As one might infer in the current mid-Brexit climate, it’s also an important cultural collaboration for participants on both sides of the affair. This year’s festival will be underway by the time this spread goes to print, and day two will see a range of screenings and events happening at the festival’s main screen, the Gate cinema on North Main Street. Valérie David-McGonnell, festival co-director and Alliance Française board member, speaks on how she’s found the reaction and the response to a wide and varied programme so far, in the city. “After 31 years, the festival is well established.
Margaret Green, Gate Cinemas and John Mullins, Alliance Francaise President at the Cork French Film Festival opening night. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Mick Hannigan, Festival Producer, and Cllr Dan Boyle, Deputising for the Lord Mayor. at the opening of the 31st Cork French film festival Opening Film, at the Gate Cinema, Cork.Picture: Jim CoughlanThere’s a great appetite in Cork for French cinema and there’s a love of French culture in general, and of course there is a large French community in Cork; French people who have settled in the city, and younger people who are studying here. They support the festival in great numbers, and the response to the programme has been very positive indeed. I think there’s a feeling of anticipation of seeing the latest films of French icons Juliette Binoche and Catherine Deneuve, as well as discovering the emerging stars of French-language cinema.”
This year’s festival launched with the input of French Deputy Ambassador Lionel Paradisi-Coulouma, Lord Mayor John Sheehan, Minister David Stanton and MEP Deirdre Clune on February 24, in a special reception. The festival serves a cultural and diplomatic function for Alliance Française de Cork in terms of outreach to the city’s community, and wider French-Irish relationships in the aforementioned cultural climate, says David-McGonnell.
It’s another example of the themes that underlie the festival’s foundation, says de Gall.
Having celebrated the Festival’s milestone thirtieth anniversary last year, and with a loaded programme happening this weekend, it might come as a surprise to some how early the wheels for a festival have to get into motion. David-McGonnell looks at the Festival’s future, and that of Alliance Franaise de Cork’s cultural outreach in the city and county? “We’re already thinking of our next festival, so we’re looking forward to discovering what French-language films will be made in the next few months. Cultural outreach is very important to us and while the festival may be the highest profile event of Alliance Francaise de Cork, there are other initiatives, such as a year-round exhibition programme in our art gallery as well as talks and workshops on different themes. It’s not just language teaching.”
Cork French Film Festival takes place all week. For more information and online tickets, head to corkfrenchfilmfestival.com.
The 31st annual Cork French Film Festival happens all week at venues across the city, taking in a wide variety of genres and cinematic interests. Mike McGrath-Bryan speaks with festival directors Valérie David-McGonnell and Josselin Le Gall.
And here are some must-see movies.
- All films are being screened at the Gate Cinema, North Main Street. Tickets available online and at the venue’s box office.