Ireland’s first and largest film festival, the 64th Cork Film Festival will take place 7th – 17th November 2019.
Festivals are extraordinary beasts – unique collaborations that fuse art, audience and place. They excite, enrage, engage and entertain.
In 1956 our founders were ambitious that the Cork Film Festival “must always be strongly influenced by the company it keeps. The company is good.” The company is still good. The best world cinema for the whole city and its visitors.
The first film festival in Cork was recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Association, one of only five globally to be approved at their 1950 Congress in Cannes. In 2019 Cork Film Festival is one of only 40 festivals worldwide, and the only one in Ireland, to have two awards with Oscar® Accreditation. Cork Film Festival’s spark was ignited, travelling from Cannes to Cork; our influence, nearly 65 years later, reaches from Cork to Hollywood. Our mission is to connect people through great film, lively conversation and a shared cultural experience.
About the Festival
Cork Film Festival is a local, national and international celebration of cinema, running annually in November each year in Cork City. The 63rd edition took place from 9th to 18th November 2018. Award-winning films from the international film festival circuit, new discoveries and cinema classics are selected by our experienced curatorial team to be shown on the big screen in Cork. The Festival showcases the latest and best international and Irish features, documentaries and shorts, and includes programmes for schools, families, a focus on film and mental health (Illuminate) and specialist Industry Days, including Doc Day, cementing the Festival as the destination festival for documentary in Ireland.
Over 80% of the films presented in the Festival are the only opportunity for audiences to see these films on the big screen in Cork and Ireland. In 2018 the Festival screened over 250 films. The Festival reached an audience of over 18,000, with further public engagement online via a combined social media following of 30,000, generating €2.5 million in revenue locally.
The Festival presents nine awards, including Gradam Spiorad na Féile / Spirit of the Festival Award, (presented by The Gate Cinema), Gradam na Féile do Scannáin Faisnéise / Award for Cinematic Documentary, and the Audience Award, (presented by The River Lee). Its awards for Grand Prix Irish Short (presented by RTÉ Supporting the Arts) and Grand Prix International Short are Academy Award® qualifying, ensuring that the winners in Cork automatically join the Oscars’ longlist.
Cork Film Festival takes place across key city-centre venues: The Gate Cinema, (Principal Venue Partner), The Everyman, and Triskel Christchurch, with special presentations in a variety of other city and county locations. The Festival benefits from significant institutional and partnership support. This includes support from principal funder, the Arts Council, Cork City Council and Arts Office, Fáilte Ireland, Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, Culture Ireland and Creative Ireland, together with substantial media partners the national broadcaster RTÉ, (Principal Media Partner), The Irish Examiner, and Red FM.
The Festival is led by Fiona Clark, Festival Producer and CEO, and in 2017, we welcomed Programme Director, Michael Hayden on board, formerly Head of Programming at the Irish Film Institute and Festival Programmer at the BFI London Film Festival.
Investing in Future Audiences for Film
The Cork Film Festival is the largest film festival in Ireland and one of the Cork’s most significant and popular annual cultural events.
The Festival has undergone a period of review and refresh, and this change and evolution continues as the organisation develops to grow sustainably in order to realise our ambitions. Our focus from 2017 – 2020 is to consolidate recent successes and fulfil our three year Strategic Plan, leading to the Festival’s 65th anniversary in 2020.
Culture is central to human development. Film uniquely embeds culture into everyday life and so the Festival enhances the quality of civic life in Cork. As the defining art form of the modern age, film endures because of its relevance, popularity and its democratic nature. Film also changes and evolves. Cork Film Festival provides a space to challenge perceptions, provoke debate and influence film culture in Ireland and beyond. We are a catalyst, bringing people together for a shared experience, activating debate, empathy, anger, understanding, emotion, happiness or sadness, the lifeblood of emotions of a community and a city.
We provide a platform for filmmakers who might not otherwise have an opportunity to show their films in Ireland by helping them build new audiences and creating exposure for their work. We support the development of film, and film literacy, through the exhibition of outstanding work selected from international festivals, distributors, and filmmakers locally and globally.
We enable filmmakers to meet their audience, and a dialogue to happen. This is valuable for all stakeholders – the audience, the wider industry, our partners, and the media. We support Irish filmmakers by platforming and promoting their work, facilitating their professional development opportunities, and through our schools and family programmes, we further invest in and encourage the cinema audience of the future.
The Festival represents this dynamic conversation with our audiences – the filmmakers who make the work, the industry who enable us to share that work, and above all the paying public, from young people exploring the world through film for the first time, to the committed cinephile. All are essential in shaping a programme of fact and fiction that is uniquely available in Cork.
To see our current programes, click here