Aisha, a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland, is floundering in a maze of social services and bureaucracy. Alone and unwilling to sacrifice her dignity to satisfy the demands of the authorities, she finds an ally in Conor, an employee at her residence home, a local young man with a troubled past of his own. Together they struggle to maintain their tender friendship in the face of Aisha’s increasingly dire predicament and her rapidly diminishing options. Starring Letitia Wright and Josh O'Connor.

67th Cork International Film Festival reveals stacked programme for 2022

The 67th Cork International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced Lord David Puttnam as its Patron alongside its full programme for 2022, including Opening Night Gala, Aisha, directed by Frank Berry.

We are honoured to have the endorsement and friendship of David, a true luminary of film and education, to help support our continued development.

Barney Whelan, Chair – CIFF

Lord Puttnam spent 30 years as an independent producer of award-winning films, including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone, and Local Hero. He is the Chair of Atticus Education, an online education company founded in 2012 that delivers audio-visual seminars to students all over the world.

Film can be a great force for good, and film festivals create a unique space for shared experience, to entertain and provoke, to inspire and delight, and to promote thought and action. Cork International Film Festival plays a vital role in the cultural life of Cork, maximising participation for audiences and artists in a shared creative experience. As Patron I am delighted to support the Festival’s continued development and success as it approaches its 70th anniversary in 2025.

Lord Puttnam

The 67th Festival will open with the Irish premiere of Aisha, directed by Frank Berry, on Thursday 10th November at Cork Opera House. Aisha charts the experiences of a young Nigerian woman (Letitia Wright) as she seeks asylum in Ireland. Caught in limbo for years in the Direct Provision system, Aisha develops an unlikely friendship with kind Conor Healy (Josh O’Connor), but their friendship soon looks in jeopardy as Aisha’s future in Ireland comes under threat.

The Festival will present a curated programme of in-venue screenings and events across Cork city and county in The Gate Cinemas (Cork City, Midleton and Mallow), Cork Opera House, The Everyman, Triskel, Sirius Arts Centre Cobh and The Metropole Hotel from Thursday 10th to Sunday 20th November. An online digital programme of film highlights will be available online on from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November. 

The Festival programme comprises:

  • 5 Gala Presentations including Opening, Documentary, Animation, Family and Closing
  • 3 Special Presentations including A Trip to the Moon Cine Concert, 50th Anniversary screening of The Harder They Come, and 1922 Commemoration screening of The Wind That Shakes the Barley
  • 112 Irish and International Fiction and Documentary Features
  • 87 Irish Feature Premieres
  • The Wild Child Retrospective of international and Irish fiction celebrating childhood on film
  • Programme Strands include Culinary Cinema (food and film),  Green Screen (climate action), Guilty Pleasures (cult classics), Illuminate (mental health), and Parallax (artist moving image)
  • Expanded Family, Young People and Schools programme

Speaking about CIFF2022, Festival Director and CEO, Fiona Clark said: 

Five Gala presentations represent the best of Irish and international filmmaking. Opening with the beautifully observed and acted drama Aisha by acclaimed Irish director Frank Berry, premiering on Thursday 10th November at Cork Opera House and Friday 11th November at The Gate. Academy® Award-winning documentarist Laura Poitras’ portrait of American photographer Nan Goldin, All The Beauty and the Bloodshed is this year’s Documentary Gala, direct from winning the Golden Lion Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, and will screen on Friday 18th November at the Eveyman. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed adventure Strange World by director Don Hall is this year’s Animation Gala on Saturday 19th November at The Everyman and on Saturday 20th November the Family Gala is Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, which will be introduced by Irish newcomer Alisha Weir, who plays Matilda in the film. The Festival concludes on Sunday 20th November with a Closing Gala presentation of Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes’ powerful and poignant film Empire of Light, which will follow the announcement of the CIFF2022 Features Awards.

Fiona Clark, Festival Director and CEO – CIFF

Special Presentations include a Cine Concert in the Triskel on Saturday 12th November. Award-winning Cork composers Irene Buckley and Linda Buckley return to the Festival with a newly commissioned score for George Méliès’ seminal short film A Trip to the Moon. This new score was composed in collaboration with, and will be performed by, students from Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork. The event will be accompanied by a selection of classic short films from early cinema. A further Special Presentation is the 50th Anniversary screening of the uncompromising cult classic Jamaican film, director Perry Henzell’s 1972 debut The Harder They Come on Friday 11th November at The Gate. The film is an unflinching tale of Ivan (reggae icon Jimmy Cliff) as the innocent country boy corrupted by the harsh brutality of Kingston life and features a soundtrack which introduced the world to reggae music long before many had heard of Bob Marley. The screening will be followed by a Jamaican-inspired after-party at Wavelength at Cyprus Avenue. 

