CIFF March Newsletter 2021

CIFF March Newsletter 2021


March is here already and Cork International Film Festival has an incredible line-up of events to look forward to this month. The CIFF Film Club season kicked off in February with the sold out award-winning Irish black comedy ‘Redemption of a Rogue’ and continues in March with the moving documentary, ‘Wake Up on Mars’ on Tuesday, March 23rd.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this year we will be screening a specially curated themed programme of Irish Shorts, (see below for more information).

We are thrilled to have been shortlisted in three categories for the 2021 Business to Arts Awards which take place on Wednesday, April 21st. We are also delighted to have been selected for the Arts Council’s flagship RAISE Accelerate 2021 programme. And we’re recruiting – read on for more information!

CIFF2021 Early Bird Submissions Deadline

Our Early Bird Submissions Deadline is fast approaching for the 66th Cork International Film Festival.

Be sure to get your short and feature film submissions in by March 12th to avail of the discounted rate.

For more information on submitting, visit

Submit via Filmfreeway

CIFF2021 Film Club – ‘Wake Up on Mars’

Our CIFF Film Club 2021 season continues this month with a screening of ‘Wake Up on Mars‘ on Tuesday, March 23rd at 7pm, our second film in this new season of five online screenings, presented on the third Tuesday of each month. Each event includes exclusive filmmaker introductions and Q&As. Join our Film Club for the latest and best Irish and international fiction and documentaries from the comfort of your homes.

Our second CIFF Film Club event on Tuesday, March 23rd, is ‘Wake Up on Mars‘ from director Dea Gjinovci. Following its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, this debut feature-length documentary from Gjinovci follows Furkan, a Roma boy living in Sweden who dreams of building a spaceship to escape the reality of his family’s pending asylum request, and the mysterious coma-like illness that has befallen his siblings.

Furkan’s sisters, Ibadeta and Djeneta have been in a coma-like state for several years, victims of what has been named the ‘resignation syndrome’. Traumatised by the thought of being sent back to their homeland Kosovo, their minds and bodies have suddenly gone to sleep. In central Sweden, his family attempts to rebuild a normal life but so far their asylum applications have been refused one after the other. Furkan tries to escape his reality by building his own spaceship to fulfil his dream: to go live on Mars and save his two sisters. At the core of this film lies this one question: “What happens to human beings, and in particular children, when all hope is gone?”

Don’t miss your chance to see this magical and heart-breaking documentary.

(If you have already bought a Season Pass, please book in for the individual events in order to watch)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 7pm

Book Ticket

Next Month – ‘Running to the Sky’

Running to the Sky

Tickets are now on sale for our April edition of the CIFF2021 Film Club, which will be a screening of Mirlan Abdykalykov’s ‘Running to the Sky‘ on Tuesday 20 April, 7pm.

Twelve-year-old Jekshen, an exceptional runner, lives in a beautiful mountain village in Kyrgyzstan. His parents are divorced, and life with his alcoholic father is difficult. Lonely Jekshen only has his girlfriend from school and his father’s friends for support. They encourage him to take part in a big race—a race that could change his life for the better.

“Abdykalykov’s portrait of childhood on the cusp of adolescence is marked by a generosity of spirit and a sharp understanding of human nature” Screen Daily

(If you have already bought a Season Pass, please book in for the individual events in order to watch)

Tuesday, April 20th, 7pm

Book Ticket

Cork St Patrick’s Festival Programme

This year, to celebrate our national holiday, Cork International Film Festival is delighted to partner with Cork City Council to present a special St. Patrick’s Festival programme of Irish film shorts. There may be no parade again this year however fans of Irish culture can still enjoy a free selection of film treats from us as part of Cork City Council’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival, available to watch on our Digital Platform from Saturday 13th to Wednesday 17th March.

From heart-warming stories of a mother’s love to an Irish dancing drama, there will be something to delight and entertain you in the comfort of your own home. The programme will also be followed by a Q&A with some of the filmmakers.
When he manages to destroy the town’s beloved Virgin Mary statue, Charlie O’Connor does the only thing he can do: he frames his older brother.
Set in 1978, Pat tells the story of a lonely music lover who keeps in touch with her son in New York through the only phone box in the village.
The Shift
It’s the first disco of the Gaeltacht, and one thirsty fifteen-year-old is determined to get the shift against all odds.
On the day of a regional Irish dancing competition, an Irish couple struggles to come to terms with their child’s gender identity.
A ‘Back To The Future’-obsessed Traveller boy strives to finish building his own DeLorean replica before his family are evicted from their halting site.
Hannah Cohen can’t wait to make her Holy Communion. The only problem is she’s Jewish! A heart-warming tale about a little girl and the universal desire to fit in.
Motion Sickness is a dance film exploring ideas of need, rejection and escape. The film is a collaboration between award-winning choreographer Jessica Kennedy and award-winning filmmaker John McIlduff.
Book your free ticket now to this special St. Patrick’s Festival programme, available to watch any time from 9am on Saturday 13th March to 12 midnight on Wednesday 17th March 2021.

