There may be some two months to go until Christmas, but when the Cork Film Festival opens in three weeks’ time “The Man Who Invented Christmas” will kick off ten days of screenings across three venues.
Starring Downtown Abbey's Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, the film directed by British-Indian director Bharat Nalluri recounts how the famous author created his iconic Christmas Carol and features British cinema stalwarts Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce in central roles.
Now in its 62nd year, the Cork Film Festival runs from November 10th to 19th, and Cork Film Festival producer Fiona Clark said this year's festival will showcase more than 200 films, including 115 feature films as well as 116 shorts from some 50 countries.
Between "The Man Who Invented Christmas" and Alexander Payne's science-fiction road movie, "Downsizing", starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, which closes the festival, there is an eclectic selection of films on offer, according to guest programme director Michael Hayden.
“This is truly a festival for everyone, an opportunity to be challenged, inspired, surprised and entertained. From our Industry Days, to our popular Family and Schools programme, these 10 days in November offer the chance to enjoy films not otherwise available on the big screen in Cork.”
Ms Clark said that more than 6,000 people are expected to attend the film festival, with screenings at the Everyman, The Gate Cinema and Triskel Christchurch. With support from the Arts Council and Cork City Council, the festival is expected to generate €2.5 million in revenue locally.
According to Ms Clark, this year's highlights include the latest offering from acclaimed Swedish director, Ruben Ostlund who scooped the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival with his surreal and provocative satire "The Square".
Celebrating the best of home-grown talent, the festival will also screen Frank Berry’s acclaimed “Michael Inside” which tells the story of an 18-year-old living in Dublin who is sentenced to three months in prison after he is caught hiding drugs for his friend’s older brother, she said
And among the other offerings is Irish director Brian O'Malley's Gothic horror, "The Lodgers" which garnered positive reviews at the Toronto Film Festival with its tale of Anglo-Irish twins Rachel and Edward - played by Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner - set in their crumbling family estate in 1920.
Mr Hayden pointed out that among the 34 documentaries scheduled for screening is Edward Jurecki's "Promised Land", which draws parallels between Elvis Presley's career and how the United States has changed in the 40 years since his death, culminating in the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
Full details and tickets can be found at corkfilmfest.org.