foreign film at next year's Academy Awards has been chosen to open this year's Cork Film Festival.

'Charlie's Country' is the final part in director Rolf de Heer's exploration of indigenous culture in Australia and follows on from his highly acclaimed The Tracker (2002) and Ten Canoes (2006) and will open the Cork Film Festival on November 7th.

Festival creative director James Mullighan said that as a South Australian living in Cork, he was both delighted and honoured to be able to open this year's festival with Rolf de Heer's latest work which stars Australian indigeous actor, David Gulpilpil.

"Where Ten Canoes dealt with ancient history, and The Tracker with recent history, so Charlie's Country is a contemporary take on life, a quasi-autobiographical portrait of one of Australia's most iconic cultural figures David Gulpilil.


“David co-created the project with Rolf de Heer and I will be fascinated to see how this beautiful, luminous and emotionally affecting movie plays in Cork,” said Mr Mullighan at tonight/last night’s festival launch.

Also scheduled for screening at this year's festival which runs from November 7th-16th is the low budget romantic comedy, "Standby" the feature debut from IFTA-winning Irish directors, Ron and Ronan Burke which stars Mad Men actress, Jessica Paré and Brian Gleeson.

Other highlights include actor, Pat Shortt in conversation with comedian, Jarlath Regan as well as musician Christy Moore in conversation with Philip King before a showing of King's film Come all You Dreamers - Christy Moore and Declan Sinnot at Barrowlands, Glasgow

Pat Short also stars alongside David Thewlis, Richard E Grant and Sinead Cusackin the latest feature from long time Wicklow resident, John Boorman 'Queen and Country' which is making its Irish premiere in Cork after screening earlier this year at Cannes.

The festival has a new feature film competition and the entries this year include three dramas ‘Cherry Pie’, ‘El Futuro’ and ‘Hide and Seek’ as well as three documentaries, ‘Manakamana’ ‘The Tribe’ and Tadhg O’Sullivan and Feargal Ward’s ‘Yximalloo’.

Other features being screened include John Ridley's biopic of the early Jimi Hendrix, All Is By Side, starring Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell and Outcast's Andre Benjamin as well Denis Villeneuve's Enemy starring Jake Gyllenhaal in a chilling take on Dostoevsky's The Double.

Tommy Lee Jones's Cannes Palme d'Or nominated epic Western The Homesman with Hilary Swank, James Spader and Meryl Streep also screens as does Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game, with Keira Knightley, Charles Dance and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini star in Michael R Roskam's adaptation of a work by US crime writer, Denis Lehane, 'The Drop' while Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner star in Jason Reitman's cross-generational comedy drama, Men, Women and Children.

The late night Twisted Celluloid Series includes David Michôd's 'The Rover', with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson; and two contrasting1974 masterpieces - Sam Peckinpah's 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' and Brian de Palma's 'Phantom of the Paradise'.

The festival, which also includes a tribute to Chilean avant garde director, Alejandro Jodorowsky, closes with a gala screening on November 16th of a recently restored print of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic '2001: A Space Odyssey'.

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times