Budding young film makers will gather in the beautiful coastal town of Youghal in Co. Cork from 6-9 March for the First Cut! Youth Film Festival. First Cut! is a vibrant international youth film festival, now in its 10th year, attracting young filmmakers aged 12-24, families and film enthusiasts for an impressive line-up of screenings, workshops, and talks by film industry professionals. Not only does First Cut! offer a screening platform for young peoples’ films in two fantastic venues in this beautiful sea side town, it also provides valuable learning opportunities in an inspiring atmosphere, where young filmmakers at all levels of experience can be seen and heard. The festival provides valuable opportunities for young filmmakers to network, share their passion for making films with their peers in an enjoyable and supportive environment.
Every type of film is screened: fiction, documentary, animation, music video and more. The festival is based primarily at the Mall Arts Centre in Youghal, Co. Cork and this year for the first time, screenings and events will also be held in the state-of-the-art newly refurbished Regal cinema, where the most up-to-date and advanced technology is available
2019 has yielded a record number of film submissions from an unprecedented geographical sweep. Short films made by young people have been pouring in from across Ireland, from Borris to Schull and beyond. International entries been received from all five continents! Submissions by young filmmakers from as far afield as; Australia, Indonesia, Finland, Germany, China, Sweden, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, India, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, UK and USA have impressed the selection panel and made the process of whittling down to a final choice of what will be screened a very challenging task. As they celebrate their 10th year, the First Cut! team are delighted to observe that the standard of the films from young aspiring filmmakers keeps getting higher, and this promises to be the most exciting programme yet. The skill and imagination of these young filmmakers in Ireland and across the world is fantastic and will be clearly represented at the 2019 festival..
An exciting programme of events has just been launched for this year’s festival. The programme will include screenings of short films selected from the hundreds of submissions received, workshops, talks by film industry professionals, a Youth Music Video competition (mentored by Brendan Canty, the Cork director who had a worldwide hit with his video for Hozier’s Take Me to Church), a Spotlight programme which highlights work by emerging filmmakers in their early twenties, screenings of animated films made in the lead-in to the festival by local primary school children, an animation presentation, networking opportunities for young film makers, a family evening screening, the much coveted Young Filmmakers Awards, and much more.
The Festival has recently announced an exciting new partnership with the internationally renowned Cork Film Festival earlier this year to present a programme of stunning short films from the CFF 2018 festival. This will take place at 4pm in the Regal Cinema on Saturday March 9th. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers and is not to be missed for young people who are passionate about filmmaking and making their mark in the world of film.
Cork Film Festival Producer and CEO, Fiona Clark, will also announce the winner of a new ‘Cork Film Festival Award’, presented to an outstanding young filmmaker, aged 18 – 24, screening their short film at First Cut! 2019. The winning film will be automatically submitted for consideration for the 64th Cork Film Festival, which is an incredible honour.
Day 1 (Wed 6th March):
The event will open with screenings of animated films created by more than 200 children from 7 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 2 and 3 (Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March)
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. It’s always incredibly exciting for the students to see the final edits of their creative efforts on a big screen. They come by the busload from all over the county!
On Thursday evening a family Animation screening will take place. It is free and as seating is limited tickets will 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 4 (Saturday 9th March) – open to the public
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.
The festival continues its focus on Women in Film & TV with a special panel bringing together talented female filmmakers, well known and experienced and young new talent. Guests to be announced.
First Cut! turns the spotlight on emerging filmmakers in their early twenties in the early afternoon on the big screen at the beautiful Mall Arts Centre. Spotlight is the First Cut! open call programme dedicated to filmmakers in their early twenties either in film school or working independently. These are ‘Ones to Watch’ and will feature ten short films by gifted emerging directors.
The final day will culminate in an awards ceremony. Particularly important to the festival is the Youth Council Award, which is selected by a panel of young filmmakers who help act as advisors and festival ambassadors ensuring that First Cut! remains ‘on track’ in meeting the needs of young filmmakers.
The incredibly popular Youth Music Video Competition (YMVC) Screening and Awards will take place in the early evening at the Regal. According to mentors from ‘Feel Good Lost’, Brendan Canty & David Lester Mooney, this year’s YMVC yielded the highest quality applicants yet! Six finalists were chosen to take part in a day long workshop in December and subsequently were assigned music tracks, a brief from the band such as Kobina, True Tides and Laoise. The competition has gone from strength to strength each year – the quality of the work is nothing short of remarkable. We can’t wait to see the final six videos!
The YMVC screening closes the festival at the Regal Cinema, and following a discussion panel with the participants, the Best Music Video award will be presented
The closing of the festival is marked with a live music performance by one of the bands involved in the 2019 Youth Music Video Competition, this year’s artist will be announced shortly, and in true First Cut! style this event is free and open to all festival goers, friends and volunteers.
Commenting on this year’s programme Festival Director Mary McGrath said “We are thrilled to launch our 2019 Festival Programme which we believe provides a dynamic, innovative and entertaining programme of film screenings, mentoring sessions, panel discussions and workshops that offer youths a platform to express themselves creatively through the medium of film. By bringing young filmmakers together in a vibrant festival atmosphere, to celebrate, network and showcase their work we hope to inspire a love of film and filmmaking which lasts a lifetime.”
“The films submitted never fail to astonish with a remarkable variety of styles and subject matter.”, Ms. McGrath continued. ‘We are delighted with our growing audience of young people, who are passionate about making film. We are honoured this year to be screening a whole range of shorts from right across Ireland and the world. As in previous years we continue to enjoy the support of professional filmmakers and we will be announcing a number of exciting special guests and events to Festival 2019 over the coming weeks!
For more information see www. firstcutfilmfestival.com or to stay connected on social media follow @firstcutfilmfestival on Facebook/ Instagram
First Cut! Youth Film Festival receives core funding from the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Cork County Council and is supported by the business community in Youghal and by Cork Film Centre.