My Weekend: A movie addict... I'm happy at home watching cinematic gems

Max Le Cain, First Cut! Youth Film Festival head programmer talks to us about the upcoming festival, his love of film and his favourite places for pizza and coffee
My Weekend: A movie addict... I'm happy at home watching cinematic gems
Max Le Cain

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m Head Programmer with First Cut! Youth Film Festival, an annual event dedicated to showcasing new films by young filmmakers.

It takes place in Youghal and runs over four days from March 6 to March 9. The festival gives filmmakers between the ages of 12 and 24 a platform for screening their short films, as well as bringing them inspiring presentations from industry professionals such as Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey and The Young Offenders creator Peter Foott.

My job is to select the short films that we screen from the hundreds of local, national and international entries we receive. It’s a fun task as the films that are submitted are often full of surprises, it’s also challenging as there are always tough decisions to be made in order to whittle it down to the final selection.

The festival is now in its tenth year, I’m at my busiest right now lining up our final programme.

I also work throughout the year with ‘Cork Young Filmmakers’ in providing schools and youth groups throughout Cork County with filmmaking workshops. And in a parallel universe of my own creation, I’m an experimental filmmaker and artist.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

As a movie addict who enjoys seeking out the weird and obscure corners of film history, I’m happiest at home watching some strange newly discovered cinematic gem.

Lie ins or up with the lark — which is it for you?

That preference changes with the seasons. At this time of year, it’s hibernation all the way.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Working through weekends is not unusual. I work inconsistent hours which fluctuate depending on the workload.

First Cut Youth Festival runs March 6 to 9.
First Cut Youth Festival runs March 6 to 9.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Lisbon is top of the list of places I’d like to visit. And travel is always more fun with friends.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

The Beara Peninsula. I have family there and it’s a wonderful spot to escape to and allow the natural beauty of the coastline to refresh the jaded senses.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes, some weekends. I also enjoy solitude and my private headspace sometimes.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

My obsession with film is fairly predominant, although I also enjoy reading, listening to music, good food and going for walks.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Being entertained. I’m an appreciative guest and my conscience would not allow me to inflict my cooking on any other living being.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork —where are your go-to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Cork is a marvellous place for coffee. My favourite spot is the shady backroom space in the French Church St branch of Coffee Roasters. It stimulates the imagination, sometimes in agreeably bizarre ways.

As for eating out, there are so many great places but if I had to pick one, it’d be Pompeii Pizzas at The Franciscan Well. I have a great fondness for pizza and theirs is the best in town.

There are also some great eateries in Youghal where our festival is held and many of the businesses support First Cut as sponsors, so when I am in town I like to support them as well.

Sunday night comes around too fast — how do you normally spend it?

Ideally sleeping.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

That varies, but it always feels too early.

MORE ABOUT THE FIRST CUT! YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL

Day One (Wednesday March 6):

The event will open with screenings of animated films created by more than 200 children from seven local primary schools.

This will be followed with a presentation on the art of animation and a much-anticipated screening of the academy award nominated animated short The Breadwinner, directed by Nora Twomey of Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.

Day two and three (Thursday
and Friday March 7 and 8):

On Thursday the programme will screen a selection of the best short films submitted through the Open Call. These young people are from youth groups and secondary schools throughout Ireland.

Friday’s programme will showcase short films made by secondary school students involved in the Cork Young Filmakers Project in the Mall Art’s Centre.

On Thursday evening a family Animation screening will take place. It is free and as seating is limited tickets can be booked in advance on a first come basis. This will take place on the big screen of the Regal Cinema and is a highlight of the festival for our younger audiences. It promises to be a great night out for local families.

Day four (Saturday March 9):

Saturdays exciting all-day programme is free and open to the public.

Screenings of the selected national and international Open Call entries will take place in both the Mall Arts Centre and the Regal Cinema. The general public, alongside the filmmakers, are invited to attend this day of the festival where they will see a wonderful range of inspiring shorts by filmmakers up to age 24.

  • For more see www.firstcutfilmfestival.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or twitter.

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