Submissions for the 66th Cork International Film Festival will open on January 11th 2021.
Cork International Film Festival’s mission is to present Ireland’s most exciting, diverse, and ambitious annual film festival, connecting and stimulating audiences and artists through a carefully curated selection of the best films, to create a unique shared cultural experience, rooted in Cork, open to the world.
Cork International Film Festival is rightly positioned and valued at the forefront of Ireland’s film culture. By curating and presenting a programme of exceptional films, our vision is for a film festival recognised and respected around the world for its record of launching and nurturing the careers of the filmmakers of tomorrow. We celebrate award-winning films alongside emerging talent, providing a unique festival experience in Ireland, delivering a depth of engagement for audiences through the medium of film in all its diverse forms, and the opportunity to see these films first in Cork.
The Festival showcases the latest and best international and Irish features, documentaries and shorts, both in cinemas and online via our dedicated digital platform, and includes programmes for schools, families, classics, a focus on film and mental health (Illuminate) and specialist Industry Days, including Doc Day, cementing the Festival as the destination festival for documentary in Ireland.
The Festival welcomes submissions of features and shorts, and all forms of film production – fiction, documentary, animation, experimental, etc. We look for interesting new voices and work that pushes boundaries and takes risks. We champion new voices and celebrate excellence in filmmaking throughout our programme. We also recognise filmmakers’ achievements through our nine Awards, three of which are Academy Award® qualifying.
Applicants to the 2021 submissions platform will be notified of the outcome of their submission in September 2021.
Cork International Film Festival is accredited by the following Awards Academies:
Academy Awards®: winners of the Grand Prix Irish Short, Grand Prix International Short and Grand Prix Documentary Short categories qualify for the long list of the Academy Awards® for the Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film and Documentary Short categories.
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television): filmmakers whose British shorts are selected for competition in the Festival’s Grand Prix International Short competition may enter their films for BAFTA consideration
European Academy Awards: Cork International Film Festival submits a short film nomination to the European Short Film Awards.
In competition, Cork International Film Festival makes the following awards:
- Grand Prix Irish Short Award, with the winner eligible for the long list of the Academy Awards® for the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category
- Grand Prix International Short Award, with the winner eligible for the long list of the Academy Awards® for the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category
- Grand Prix Documentary Short Award, with the winner eligible for the long list of the Academy Awards® for the Documentary Short category.
- Gradam Spiorad na Féile / Spirit of the Festival Award, championing feature filmmakers who push boundaries and take risks – bold ideas, well told
- Gradam na Féile do Scannáin Faisnéise / Award for Cinematic Documentary
- Best Director Irish Short, Supported by Screen Directors Guild Ireland
- Best Cork Short Award (Cork Shorts may also be eligible to compete for the Grand Prix Irish Short Award if the are Irish premieres)
- European Film Awards, Cork Short Film Candidate for European Short Film nomination, European Film Awards 2022
Out of competition, the Festival makes the following awards:
- Audience Award for feature films, the shortlist nominated by the Festival’s programmers
- Cork International Film Festival Youth Jury Award, with jury representation from University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, and St John’s College
IMPORTANT: Please click 'Show More' to consult the Rules & Terms carefully before submitting a film or query.
Categories for entry:
Entries are invited in the following categories:
- Feature films
- Feature films (documentary)
- Short films (International)
- Short films (International - documentary)
- Short films (Irish)
- Short films (Irish - documentary)
- Short films (Cork)
- Short films (Cork - documentary)
Form and Premiere Status:
-The Festival welcomes all forms of film production – animation, experimental, etc. However, promotional films are not eligible (e.g. films promoting tourism, charitable appeals, etc.)
-All short films selected for competition will be Irish Premieres
-All short films selected for screening will be Cork City premieres.
-All feature films in competition will be at minimum Irish premieres.
-Films that are available to purchase are NOT eligible; this includes DVD/Blu-ray/VOD formats.
-Films that have previously been publicly screened, broadcast or otherwise made publicly available (including online) in Ireland will NOT be considered.
Conditions for Entry:
-For in-cinema screenings, the screening format eligible for inclusion is DCP. If a DCP is not available, the Festival can create a DCP for screening purposes from a ProRes or similar digital file.
-For digital online screenings, the screening format eligible for inclusion is h264 1080p digital file.
-Films should be presented in their original versions with English language subtitles or commentary where necessary.
-To be eligible for the short film competitions, films must have been completed after 1 July 2020 and be 30 minutes or less in duration
-To be eligible for the feature film competitions, films must have been completed after 1 July 2020 and be 31 minutes or greater in duration
-Please note that films submitted through the incorrect category will not be considered.
-THE FESTIVAL DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES FOR SUBMITTED FILMS.
Criteria for Cork Shorts:
-Filmmakers who are based in Cork
-Filmmakers from Cork but based elsewhere
-Films shot by non-Corkonians throughout Munster
Non-English language films:
To qualify for selection, all non-English language films must have an English-subtitled screening copy available.
How to send your film:
Please submit your film via the online submission platform, FilmFreeway. WE DO NOT ACCEPT FILMS OTHER THAN VIA THIS PLATFORM.
Due to the large amount of submissions received, the Festival will only contact those filmmakers with work selected for competitions and notification will be given by September 2021. All other films will be announced on the Festival’s website in mid-October when the full Festival programme is launched. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of submissions received, the Festival cannot offer feedback regarding films that are not selected for the programme. Please don’t be discouraged if your film is not accepted to Cork International Film Festival. There are often many influencing factors on why your film may or may not be accepted or be suitable for the Festival.
Screening File Delivery / