Cork International Film Festival Statement on COVID 19

18th March 2020

Cork International Film Festival has been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and we are cognisant of the advice of the Government and the HSE in evaluating our daily work practices, hygiene practices and to take measures to protect our staff, filmmakers and audiences. 

To support our community in staying at home where possible and undertaking social distancing advice, the CIFF team will have daily film recommendations on our social platforms which we invite you to share in and enjoy. We’re delighted to work with our Principal Media Partner, RTÉ, to present a ‘Best of Fest’ selection of CFF2019 Irish short films by emerging directors on the RTÉ Player. We have also launched a new catalogue of Irish and international short films from the CFF2019 programme onto the FREE AVA EU streaming platform which Cork library card holders can use to view films from Cork International Film Festival 2018 and 2019 editions, as well as a feast of films from other partner European film festivals, available now on the new Video On Demand service

The Festival recognises the significant impact of the virus on the film industry and cultural ecosystem in which the Festival is embedded, with a number of our partner film festivals throughout the world and colleagues here in Cork having to make very difficult but necessary decisions to cancel or postpone their Festivals, events, release dates and production schedules.

We wish to reassure our community of filmmakers, film professionals, distributors, business supporters and our audiences that we are proceeding with our plans to present the 65th edition of the Festival this November 5th – 15th as scheduled. For filmmakers it is business as usual for submissions, which we continue to accept and review via our submissions platform FilmFreeway for CIFF2020.

We are taking every necessary precaution for the health and wellbeing of our team and audiences during this time of unprecedented change, and reviewing our practices regularly, based on the most recent advice. Such measures include remote working practices and the postponement of some of our Intinn youth film and mental health outreach programme, due to take place in April 2020.

As our colleagues in Belfast Film Festival recently said “When people self isolate at home, what is one of the things they’ll do? They’ll watch films. Classic movies and new work.  Film isn’t a fair weather friend.” We too believe that film can play an important role in the weeks to come – film lifts our spirits, offers us a lens on the world, and if we can’t share that collectively in cinemas right now, then from the comfort of our homes gives us a way of interacting with each other safely.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and we look forward to presenting Ireland’s first and largest film festival in Cork this November.

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