CIFF Newsletter – What’s On in May 2021


As the country takes its first steps in the recovery phase of the pandemic, we offer bite-sized cinematic gems and thought-provoking features to savour and inspire during the month of May.

Our next CIFF Film Club screening, ‘Belly of the Beast’ takes place on Tuesday 18th May, available to watch until Friday 21st May. Make sure to book your ticket fast, you won’t want to miss this eye-opening documentary which you can watch at your leisure, from the comfort of home, whilst we patiently wait for cinemas to reopen.

For fans of short films, we have two programmes to offer in which you can immerse yourself this month. A fantastic selection of CIFF2020 Irish short films will be presented at this year’s First Cut! Youth Film Festival on Friday 7th May. And, giving you another chance to see some brilliant short films that screened at CIFF2020, we’ve teamed up with RTÉ to present a special selection of Irish shorts on the RTÉ Player throughout May.

On Sunday 9th May, the EUNIC Ireland Network will be presenting a free online screening of its 2020 Short Shorts from Europe programme to celebrate Europe Day, giving you another chance to see Paddy McConnell’s ‘The Last Organist’ from CIFF2019 as part of the excellent line-up. Our unique Intinn Youth Film and Mental Health Programme has kicked off, offering students and teachers the opportunity to participate in a significant new Research Study on young people’s wellbeing conducted by our partner UCC.

Finally, a quick reminder that our regular deadline for film submissions to CIFF2021 is fast approaching. Find out more below.

CIFF2021 Film Club – ‘Belly of the Beast’

Belly of the Beast‘ + Q&A

Powerful exposé of human rights abuses in California women’s prisons

Join us on Tuesday May 18th at 7pm for our fourth monthly CIFF Film Club event, the jaw-dropping documentary ‘Belly of the Beast‘ from award-winning director Erika Cohn. Be the first to see inspirational and outstanding new Irish and international features and documentaries as part of CIFF Film Club 2021, all from the comfort of home. Share your thoughts on the film on social media too, using #CIFFFilmClub.

When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilisations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. This shocking legal drama captured over seven years features extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, demanding attention to a shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.

Followed by a post-screening Q&A with director Erika Cohn.

‘Belly of the Beast’ . . . is at once a thrilling legal drama and heartbreaking depiction of devastating human rights violations that you can’t imagine happening in the 21st century.” LA Times

Tuesday 18th May 7pm
Join the conversation and let us know what you think #CIFFFilmClub

Book Now

Individual screening €8.50
Festival Friends receive a 20% discount
Pass Holders must book their free ticket before the screening

CIFF2021 Film Club Next Month: ‘Kontora’

Japanese tale of a schoolgirl’s excavation of her family’s buried secrets
After her grandfather dies, Sora retraces the diary written by him during World War II and begins to search for a mysterious treasure buried in the local woods. Meanwhile, a mute backwards-walking homeless man appears in the town and may be the catalyst to repairing the broken relationship between Sora and her father.

Winner: Grand Prix Best Film Award at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2019

“…Kontora delivers high-gloss monochrome visuals, strong performances and a layered narrative that wavers between past and present, realism and magical realism, straight family drama and poetic allegory.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday 15th June, 7pm
Join the conversation and let us know what you think #CIFFFilmClub

Book Now

Individual screening €8.50
Festival Friends receive a 20% discount
Pass Holders must book their free ticket before the screening

CIFF2020 Shorts Programme on RTÉ Player

Throughout the month of May, immerse yourself in a programme of Irish shorts from Cork International Film Festival 2020 on the RTÉ Player

We are delighted to present a curated selection of Irish short films from CIFF2020 free on the RTÉ Player. Enjoy six unique stories from talented filmmakers that tell of familial love, escaping grief, an Irish pub on Christmas Eve, a disastrous 43rd birthday party, the aftermath of an assault and a reflection on humanity’s impact on nature. Proudly supported by RTÉ.

In the aftermath of a violent assault, 20-something Danny struggles to accept the full extent of his injuries.
Winner, Grand Prix Irish Short – Cork International Film Festival 2020

Beset by grief, a man builds himself the means to escape the pain of his existence. Winner, Best Cork Short – Cork International Film Festival 2020.

‘The Appointment’
A young man must find a way to connect with his ailing mother.

‘A Christmas Drop’
An Irish pub. Christmas Eve. Phenomenal company.

A reflection upon humanity’s ignorance of its destructive nature.

‘Birthday Girl’
A single mother’s 43rd birthday party ends in disaster when her lover unexpectedly arrives and clashes with her overprotective son.

Watch Now

Europe Day – EUNIC 2020 Short Shorts from Europe Programme 

You will have another chance to watch ‘The Last Organist’, the wonderful short film from Paddy McConnell which was presented at Cork International Film Festival in 2019, as part of a free screening of the 2020 Short Shorts from Europe programme by EUNIC Ireland Network (European Union National Institutes for Culture) to celebrate Europe Day on Sunday, May 9th.
Featuring action, animation and drama from contemporary, cutting-edge filmmakers, the Short Shorts are a selection of European short films from the home countries of eight members of EUNIC Ireland – Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain and the UK. As well as Cork International Film Festival, short films from the IFI and Limerick School of Art and Design will also be part of the selection.

Sunday 9th May, 12pm (available until 12th May)

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CIFF Shorts @ First Cut! Youth Film Festival

Since 2019, we have been delighted to partner with First Cut! Youth Film Festival through the awarding of the Cork International Film Festival Award for Best First Cut Film, our specially curated selection of CIFF shorts, and now as their proud Digital Partner and digital platform provider. Our free programme of inspiring and entertaining CIFF2020 shorts screens at First Cut! Youth Film Festival on tonight, Friday 7th May:

All Square Boi wants is his cuppa and he’s willing to face insanity for it.

Who wins a musical argument?

Two lifelong friends in a small rural town find themselves at odds for the first time as their lifestyles begin to move in opposite directions.

‘Loving Ava’
Confusion, jealousy and betrayal are brought out in a friendship between two young girls when one of them begins to take topless photos on a Polaroid camera.


‘Post Love’
Three elderly women from the West of Ireland rob post offices to break free from their nursing homes.

‘Hanging Over the Atlantic’
Dursey Island is linked to the mainland by a single cable car. This lifeline allows its people to call it home.

Book Your Free Ticket

CIFF2021 Submissions

Our Regular Deadline to submit your short films, feature films and documentaries for consideration for CIFF2021 fast approaches.

Get your films in before Friday 21st May and avail of the discounted submission fee.

We look forward to seeing all of your work! More info can be found here.

Intinn Youth Film and Mental Health Programme + UCC Research Study

We are currently presenting our unique Intinn Youth Film and Mental Health Programme to over 1,000 Transition Year and Senior Cycle students online and nationwide. This year’s edition has been expanded to include a vital new Research Study conducted by our partners UCC. Supported by Rethink Ireland and ESB Energy for Generations Fund.

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