Plenty to see and do... and lots of people to meet at IndieCork film festival

Úna Feely is co-director of IndieCork which gets underway on October 2. Here she talks about her life, her loves and the upcoming festival
Plenty to see and do... and lots of people to meet at IndieCork film festival

Úna Feely, co-founder of IndieCork festival. Picture: Darragh Kane

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m originally from Kildare but in Cork city for 30 plus years.

At this time of the year, I’m busily preparing for IndieCork Festival which this year celebrates its 10th birthday. It’s a big occasion for a festival that started out small, and that’s gone from strength to strength. This will be our biggest festival yet. It is run by volunteers, and owned by member shareholders, something pretty unique in the arts.

This year, there’s quite a big programme, and we have a lot of interesting guests coming, so there’s plenty to see and do, and lots of people to meet.

All our screenings are at The Gate Cinema, our partner venue, and then this year’s festival club, courtesy of Blacknight, is at The Roundy. Lots to do!

Where were you born?

In the County of Carlow.

Where do you live?

I live right in Cork City Centre. It’s a great place to live, a real community. We have great neighbours.


My husband Tony, and my family in Kildare. My mother, three sisters and my brother.

Best female friend?

As we frequently remind each other on cards, Mags is my best female friend. We go way back to the dark ages of college in Galway, and we survived long enough to say we know each other over thirty years.

Person you most admire?

You can only admire Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his steadfast leadership right now.

Person who most irritates you?

Irritation doesn’t cover Vladimire Putin, but let’s mention him here.

Spendthrift or saver?

I just take money out of my pockets until it isn’t there anymore, not a saver!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Brittany is our go-to holiday place every other year. Taking the ferry from Ringaskiddy and arriving in Roscoff has many happy memories.

Favourite radio show?

Splendour In The Grass” with Switched On Audrey, on Luxuria FM. It’s a show from Hollywood, California, and caters for eclectic musical tastes.

Last book you read?

The last book I read was “ Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke, which a friend sent me. It’s a reminder of the power of the imagination, with a totally constructed world that couldn’t be true, and yet you believe it. You can never look at marble pillars in the same light again.

Best book you read?

I love “ The Word for World is Forest’’ by Ursula K. Le Guin, a brilliant science fiction writer who passed away a couple of years ago, after a long productive life. The book, which she originally wanted to call “ Little Green Men” but was advised by her editor not to – has a very important message that reaches well beyond its publication year of 1972. Essentially it’s about a race of non-humans being subjugated by humans, after the planet has been wasted and become uninhabitable. 

I can’t think of a more apt book to read in these times.

One person you would like to see in concert?

I wished I’d seen Kate Bush when she played those later concerts in London.

I’d love to hear Elisabeth Fraser in concert too.

The American band Low are great live also.

I’m also really looking forward to local legends Boa Morte, who will play at The Roundy on October 7, as part of IndieCork Music.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Drop in to Bradleys on North Main street, with the feeling that the weekend is your oyster, and choose a bottle of wine. No matter what happens after that, you’ve made a good start!

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

We have a lively new lurcher in the house, courtesy of the good people at Cork Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Mahon. So he gets us up with the lark every morning. Sometimes before, to let us know the lark is on his way.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Most definitely at this time of the year. We’re just about to kick off the at the Gate Cinema in less than two weeks, October 2 – 9. There’s so much to do, that work is a necessary part of every waking moment!

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

I love Liverpool, it’s a great city with a great atmosphere, history and friendly people. Apparently their football club is quite good too.

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

Searching for endless entertainment for your dog, makes you explore everywhere. The likely and unlikely beauty spots.

Covid brought people to all the previously unknown corners usually reserved for those of us who run around after dogs.

West Cork is always beautiful and has its own rare atmosphere, particularly Beara. Once you hit Rosscarbery, the air changes.

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

Hobbies recede into the distance for half the year, as festival life gets so busy. Then again, watching films and meeting filmmakers is a good hobby too.

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

I learned to do something easy with parmesan, olive oil and lemon, and as I’m not a great cook – I usually return to that because nobody can argue with Italian food.

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

Paradiso is a favourite for special occasions. I also love the new restaurant in the Quay Co-op, which has a lovely new menu, and such a nice atmosphere. Iyers is fantastic for vegetarian Indian food.

Anything else you are up to right now?

This is the busiest part of the year for myself and the IndieCork team. It’s a big push for us, and as long as I’ve been doing festivals, it’s never easy and it’s never done early! But the team dynamic keeps us going, and it’s very rewarding. When you see the screen in The Gate light up, everyone wearing the festival tshirts, and coming together, it reminds us what it’s all about.

This year we’re really excited to have some international guests join us from other festivals. 

It’s all about the filmmaker and music maker at IndieCork though, and this year we have a lot of visitors coming to show their new films. Magic.

Úna Feely is co-director of IndieCork. The festival runs from October 2nd to 9th at the Gate Cinema. Tickets will be on sale at www.gatecinemas.comtarget="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> and more details of the festival can be found at

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