Over 150 renowned Irish and international actors and directors will attend the 63rd Cork Film Festival, which commences with the highly anticipated Opening Gala Float Like A Butterfly tonight, Friday (9 November). The European premiere kicks off 10 days of cinema, with 250 Irish and international films, documentaries and shorts being screened from 9-18 November. For full details see corkfilmfest.org.

Float Like A Butterfly’s leading actress Hazel Doupe, who plays Frances in the coming-of-age story of an Irish girl from the Travelling community, will be joined by her on-screen brother, Johnny Collins on opening night at Ireland’s longest-running and largest film festival. Director and writer Carmel Winters will also be in attendance, along with producers Martina Niland for Port Pictures, David Collins for Samson Films, and Academy Awards® winning composer, Stephen Warbeck.

Fresh off the recent success of Rosie, Waterford actor Moe Dunford will attend the screening of The Dig (15 Nov), along with directors Ryan and Andrew Tohill.

Emmy Award winning director, André Singer is in Cork for his documentary Meeting Gorbachev (11 November); and the ‘godfather of Irish electronic music’ Roger Doyle will give a pre-screening performance ahead of Brian Lally’s documentary The Curious Works of Roger Doyle (11 Nov). Pioneering Irish feminist filmmaker Pat Murphy is in discussion with Vanessa Gildea of Women in Film & TV Ireland following her 1981 film Maeve (15 Nov).

Cork Film Festival Producer and CEO Fiona Clark said: “Our mission is to bring people together through an outstanding programme of films and events, creating an unforgettable festival experience over 10 days.

“We’re delighted to feature some of the most talked about names in film, discussing issues prevalent to our society. For example, Dr Larycia Hawkins, a professor of political science at Wheaton College who was embroiled in controversy after she posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing a hijab, is to participate in a Q&A of Same God; and we also welcome Karen Hassan of The Fall, who stars in Viko Nikci’s Cellar Door, a provocative mystery thriller with a unique point of view on a familiar trauma that affects countless millions.”

Aoife Duffin (Moone Boy) is at the Festival for the European premiere of the short she wrote, directed and starred in, Sister (11 Nov). Two of Ireland’s top artists Alice Maher and Aideen Barry will also attend their short, 6SKIN (13 Nov).

Stand out female directors in attendance include Cynthia Lowen with Netizens, a documentary exposing the proliferation of cyber harassment faced by women (15 Nov); and Belarus filmmaker Darya Zhuk with Crystal Swan (15 Nov). Debut features from Angelica Zollo with Trauma is a Time Machine (10 Nov), part of the Illuminate film and mental health strand; and young German filmmaker Henrika Kull with Jibril (18 Nov).

Further Q&As include Vitaly Mansky for Putin’s Witnesses (14 Nov); Aaron Schimberg with Chained For Life (10 Nov); Ben Hackworth forCeleste (14 Nov); and Nicolas Champeaux for The State Against Mandela and the Other (12 Nov). Filmmakers Donal Mosher and Mike Palmieri will attend The Gospel of Eureka (18 Nov), which compares performances of Eureka Springs’ drag community with the city’s long-running play on the Passion of Christ.

Cork Film Festival is proudly supported by principal funder the Arts Council, along with Cork City Council, Screen Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Screen Training Ireland, Culture Ireland, Creative Ireland and Creative Europe Media. Principal media partner is RTÉ Supporting the Arts and media partners are the Irish Examiner and Red FM.

For details on all films — screened at The Everyman, Triskel and Gate Cinemas — see corkfilmfest.org , call 021 427 1711 or visit the Cork Film Festival Box Office at Market Buildings, Grand Parade.

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