24th Cork French Film Festival Announced for March 3-10

Now in its 24th year, the Cork French Film Festival organised by Alliance Française de Cork returns with a cinematic treat for lovers of film in its classic form. Noir et Blanc is the theme that binds this year’s programme, taking audiences on a timeless journey through French cinema classics of yesteryear up to groundbreaking contemporary films, all atmospherically shot in black & white. The festival will present a striking programme of feature films, short films, gallery exhibitions, as well as special screenings with live musical accompaniment. One of the key events of the festival is a special tribute paid to filmmaker Chris Marker, who passed away last summer, with an exhibition based on his seminal science fiction film La Jetée. Co-produced by Julia Fabry of Cine-Tamaris in Paris it features a photographic exhibition of La Jetée stills plus installations from artists such as Agnès Varda, a close friend of Marker’s. There will be a unique live performance at the exhibition launch by electronic duo I Am The Cosmos, performing tracks from their aptly titled debut album, Monochrome. Following its recent sold out performance at the Glasgow Cathedral during the Glasgow Film Festival, the awe-inspiring ‘cine-concert’ The Passion of Joan of Arc comes to the stunning surrounds of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. This specially commissioned production features a live score by composer Irene Buckley, played in tandem with Carl T. Dreyer’s 1928 silent masterpiece. The festival welcomes special guest organist James McVinnie who has collaborated in concerts with composer Philip Glass and was the organist for the recent royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. Opening with Marcel Carné’s newly restored classic of ‘poetic realism’, Quai des Brumes, the festival delivers a programme of black and white delights such as Godard’s science-fictionAlphaville, Georges Franju’s surreal crime caper Judex, Kaurismäki’s off-beat black comedyLa Vie de Boheme and Mathieu Kassovitz’s gritty modern classic La Haine, before closing with Luc Besson’s superb debut feature, the futuristic Le Dernier Combat. “Black and white film invites us to look deeper, to see how reality can be composed with the characteristics of poetry and dream. The legacy left by filmmakers such as Carné, Cocteau and Godard shows us that the essential value of black and white cinema is its curious but easily forgotten establishment of a new way of seeing.” explains Festival artistic director, Paul Callanan. The festival will be officially launched at the Cork Vision Centre by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Buttimer, together with Aine Adès, President of Ireland Fund of France and special guest for this year’s celebration of the Gathering. “The Festival is honoured to have the patronage of Yamina Benguigui, French Minister for Francophonie,” says Cork French Film Festival Director, Nora Callanan. “She is herself a filmmaker and has been hugely supportive of the Festival. We also express our deep gratitude and appreciation to all our sponsors, venues, festival team, volunteers and all who have helped to make this festival happen.”

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