We are delighted to be presenting a full Festival over eleven days in cinema with premieres of international and new Irish feature films, which we are  excited to share with Cork audiences. The programme features drama, history, horror and fascinating personal portraits including new psychological thriller by Vivarium director, Lorcan Finnegan, Nocebo; a dark comedy from Northern Ireland, Ballywalter by Prasanna Puwanarajah, about an unlikely friendship and the power of humour in difficult times, starring Patrick Kielty and Seána Kerslake;  ; and Stephen Halls’ horror period drama The Gates that was shot in Cork Gaol. Cork filmmakers will be represented by visual artist Natasha Bourke and her feature debut Concrete Keys that is also part of our extensive artist moving image programme and experimental new strand Parallax. 2022 is a year rich for Irish documentary features and we are proud to showcase three of them in Cork, two portraits of important artists, Adrian Sibley’s fascinating exploration of one of the most remarkable actors Ireland has ever produced with  The Ghost of Richard Harris, and Paul Muldoon: A Life In Lyrics by Alan Gilsenan, featuring poetic interludes and special musical performances, as well as Game of Truth (Ar Lorg Na Fírinne), an investigative documentary by Fabienne Lips-Dumas.”

Anna Kopecká, Director of Programming – CIFF

The International fiction programme features a careful selection of 29 of the best and freshest international films by both well-known directors and exciting newcomers, all screened in Irish premiere. The Blue Caftan, a beautifully tender tale from Morocco by Maryam Touzani, won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival; exceptional Ukrainian cinema is represented by How Is Katia? by Christina Tynkevych which won the Special Jury Prize and Best Actress award for Anastasia Karpenko at the Locarno Film Festival; the streets of Bucharest, action and Ceausescu’s secret police feature in Alexandru Belc’s Metronom which was the winner of Un Certain Regard, Best Director prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival; In Robe Of Gems the paths of three women collide in Natalia López Gallardo‘s astonishing directorial debut which won the Silver Bear Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2022; stylish crime drama unfolds in Lola Quivorons film Rodeo 23; the two New York Times reporters who together exposed sexual assaults in Hollywood and helped propel the #MeToo movement are at the centre of She Said by Maria Schrader, and co-directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret offers a gripping drama in The Worst Ones (LES PIRES) which won the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2022.


The Wild Child Retrospective of international and Irish fiction brings a special focus to wild, free, unusual, and unexpected portraits of children and childhood in 8 selected titles including Neil Jordan’s The Butcher Boy a darkly entertaining adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s novel; In The Childhood Of A Leader Brady Corbet’s directorial debut about the childhood years of a future dictator is a cinematic triumph with an outstanding cast; The double bill of The Mischief Makers (Les Mistons) and Zero For Conduct by François Truffaut showcases one of France’s greatest directors; a monochrome masterpiece The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band – Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) by Michael Haneke, Winner, the Palm d’Or in Cannes and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Movie; Alice Rohrwacher’s enchanting The Wonders (Le Meraviglie), Winner, The Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival; we follow the determination of a young girl in Saudi Arabia to reach her dream in Wadjda by Haifaa Al-Mansoor; and War Of The Buttons by John Roberts, filmed across West Cork, is a timeless tale of two rival gangs of kids that warmly captures the treasures and trials of childhood, produced by CIFF Patron, David Puttnam. 

International documentary shines in a meticulously curated programme of 18 international non-fiction films, encompassing the spectrum of factual storytelling from around the world including a film presented in the first person by filmmaker Abigail Disney, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales which boldly confronts the inherent inequities deeply rooted in US society; In Cesária Évora Ana Sofia Fonseca tells the powerful story of the world-renowned Barefoot Diva from Cabo Verde; Children of the Mist by director Diem Ha Le is the utterly riveting story about the life of a teenage girl in a North Vietnamese mountain village which won the Award for Best Directing at IDFA 2021; Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s film Midwives is an intimate and moving window into war-torn Myanmar through the work of two midwives from across the religious divide, and Winner World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival 2022; Ukrainian cinematic maestro Sergei Loznitsa adapts the work of W.G. Sebald in The Natural History of Destruction; Thomas von Steinaeckers film Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer celebrates the life and work of infamous, wonderful, and terrible, master of fiction and documentary cinema; The Wild One by Tessa Louise-Salomé brings us an illuminating portrait of theatre director and filmmaker Jack Garfei;, and the sublime film Leonor Will Never Die by Martika Ramirez Escoba, which won the Sundance Film Festival 2022, Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit.