Capacity is limited, booking essential to view.

Celebrating International Women’s Day Year Round

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we spotlight some of our amazing CIFF Shorts directed by incredibly talented female directors, available all year-round on the CIFF Library platform for free to Cork City, Mallow and Midleton Library Card Holders.

Loving Ava‘, dir. Kate Daly

‘Loving Ava’ reveals the intense nature of female friendship and unrequited love.

Fisherman‘, dir. Narae Kim, Lewis Barfoot

‘Fisherman’ follows a young girl’s mission to discover her ancestor’s land.

The Presence of Absence‘, dir. Laura Conlon

Coinciding with her growing sense of isolation, Bridget’s encounter with an estranged aunt sends her on a quest to find the father she’s never known.

No Place‘, dir. Laura Kavanagh

Angela and her two kids find themselves on the verge of homelessness. An increasingly desperate situation leads Angela to commit an uncharacteristic act, placing the family’s future in jeopardy.

Kelly‘, dir. Solène Guichard

A heart-warming story that explores the themes of sisterhood and gender.
Mother‘, dir. Natasha Waugh
There is no replacement for a mother’s love.


CIFF is thrilled to have been shortlisted in three categories for the 2021 Business to Arts Awards, which recognise outstanding examples of artists, arts organisations and businesses that work together in areas such as sponsorship, commissioning, staff training and events, CSR initiatives, philanthropy and community engagement.

ESB Energy for Generations Fund and Cork International Film Festival have been shortlisted in the Best Small Sponsorship and Best Use of Creativity in the Community, supported by Irish Life categories along with partners Creative Ireland, Rethink Ireland and UCC School of Nursing and Midwifery for our Illuminate and Intinn film and mental health programmes.

CIFF has also been shortlisted for the Judges’ Special Recognition Award supported by Accenture for our partnerships with The Gate Cinemas, ESB Energy for Generations Fund, Creative Ireland, Rethink Ireland and UCC School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Our sincere thanks to Business To Arts and to our partners. The awards will be broadcast online at 5pm on Wednesday April 21st from the GPO. RSVP here to receive access details to watch this year’s ceremony.

Cork International Film Festival is delighted to have been selected for the flagship RAISE Accelerate programme 2021, having been a part of the RAISE Tier 2 programme in 2020.

The Arts Council’s RAISE programme is focused on growing private investment to the arts in Ireland by embedding a culture of sustainable philanthropy and private investment across participating organisations. As part of the RAISE Accelerate programme, CIFF will receive access to a range of supports, including bespoke workshops and one-to-one mentoring.

Thanks to this fantastic support from the Arts Council and the RAISE Accelerate programme, CIFF is now recruiting an experienced, dynamic Development Manager to join its team. Read on below for more information!

New Opportunity: Development Manager

Cork International Film Festival is now recruiting an experienced, dynamic Development Manager to join its team.

The Development Manager will be responsible for growing, broadening and sustaining revenue to support the strategic ambitions of Cork International Film Festival. They will be a confident communicator with excellent networking and relationship management skills and have experience delivering significant corporate partnerships and engaging with high value individual donors.

If you’re an ambitious, creative, forward-thinker with excellent relationship building skills, proven fundraising skills, a passion for film, and a flair for thinking outside the box, this could be the role for you!

Please email for the full job description, candidate information pack, and application details for this role. Please use the job title and name of the organisation you’re interested in as the subject of your email.

Closing Date: 3pm on Monday, 29th March

International Film Festivals

This month, our Festival Programmers were in Berlin – virtually, that is.

The 71st Berlin International Film Festival kicked off on Monday 1st March and continued until Friday 5th. Our programmers were busy attending Berlinale’s European Film Market, viewing some of Europe’s best and brightest international fictions and documentaries.

Our friends at Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival have kicked off their 2021 edition, taking place online with a packed schedule of screenings and events until Sunday March 14th. We wish them the best of luck!

Festival Team

We’re delighted to introduce new team member, Deirdre O’Reilly, who joins us  as Marketing and Communications Manager. Deirdre is an experienced marketing and communications specialist, having held roles at the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, the Irish Film Institute, RTÉ, and The Business Post.

Deirdre will oversee all the Festival’s publicity and communications, digital marketing, audience engagement and media partnerships. Welcome Deirdre!