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23rd Cork French film festival sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy, celebrates the return of Pierre Étaix to the big screen


A stellar line-up of classic and contemporary French cinema was announced today (9 February 2012) for the Cork French Film Festival sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy, which will see an action packed programme by festival curator Paul Callanan take place in a host of venues throughout Cork city from 4th – 11th March. Presented by Alliance Francaise de Cork, this year’s festival will be centred on a retrospective of Oscar-winning French film-maker and comedian Pierre Étaix. Étaix’s films have only recently returned to the big screen following a legal battle over distribution rights which saw his celebrated body of work disappear from public view for over two decades.

Étaix is travelling to Cork for the opening night, which will be marked by a gala screening of his much-loved film YoYo, one of over 30 French films on the programme for the 23rd festival. Highlights of the week include a live cine-concert of The Passion of Joan of Arc at Triskel Christchurch, where this milestone of silent cinema will be showcased with a specially commissioned score for the festival by Cork composer Irene Buckley.

Other highlights of the festival include a theatre adaptation of Sylvain Chomet’s Oscar nominated animation Belleville Rendez-Vous using puppetry, physical theatre and live jazz; a special screening at Cork’s English Market of Jacques Tati’s comedy classic Mr Hulot’s Holiday with a Breton-themed supper at the Farmgate Café to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Cork-Rennes twinning; an immersive live audio-visual installation by Montreal artist Manuel Chantre and a gala dinner followed by a screening of Max Linder's silent slapstick masterpiece Seven Year's of Bad Luck with live piano accompaniment by French pianist and composer Paule Cornet at the Grainstore in Ballymaloe House.

Speaking at the festival launch, John Mullins CEO of Bord Gáis Energy said “Bord Gáis Energy is delighted to support the Cork French Film Festival once again. The event has been a great success and plays a real part in the enrichment of artistic and cultural life in the city. I’m sure that this year’s programme will be welcomed with great interest by film enthusiasts.”

Also speaking at the launch, festival curator Paul Callanan commented on the recent surge in popularity of silent film “Silent film is on a roll at the moment with the unprecedented success of The Artist and is something we have always championed at this festival with our cine-concerts. Étaix also pays homage to the silent era and has an incredible talent for physical, slapstick comedy. The first half-hour of our opening film Yo Yo is set in the 1920’s and is shot without dialogue and at a slightly accelerated speed – just like The Artist only better”

Nora Callanan, Festival Director and President of Alliance Française de Cork continued “Alliance Française de Cork is delighted to roll out the red carpet for the 23rd edition of this exciting and much-loved French Film Festival. The Festival is an exceptional opportunity to experience cinema in a personal and close-up sense in the presence of such remarkable talent as our legendary star guest this year Pierre Étaix, Manuel Chantre together with a host of other multi-talented guests. We express our deep gratitude to main sponsor Bord Gáis Energy – a festival of this size and scale would not be possible without their invaluable support.”

For full programme details and tickets log onto to Information and tickets will also be available at the Cork French Film Festival Information Centre which will be situated at Opera Lane from 4th – 11th March.


For further information, please contact:
Sinead Kavanagh / Claire Turvey - Pembroke Communications /
021 4965000 (SK) / 01 6496312 (CT)
Paul Callanan – Curator, Cork French Film Festival
T: +353 (21) 431 0677/ M: +44 7827 296 007