Oscar-nominated ‘Mustang’ to open Cork French Film Festival

Amongst a packed programme, the week-long festival will also feature a masterclass on film writing and directing by Nicholas Saada

 Louise O’Connor, Emily Noble, Marina Oracolo, Eva Torró and Emily Callanan at the launch of the Cork French Film Festival.

Louise O’Connor, Emily Noble, Marina Oracolo, Eva Torró and Emily Callanan at the launch of the Cork French Film Festival.


Cinephiles are in for a treat on Leeside this weekend when the Cork French Film Festival opens with an Oscar-nominated offering and includes a masterclass with leading French writer and director Nicholas Saada.

The festival opens on Sunday, March 6th with Mustang, the Cesar-winning debut feature of Turkish film-maker Deniz Gamze Ergouven, which was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category at this year’s Oscars.

Set in a remote Turkish village, the film traces the lives of five young sisters who live under the guardianship of their grandmother and uncle after the deaths of their parents.

It has been described as “a sensitive and powerful portrait of sisterhood and burgeoning sexuality”.

This year’s festival also features a screening of Nicolas Saada’s Taj Mahal, which tells the story of a terrorist assault on a Mumbai hotel in November 2008 through the eyes of a teenager who is trapped in the building during the attack.

Mr Saada, who started his career as a film critic for the renowned magazine Les Cahiers du Cinema and later worked as fiction programming for the TV channel Arte, explained how he saw Taj Mahal, which stars Nymphomaniac star Stacy Martin as the teenager.

“I wanted to make a film that was as thrilling an experience as possible but ultimately as moving as possible too,” said Mr Saada, who will also give a masterclass on film writing and directing at UCC during his visit to Cork.

Among the other offerings at this year’s festival, which is curated by Julien Plante, is Disorder, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger, about a former special services soldier guarding a wealthy Lebanese businessman and his family in the South of France.

Gourmands will enjoy this year’s festival, which is supported by, the Arts Council, Cork City Council and Le Cordon Bleu, as it includes screenings of the Danish classic, Babette’s Feast and The Hundred Foot Journey about the culinary and culture wars that ensue when two restaurants compete.

This year’s programme also includes a number of family screenings including Nicolas Vanier’s Belle and Sebastian, which about a lonely boy who is searching for his mother and tames a wild dog high in the Alps in the middle of the second World War.

The festival closes on March 13th with Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of A Man about the dehumanising effect of unemployment.

For further information about the festival see corkfrenchfilmfestival.com