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 International 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 2020, Cork International Film Festival is the only film festival in Ireland to have three awards with Oscar® Accreditation.  Cork International 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

The Cork International Film Festival is Ireland’s largest and first film festival and one of Cork’s most significant and popular annual cultural events. The 65th Edition takes place from 4th – 15th November 2020.

Cork International Film Festival is a local, national and international celebration of cinema, running annually for twelve days in November in Cork and online. Award-winning films from the international film festival circuit, new discoveries and cinema classics are selected by our experienced curatorial team, to be premiered on the big screen in Cork and online via the Festival Digital Platform, available to viewers nationwide

The Festival showcases the latest and best international and Irish features, documentaries and shorts, and includes programmes for schools, families, a focus on mental health, and specialist Industry Days. Join us this November for a feast of Irish and international films, in socially-distanced venues throughout Cork and online from the comfort of your own home. A safe platform to come together, to connect and celebrate Cork’s solidarity, resilience and cultural community.

In 2019 the Festival screened over 300 films. The Festival reached an audience of over 20,000, with further public engagement online via a combined social media following of 33,000, 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), Grand Prix International Short and Grand Prix Documentary Short Award are Academy Award® qualifying, ensuring that the winners in Cork automatically join the Oscars’ longlist.

Cork International Film Festival takes place across key city-centre venues including The Gate Cinema, (Principal Venue Partner) 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, Creative Europe, Cork City Council and Arts Office, Fáilte Ireland, Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, HSE, ESB Energy for Generations Fund, Fundraising Fellowship 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 Director and CEO and Director of Programming, Anna Kopecka.

Investing in Future Audiences for Film

The Cork International Film Festival is the largest film festival in Ireland and one of the Cork’s most significant and popular annual cultural events. The Festival’s audiences increased by 32% from 2018-2019 to over 20,000 people and the Festival will mark its 65th anniversary edition 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.