Introduction

Cork International Film Festival’s mission is to present Ireland’s most exciting, diverse, and ambitious annual film festival, connecting and stimulating audiences and artists through a carefully curated selection of the best films, to create a unique shared cultural experience, rooted in Cork, open to the world.

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 2021, Cork International Film Festival is one of a handful of film festivals in Ireland to host three awards with Oscar® accreditation. Cork International Film Festival’s spark was ignited, travelling from Cannes to Cork; our influence, nearly 66 years later, reaches from Cork to Hollywood.

About the Festival

Cork International Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival and one of Cork’s most significant and popular annual cultural events. The 66th edition took place in cinema in Cork city and county and online nationwide from 5th to 21st November 2021.

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

The Festival presents 11 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 two Audience Awards (for features and shorts). Its awards for Grand Prix Irish Short (presented by RTÉ Supporting the Arts), Grand Prix International Short and Grand Prix Documentary Short Award are Academy Award® qualifying, ensuring that the winners in Cork automatically join the Oscars®’ long-list.

The Festival is proudly supported by principal funder the Arts Council, along with Cork City Council, Creative Europe MEDIA, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, BAI, Bank of Ireland Arts Fund, Culture Ireland, ESB Energy for Generations Fund and HSE. Media Partners are RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Irish Examiner and Red FM.

The Festival is led by Fiona Clark, Festival Director and CEO and Anna Kopecká, Director of Programming, reporting to the Board.

Would you like more information about the Festival’s history? Check out Cork International Film Festival’s unique digital archive, a treasure trove of precious materials tracking the history of modern film and Cork, amassed over 66 years, which has been developed in partnership with the Department of Digital Humanities at University College Cork.

Vision


Cork International Film Festival is at the forefront of Ireland’s film culture. By curating and presenting a programme of exceptional films, our vision is for a film festival recognised and respected around the world for its record of launching and nurturing the careers of the filmmakers of tomorrow. We celebrate award-winning films alongside emerging talent, providing a unique festival experience in Ireland, delivering a depth of engagement for audiences through the medium of film in all its diverse forms, and the opportunity to see these films first in Cork.

We champion the power of film to challenge and delight. With a rich legacy and history as Ireland’s first film festival, at 66 years young, we will continue to be the festival that is not afraid to change, disrupt and adapt. Our ambition is to be the festival of choice in Ireland for filmmakers to premiere their films, continually creating an outstanding annual festival of the latest and best local, national and international cinema for artists and audiences alike.

Artistic Policy


Cork International Film Festival plays a vital and catalytic role in presenting, supporting and celebrating film. We believe that cinema is an art form and an industry; and our festival creates a dynamic space for audiences and filmmakers to participate in a compelling and transformative creative experience.

In our 66 years we have been a launchpad for countless careers, in a unique Festival experience that creates genuine connection between the audience and makers – impossible to define, but once experienced, impossible to forget.

Our programme includes, feature fiction films, documentaries, shorts, and hybrid approaches that blur the distinctions between documentary and fiction and push against the constraints of genre.

Our dedicated and experienced programming team is searching tirelessly for the best new films to share with our audience in carefully crafted and curated programmes. We take pride in presenting the many faces of cinema, including those considered niche, from genre films, documentaries, experimental cinema to Artist’s Moving Image. We create thematic strands such as film and mental health, multidisciplinary work, women in film, and more.

Our programmes for families, children and young audiences are designed to encourage and unleash creativity, developing their tastes and knowledge of the art form, and the joy of the shared cinematic experience.

Cinema as a sector is represented at our Industry Days, specifically designed to widen the door for students and emerging filmmakers. We welcome filmmakers from Ireland and all over the world to offer context to the cinematic experience, sharing their insights with audiences and simultaneously enriching Cork’s cultural life. Our aim is to support diversity in every aspect, and to promote both Irish cinema and the Irish film sector on an international level through our festival network, and to our local audiences through a year-round calendar of engaging activity.

Film plays a uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences, allowing us to empathise with the experiences of others.

Strategic Ambitions


Art:

Our ambition is to curate the most compelling programme, encouraging our audience to try new things, and to provide the platform for successful careers to launch.

Audience:

Our ambition is to grow the breadth of the audience and their depth of engagement in our programmes, and in film as an artform.

Resources:

Our ambition is to sustainably grow the Festival, build capacity, develop our skill-base, and increase our family of funders, investors and partners, to broaden sources of income in order to further feed and facilitate our ambitions to deliver this plan.

CIFF – The Promise of our Name


Cork

We enhance the city, activating Cork’s dynamism, innovation and legendary friendliness, with our unique cultural offering and 66 years of legacy.

International

We bring the world to Cork, and showcase Cork internationally, enabling audiences to discover diverse cultures and stories.

Film

We champion filmmakers and filmmaking, supporting artists who push creative boundaries in a diverse range of film forms. Great careers start in Cork.

Festival

We create a unique festive atmosphere, enabling our audience to connect through collective experience. A crucible and memorable meeting point.

Cork International Film Festival – Discover film, reimagine the world