Celebrating its 20thedition, Kerry International Film Festival has pulled back the curtain on their 2019 programme of films, complete with special events and most of all some very special films. Featuring Feature Films, Documentaries, Animation, Short Film Programmes and Industry Events, the festival will showcase new work from Ireland and around the Globe.
The Festival takes place from the 17th– 21st October in Killarney, with screenings in the Killarney Cinema and St. Mary’s Church, and industry events in Killarney House and the Plaza Hotel.
For its 20th Anniversary KIFF is debuting a new look, having undergone an exciting rebrand by the festival’s creative partner Richard Dee Branding & Design.
I’m delighted to present my first programme for the Kerry International Film Festival. It’s been an incredible effort from the dedicated team to get this selection of films ready for our wonderful audiences, and I can’t wait for them to see what we have put together for them. They are going to see some amazing films, have great conversations with fellow festival-goers, and have great craic in a truly unique film festival atmosphere.
We have put together a programme that covers the diverse landscape of contemporary world cinema, and are delighted to showcase it here in Killarney.Eibh Collins, Festival Programmer
Some of her highlights include Rare Beasts,the directing debut of Actress Billie Piper. After great success in Venice and after making its UK Premiere this week at the London Film Festival, this anti-romantic comedy tells the story of Mandy, a modern woman in a crisis. Raising a son in the midst of a female revolution, mining the pain of her parent’s separation and professionally writing about a love that no longer exists, she falls upon a troubled man, Pete, who’s searching for a sense of worth. Rare Beasts screening on Sunday 20th at 6.30pm, with guests to be announced.
As well as hosting the Irish Premiere of Rare Beasts, Kerry has the Irish Premiere of SXSW-winning film The Peanut Butter Falcon. This touching film tells the story of Zak a young boy with Down Syndrome who runs away to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional wrestler in this good-natured, heartfelt adventure-comedy-drama. The Peanut Butter Falcon is a modern-day spin on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine. The film is led by performer, teacher and disability advocate Zack Gottsagen, (around whom the film was crafted) alongside an all-star cast featuring Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal and Thomas Haden Church. This heart-warming film opens the festival on Thursday 17th at 6.30PM, with all ages welcome.
Closer to home KIFF will present the World Premiere of Terry McMahon’s news film, The Prizefighter, which promise to be a sell-out event as Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (the Irish professional boxer who has formerly held the WBO International and Irish middleweight titles), Paschal Collins (renowned coach & manager) and director Terry McMahon will attend the screening and extended Q&A. So, a must event for any boxing, MMA, or sports fan in general. Screening Friday 18th at 8.30PM.
And if Q&As are your thing but sports are not, KIFF will have the multi-talented Tara Lee joining us for a Q&A after her screening of Schemers. Fresh from winning the Audience Awards at Edinburgh Film Festival. Schemers is one of the British Indie hits of the summer and a favourite of music and film fans alike.
Sticking with music, KIFF will screen Heyday – The Mic Christopher Story, a documentary on the life one of Ireland’s greatest musical sons, who died far too young. In the documentary Christopher finds his body shattered by a road accident. After a miraculous recovery, he is reborn, transformed, and in his final year inspires his friends onto greatness. Heyday screens Sunday 20that 2.30PM at the Killarney Cinema and will be followed by a Q&A with producer Níall Carver.
Programmer Eibh Collins mentioned that the team wanted to make the festival as inclusive as possible and are proud to be hosting several family-friendly features, animation and short film programmes. Including a dialogue-free but beautifully scored animation called MINUSCULE – MANDIBLES FROM FAR AWAY, about an adventurous Ladybug.
A free Autism-Friendly screening of the multi-award winning 30min animated short film, Mind My Mind, which explores how having a brain that is wired differently affects your social life, and particularly your love life. Romantic relationships can be very challenging for people with autism, as they are rife with unwritten rules and expectations.
KIFF also have a treat for the large and loyal community of Polish film fans in Kerry with a special screening of Corpus Christi, Poland’s nomination for Best Foreign Film for the 2020 Academy Awards. A major hit when it played at the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival earlier this year Corpus Christi is the story of a 20-year-old Daniel who experiences a spiritual transformation in a Youth Detention Center. The crime he commits prevents him from applying to the seminary but Daniel has no intention of giving up his dream and upon his release, dressed as a priest he decides to minister a small-town parish. Corpus Christi plays Friday 15th, 8.30PM at Killarney Cinema.
And finally, the festival is excited to share the work from the many talented local filmmakers in their Kerry Focus, including The Kerry Connections shorts programme on Friday 18th from 6.30PM. On Saturday they screen the documentary, Kilimanjaro Mama the story of Kerry woman Louise Quill and her amazing work in her Tanzanian Orphanage. While Seanie Sugrue joins them back from Los Angeles for the screening of his laugh a minute feature film Misty Buttons on Sunday.
To celebrate the festivals 20th birthday there will be a host of FREE films screening in St Mary’s church daily of fan-favourites from 1999, the year of the first Kerry Film Festival and including 20th anniversary screenings of classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and The Matrix.
And all this is without mentioning more than a dozen programmes of the best in new Irish and International Short Films.
Alongside all of these great films, KIFF will present a day of Industry Events on Saturday 19th October in Killarney house. There’s a chance for everyone to get to know each other on the Friday night with a drinks reception & some networking at The The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) is an all-Ireland organisation with a Membership of 1,240 individuals across 14 Chapters of Discipline. Business Networking Event in partnership with Film In Kerry on Friday 18th in the Plaza Hotel. Guests from the world of Filmmaking, alongside leading Kerry business representatives will enjoy an informal networking event to highlight business opportunities for Co Kerry.
On Saturday there are a range of panels and events, including Meeting the Funders panel for filmmakers of every level; TV TALK. In which some of Ireland’s hardest working names in TV to tell audiences how they went from trainees to the top of their field; and an Open Forum designed to open up the discussion to literally everyone. There will be no guest speakers but instead the floor will be opened to all filmmakers to ask questions and swap tips or advice. After all cinema should be always a communal experience?
Rounding off the day, Saturday, the Festivals Award Ceremonies will be held in Social 15 from 9.30PM, join in the celebration and find out who the KIFF 2019 winners are and dance the night away with DJ Softly and his cinematic -jukebox from 10.30.
For details on these screenings and more, check out www.kerryfilmfestival.com