The Dingle and Cork French Film Festivals
The first couple of weeks of March will see audiences down south treated to a feast of film at two of Ireland’s most passionate and engaging film festivals, the Cork French Film Festival and the Dingle Film Festival.
The 23rd Cork French Film Festival will take place at venues across the city and county from the 4th to the 11th of March, bringing the best in French cinema to audiences by the Lee.
The weeklong programme of Francophile screenings and events opens with a tribute to the festival’s special guest, writer, actor and director Pierre Etaix, with a rare chance to see his gorgeous 1965 masterpiece Yo Yo. Later in the week, the festival will screen two films from Etaix’s mentor and collaborator Jacques Tati, with a chance to see his 1958 Cannes winning comedy Mon Oncle and the classic 1967 Playtime on the big screen.
Other screenings of contemporary French films include Pascal Rabate’s Tati tribute Holidays By The Sea, Declan Donnelan and Nick Omerod’s sumptuous period drama Bel Ami, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronaud’s Chicken With Plums and the Irish premiere of Otar Iosseliani’s comedy Chantrapas. The festival’s closing gala is a screening of Aki Kaurismaki’s deadpan immigrant comedy Le Havre, which features a cameo appearance from Pierre Etaix.
The festival also includes a full programme of documentaries, short films and special events, including a screening of silent classic Seven Years of Bad Luck with dinner at the famed Ballymaloe Cookery School. You can find more information and a complete schedule at the festival website.
The beautiful South Kerry town of Dingle plays host to the 6th Dingle Film Festival from the 15th to the 18th of March, incorporating a host of new screenings, special events, and seminars with visiting guests.
The festival opens with a gala screening of Ian FitzGibbon’s new film Death of a Superhero at 7pm at the town’s gorgeous one-screen Phoenix cinema. Appropriately for a festival that takes place over St Patrick’s Day weekend, there is a strong focus on Irish cinema with screenings of Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s Stella Days, Rebecca Daly’s The Other Side of Sleep, Alexandra McGuinness’ Lotus Eaters and Paolo Sorrentino’s beautiful road movie This Must Be The Place, starring Sean Penn and partly filmed in Dublin. Aiden Walsh Master of the Universe director Shimmy Marcus will introduce his latest music documentary about the rise and fall of Irish rock band Lir, Good Cake Bad Cake, at the festival.
There’s a strong Belgian focus in Dingle this year, with screening of madcap Belgian comedy The Fairy and The Kid With A Bike, the latest film from the Dardenne Brothers. There is also an opportunity to see the gorgeous animation Tales of the Night, the latest film from French master animator Michel Ocelot. Dingle will also screen new international documentaries, including Dominic Allan’s extraordinary Calvet, in which French artist Jean Marc Calvet recounts his incredible life story as a street kid turned bodyguard who became a career criminal in America before, at the age of 38, picking up a paintbrush and becoming an internationally feted artist. Director Michael Collins will screen his film Give Up Tomorrow, which tells the story of murder and corruption in the Philippines and was the winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Other special events in a packed programme include seminars on producing, animation, writing and casting and a short film showcase. There are more details and a complete programme at the festival website.