Festival award for autism film


A film dealing with two brothers, the older of whom is autistic, took the award for best new Irish short film at the closing ceremony of the Murphys' 43rd Cork Film Festival last night. The film, Patterns, was directed by Kirsten Sheridan, who is following in the footsteps of her father, the screenwriter and director, Jim Sheridan.

The jury noted that her film's "strong direction successfully navigated around the risk of sentimentality, displaying subtlety and sensitivity". They praised its "particularly strong performances, especially by the lead, Ben Engel".

Another Irish entry, Rory Bresnihan's model animation film, Guy's Dog, took the prize for best European short film. It deals with a dog who thinks he's a man trapped in a dog's body, but nobody understands him. The jury described it as "the goddamn funniest film we'd seen in years".

The major award for best international short film went to Ivan Sen's Australian entry, Tears, which, in the words of the jury, was "a moment of pure cinema so powerful that our choice was simple and unanimous".

The Claire Lynch Award for best debut Irish short film went to Patrick Jolley for Seven Days 'Til Sunday, a dark and morbid comedy shot in New York. The audience award for best Irish film was won by Dublin playwright and filmmaker Paul Mercier, for Lipservice, the first of three Irish-language short films produced under the Irish Film Board's Oscailt scheme.

The award for best film in the "made in Cork" section, sponsored by the Examiner, was given to Jon Patrick for Identity. The French entry, The Letter, directed by Michel Gondry, won the award for best black-and-white film, and Dominik Scherrer's Swiss entry, Hell For Leather, took the prize for black-and-white cinematography.

At the closing ceremony in Cork Opera House last night, the festival's director, Mr Michael Hannigan, said this year's festival had exceeded his wildest dreams. "We wanted a big event and we got it," he said.