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23rd Cork French Film Festival rolls into action


The 23rd Cork French Film Festival, sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy officially opened today (Sunday, 4 March 2012) with a gala screening to kick off an action packed programme for 2012 by festival curator Paul Callanan. Presented by Alliance Française 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.

Pierre Étaix will attend the opening night gala screening of his much loved film Yo Yo, which will be preceded by his 1963 Oscar winning short, Happy Anniversary. Also amongst the other guests attending this celebration of French cinema will be the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD who had high praise for the festival. "It is a great pleasure to welcome world renowned French film-maker Pierre Étaix here today to introduce us to his classic movie Yo-Yo. This is a most fitting way of opening a festival that is held in such high international acclaim. I am delighted to see that this year's festival offers an excellent and diverse programme of events. As well as the wonderful films being screened, the master classes, workshops and installations are all of huge benefit to both film-makers and students of film alike", he said.

Also speaking at the festival launch, David Kirwan, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy said "Artistic and cultural activities are a vital part of civic life and we in Bord Gáis Energy recognize this through our major sponsorships, which include the Irish Book Awards and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. We're delighted to support the Cork French Film Festival once again and we congratulate Alliance Française de Cork, led by Nora Callanan, on a great achievement with this year's programme.

The week-long festival will see a host of Irish Premiere's, preview screenings, masterclasses and live events in venues throughout Cork. Among the festival highlights are a live cine-concert of The Passion of Joan of Arc with a specially commissioned score by composer Linda Buckley; a screening of Jacques Tati's Mr Hulot's Holiday with a Breton themed supper in Cork's English Market; a gala evening at Ballymaloe House with dinner and a screening of Max Linder's Seven Year's Bad Luck; and a workshop and Q&A session at UCC by legendary French writer and filmmaker Jean-Claude Carriére on the Art of Writing Comedy for Cinema.

Festival curator, Paul Callanan said "Étaix's Oscar-winning work has only recently been freed from a copyright battle which kept his films off-screen for almost 40 years. His films have been an incredible discovery and we are delighted to share these long hidden gems with our audience - that's what festivals are all about."

This year, for the third year in succession the French Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterand has given his patronage to the festival and has praised the high quality content of the weeklong programme.

Festival director, and President of Alliance Française de Cork, Nora Callanan said that the Alliance Française de Cork is delighted to present the 23rd edition of the Cork French Film Festival to Irish audiences with yet again a vibrant and wide-ranging programme of screenings and cutting-edge events, as well as renowned figures of French cinema such as Festival star guest, Pierre Étaix, and internationally acclaimed screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. She stressed that the Festival is an exceptional opportunity to experience cinema in this tangible and close-up sense in the presence of such remarkable talent. She expressed deep gratitude to main sponsor Bord Gáis Energy, saying, "a festival of this size and scale could not be delivered without their invaluable support". She thanked all the sponsors, for supporting the Festival so wholeheartedly. Nora Callanan stated that it was a 'significant honour' for Cork French Film Festival to be accorded the patronage of Frédéric Mitterrand, French Minister of Culture and Communication. She said that it was such a great privilege to meet the Minister recently in Paris where he extended his support and good wishes to the Festival. She also added that it was refreshing to hear him speak with such genuine and huge admiration for the star guests of the Festival and for the programme itself.

For event tickets and for further information, see


For further press information, please contact:
Sinead Kavanagh / Ciara Cashen - Pembroke Communications /
086 3849974 (SK) / 086 1940885 (CC)
Paul Callanan – Curator, Cork French Film Festival
T: +353 (21) 431 0677/ M: +44 7827 296 007