The much-anticipated drama Ordinary Love, starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, will have its Irish premiere at the 64th Cork Film Festival’s Opening Gala on Thursday, 7 November. Based on a script by award-winning Irish playwright Owen McCafferty, Ordinary Love will launch an outstanding 2019 programme of over 120 feature films presented at Ireland’s first and largest film festival. Closing the 11-day festival will be the Irish premiere of new Irish-Belgian drama, The Other Lamb, direct from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, starring Raffey Cassidy, Michiel Huisman and Denise Gough, on Sunday, 17 November.

The full 2019 programme, which runs from 7-17 November, will be unveiled at the launch on 15 October. For further details, see corkfilmfest.org.

Filmed entirely on location in Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen Ordinary Love will be presented at a gala screening on Sunday 8th September. Academy Award nominees Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) and Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) star as an everyday couple with an extraordinary love, who must find the humour and grace to face a year of adversity.

Ordinary Love is the third feature from the directing duo following the critically acclaimed Good Vibrations (2012) and Cherrybomb (2009). The film was previously called Normal People and has been retitled.

Joan (Manville) and Tom (Neeson) have been married for many years. There is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together and a depth of love which expresses itself through tenderness and humour in equal part. When Joan is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their relationship as they are faced with the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of what might happen if something were to happen to Joan. Ordinary Love is a story about love, survival and the epic questions life throws at each and every one of us.

Ordinary Love was written by award-winning Irish playwright, Owen McCafferty. It is a Canderblinks Films and Out of Orbit production, produced by the BAFTA award-winner and BFI Vision Awardee, Brian J. Falconer for Out of Orbit, David Holmes for Canderblinks Films and Piers Tempest for Tempo Productions. Executive producers are Natascha Wharton for the BFI, Stephen Kelliher for Bankside Films, Jo Bamford for Tempo Productions, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films/Metrol Technology and Mark Huffam.

The Other Lamb
The Other Lamb

The Other Lamb is a haunting tale that follows a young woman, raised in a repressive cult led by a charismatic patriarch, who grows skeptical of his leadership after a supernatural event and begins to challenge his teachings.

Raffey Cassidy (Vox Lux), Michiel Huisman (The Haunting Of Hill House) and Irish actor Denise Gough (Colette) star in the lead roles.

The Other Lamb is the first English-language feature of Polish Silver Bear-winning director Szumowska, who is best known for The Body and Mug. The script, by Australian screenwriter Catherine S McMullen, was selected for the 2017 Black List.

Aoife O’Sullivan and Tristan Orpen Lynch of Irish production company Subotica produce with Academy Award-nominated producer David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox of U.S.-based Rumble Films, in association with Marie Gade Denessen of Denmark’s Zentropa, and in co-production with Belgium’s Umedia. Executive producers are Julia Godzinskaya and Will Norton of Rooks Nest Entertainment, Jon Shiffman and Andrew Schwartzberg of Rumble Films, and Adrian Politowski of Umedia The film is supported by Screen Ireland.

We are thrilled to announce these two esteemed films for our Opening and Closing Galas in The Everyman, which profile the work of three visionary filmmakers — director Malgorzata Szumowska and co-directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn — for its Gala films, who are embracing very different topics, but are unified by their beguiling story-telling.

Cork Film Festival is flourishing. Building on a 22% increase in audience numbers last year, we are presenting over 400 events and screenings of significant Irish and international titles in 2019. We are also continuing to expand the Festival’s reach with more regional events and guest filmmakers in attendance to meet the appetite for quality cultural cinema across Cork and Munster.

Fiona Clark, Festival Director and CEO – Cork Film Festival

Ordinary Love is a filmmaking masterclass on every level. The script by playwright Owen McCafferty is smart and beautifully observed; the direction by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn (Good Vibrations) is fittingly patient and unobtrusive; while the performances from Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson are honest, touching and impeccable. 

We are excited to be closing the Festival with The Other Lamb, a film supported by Screen Ireland. Written by fantasy author Catherine S. McMullen, Małgorzata Szumowska’s (BodyMug) unsettling English-language debut establishes her as one of the most thrilling emerging voices in world cinema. It is a haunting, visionary drama and a timely rage against patriarchy.

Michael Hayden, Programme Director – Cork Film Festival

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