Programme strands for CIFF2022 have been curated to cater for all palates and passions and include:

Culinary Cinema: Where better to enjoy a culinary film than Ireland’s culinary capital? This years offerings include a darkly delicious destination thriller The Menu, with  an outstanding ensemble cast led by a commanding Ralph Fiennes and street-wise Anya Taylor-Joy, skillfully directed by Mark Mylod, accompanied by a secret destination supper event; a mouth-watering dive into the world of wines in Rasmus Dinesen’s Terroir to Table,followed by a wine tasting event with wines featured in the film; and a warm hug in a hot bowl of ramen in Japanese documentary, Come Back Anytime, directed by John Daschbach, with a ramen pop-up created by head chef Mike McGrath from Cork’s own master of Japanese cuisine, Taskashi Myiazaki.  

Green Screen: Spotlighting the urgent issues of climate change, the environment and sustainability, and exploring solutions and promoting actions to deliver positive change. A documentary about the fashion industry’s environmental and social impact, and the designer who is doing something to change it is the focus in Fashion Reimagined by Becky Hutner, presented in partnership with Future Planet, with a panel discussion with special guests following this screening; Lena Karbe’s Black Mambas turns the camera on South Africa’s all female anti-poaching unit, which is all that stands between preservation and extinction for many endangered animals; Into The Ice, by Lars Henrik Ostenfeld is a spectacular cinematic journey into the Greenland ice sheets with three of the world’s leading climate scientists; and Matter Out Of Place, by Nikolaus Geyrhalter is a sober, quiet yet unsettling documentary study on the waste that we humans deposit everywhere, even in the most remote areas of the planet. 

Illuminate: a programme that focuses on the intersection of film and mental health, exploring well-being and encouraging a dialogue inspired by the films. 

Guilty Pleasures: This strand includes undead cowboys, conjoined twins, swords and sandals, face-flipping action and the golden age of rock ’n’ roll!  Rediscover Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case, a staple of the 1980s New York midnight movie scene; Giulio Questi’s controversial spaghetti western Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! which caused outrage when it appeared in 1967; FACE/OFF John Woo’s story of stolen identities which features action stars John Travolta and Nicolas Cage; the ‘swords and sandals’ classic Hercules featuring ex-hulk Lou Ferrigno from cult director Luigi Cozzi (Starcrash); live-action comedy The Girl Can’t Help It directed by legendary animator Frank Tashlin, starring Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield, bursting with 1950s rock ‘n’ roll legends; and Yeelen, a mythical story about a young man with special powers searching for help in the fight against his father, which was the opening film at CIFF in 1987. 

Parallax: A programming strand that gives a renewed focus to the Festival’s long-running interest in artist film and experimental work.  

The Wind that Shakes the Barley
The Wind that Shakes the Barley

The Special Presentation 1922 commemoration event is Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley supported by Cork City Council, and Cork-themed treasures from collections in the IFI Irish Film Archive. The Festival’s popular Family and Schools’ programme includes a delightful tale of a fire-eating girl in Dragon Princess, and the ever-popular Family Friendly Shorts, both with the addition of sensory-friendly screenings. Seven films specially selected for schools will be available in Cork, Midleton and mallow, and CIFF’s unique youth film and mental health programme, Intinn, returns to Cork in cinema and is available online, for free.

The city-wide Cork Film Trail returns presented in collaboration with the Irish Costume Archive Project and filmmakers at all stages of their careers will be able to avail of in-person and online training and development sessions through the Industry Days – First Take, Doc Day Live and Doc Day Online. The Festival will present 10 Awards, including three that are Oscar®-qualifying, the Grand Prix Irish Short Award, Grand Prix International Short Award, and the Grand Prix Documentary Short Award, alongside features awards the Spirit of the Festival Award, presented by The Gate Cinemas, Award for Cinematic Documentary, and the Youth Jury Award.

View the full programme from 12th October. All film details and tickets are now on sale at or via the MyCIFF App