Cork French Film Festival aims to strengthen 'critical' links between Ireland and Paris post-Brexit
The 30th Cork French Film Festival aims to strengthen critical links between Ireland and Paris in the post-Brexit world.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney launched the festival with French Ambassador Stephane Crouzat with the event boasting its biggest-ever programme to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
The theme of the festival is 'unity'.
Festival organisers said the theme was vital in the shadow of a post-Brexit Europe.
Mr Coveney stressed it was increasingly important that pan-European ties are fostered and strengthened.
"France and Ireland have vibrant and historic ties," he said.
"Culture is an important part of maintaining and strengthening our links so it is particularly appropriate that the theme of this year’s festival is 'Ensemble' (Together), exploring how we are all interconnected."
"Now that Ireland has become an Observer at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie our sense of togetherness is greater than ever."
Ambassador Crouzat said French film makers recorded amongst the first images of Ireland almost 130 years ago.
“The Lumière Brothers marked the beginning of a joint cinematic history between France and Ireland when they recorded the first ever images from Ireland as early as 1897," he said.
"Cork is home to the second-largest community of French citizens in Ireland and the 30th edition of the French Film Festival organised by Alliance Française is a vibrant illustration of this special relationship."
The ambassador said that culture and arts are a vital part of developing friendly relations between countries.
A total of 20 films will be shown with a total of over 40 nominations for the prestigious 2019 Cesar Awards.
To mark the anniversary, French producer and DJ Jean du Voyage, is flying into Cork for a single night performance at the opening night gala at St Peter's.
The festival, which runs from March 3-10, will feature a galaxy of French box office hits including 'Sink or Swim,' 'Cyrano de Bergerac' and 'Memoir of War'.
Directeur of Alliance Française de Cork, Jean-Christophe Trentinella said European links are even more important after Brexit.
“The shadow of Brexit looming over us is making us feel more acutely than ever this sense of interdependence and reinforces even more the strong ties between Ireland and France," he said.
"We are hoping this year’s festival will appeal to people of all ages.
Some of the films might be difficult, with themes such as unemployment and social struggles, because these films give us a glimpse in other people's life, their hopes and their challenges."
"I am very proud of this year's program, as it is a very sensitive account of what it means to be human.”
The keynote venue for the 30th Cork French Film Festival is the Gate Cinema.