The 66th Cork International Film Festival has announced a packed 2021 programme, presenting in-venue screenings and events across Cork city and county from Friday 5th to Friday 12th November, followed by a nine-day digital programme from Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st November.

Three Gala presentations represent the best of Irish and international filmmaking, opening the Festival with a contemporary love story, Ali & Ava, by acclaimed director Clio Barnard, premieres on Friday 5th November at the Everyman and Saturday 6th at The Gate.

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Pat Collins' The Dance is this year’s CIFF Documentary Gala; screening on Thursday 11th November, it charts the creative process of the world-renowned choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan as he works on MÁM, a new dance and theatre production that brings together 12 international dancers, concertina player Cormac Begley and the European orchestral collective s t a r g a z e.

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The physical part of the Festival concludes on Friday 12th November with the Awards Gala presentation, Blue Bayou, Justin Chon's moving story about family, identity and belonging in contemporary USA, starring Chon and Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander.

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Elsewhere, CIFF will present Fritz Lang's 1927 German expressionist classic Metropolis as a Special Presentation Cine Concert on Monday and Tuesday 8th and 9th November at The Everyman, with a new commissioned score by Cork composers - and sisters - Irene Buckley and Linda Buckley to accompany this iconic silent masterwork, supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland.

Metropolis

Speaking about CIFF2021, Festival Director and CEO, Fiona Clark said: "We are delighted to present a blended Festival that both welcomes audiences back to the cinema in Cork, safely and comfortably, and also enables audiences nationwide to enjoy a feast of films online. With 80 Irish and international features and documentaries, over 130 shorts, and new strands of Culinary Cinema, Green Screen, Guilty Pleasures, a major Female Visions retrospective, and a magnificent cine-concert, as well as our popular family and schools' programme, we hope that this 66th edition of Ireland’s first and largest film festival will allow greater opportunities for everyone to discover film and reimagine the world."

Holy Island

New Irish features includes the world premiere of Robert Manson’s Holy Island, as well as Colin Hickey's Where the Merrows Roam and a pair of documentaries, Alan Gilsenan's The Seven Ages of Nöel Browne and Lyra, Alison Millar's portrait of journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead during riots in Derry in 2019.

The International Fiction line-up includes dramas, comedies, love stories and horror films, with a number of prizewinners from major festivals: PS Vinothraj’s intense Indian drama Pebbles, winner of The Tiger Award from International Film Festival Rotterdam; Radu Jude’s sarcastic and dark-humoured Romanian film Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival; and the controversial Titane, directed by Julia Ducournau and winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2021.

An eclectic international documentary programme covers war and refugees, women fighting for their rights, real-life family dramas and stories about climate change or animal rights. Films include a new feature about the iconic Charlie Chaplin (The Real Charlie Chaplin), a portrait of legendary Australian actor David Gulpilil, My Name is Gulpilil, and Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, a music documentary about the cult folk singer.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

The Culinary Cinema strand focuses on food and film, from the adrenaline-fueled drama Boiling Point, starring Stephen Graham as a chef on the edge, to acclaimed documentarian Morgan Neville’s Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, a bittersweet look at the life and career of the chef, author, and TV host.

Clueless

Green Screen presents films exploring climate change, the environment and the impact humans are having on this planet, including Cow, the first feature documentary from acclaimed director Andrea Arnold, following the life of an ordinary dairy cow, while the Guilty Pleasures strand includes everything from Amy Heckerling's teen classic Clueless to B-movie cult slasher Sleepaway Camp.

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Special Presentations include the world premiere of Patrick Hough's The Two Faces of Tomorrow, a site-specific collaboration with the National Sculpture Factory, and a 1921 Commemoration screening of Elizabeth Bowen adaptation The Last September, along with the Festival’s popular family and schools’ programme, a focus on film and mental health, a Female Visions retrospective and a city-wide Trail of Discovery linking to the CIFF Digital Archive. Filmmakers at all stages of their career can also avail of in-person and online training and development sessions.

There will also be an extended programme of online CIFF screenings from 13th - 21st of November, where audiences can enjoy catch up on titles from the festival programme as well as online exclusives of award-winning international features and the latest Irish shorts.

Find out more about this year's Cork International Film Festival programme here.