Campaign to Save 21-Year-Old CORK FILM CENTRE Launches
Cork Film Centre is celebrating 21 years as the heart of Southern Ireland's community of filmmakers and film artists. The support provided by Cork Film Centre for filmmakers, animators and artists includes mentoring, advice and information, equipment and studio space, courses and workshops. More importantly, it has provided a space for people who would otherwise be forced to choose between living in Cork and pursuing their creative aspirations.
Cork Film Centre is home to Ireland's only dedicated video art gallery and offers an annual Short Script award in conjunction with RTÉ. Many notable writers and directors took their first filmic steps through these awards, including Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs and Hunger). The centre hosts the internationally renowned online magazine, Experimental Conversations, which covers experimental film, video art, and art cinema. It was instrumental in setting up and hosting the Cork Screen Commission. Funded by Cork City and Count Councils, the Screen Commission promotes Cork as a film and television friendly location and works to develop the film industry and employment in the sector.
Cork Film Centre provided facilities and technical support in 2013 to 37 films, 54 video artist pieces, 6 Arts Festivals in Cork City and County, Limerick, Galway and Wexford, 9 exhibitions featuring 18 artists in our gallery, and 6 international Film Festivals in Cork and Kerry. CFC also provided advice and direction to innumerable aspiring filmmakers, artists, recent graduates and youth/community groups.
Some of the past year's activities include:
Cork, Like, project devised by Cork Film Centre, in which 9 directors worked with our composer in residence to create an anthology feature film about Cork, which premiered to a sell-out audience at the IndieCork Film Festival
13 of the 16 films screened in the Cork Shorts programme at the Cork Film Festival listed Cork Film Centre in their credits
No Limbs, No Limits - The Joanne O'Riordan Story (dir. Steven O'Riordan), made with cameras and sound equipment from Cork Film Centre
Youth Film Workshop series which had over 250 participants (funded by Cork County Council & SECAD)
First Cut! International Youth Film Festival had an attendance of over 800. CFC programmed and facilitated the screenings and workshops in Youghal
Experimental Conversations is critically acclaimed as an internationally significant experimental film publication.
Annual funding of #70,000 from the Arts Council is to be totally cut from the end of September, which will result in the loss of the Centre's two full-time staff. This decision was made without any discussion of its impacts and will result in almost no saving to the taxpayer.
Although the organization intends to keep the doors open, this will inevitably lead to cutbacks in service - an altogether disastrous situation for the filmmaking and artistic community in the south.
The Arts Council Report on Cork Film Centre includes the following statements:
"The Cork Film Centre has regional significance and plays a role in the landscape of film and visual culture in Cork where it provides activities and supports to film artists."
"The Cork Film Centre plays a role in providing for artists in Cork City and region. However, at a time of considerably reduced resources its activities are not a priority for support within the national infrastructure for film."
"The Cork Film Centre delivered its proposed activities as intended."
Cork Film Centre now faces an uncertain future, but is actively looking for ways to continue to respond to filmmakers and artists' needs, as far as drastically reduced funding allows.
It is essential that all other funding streams be at least maintained at their current levels, to enable filmmakers, animators and artists pursue and develop their careers.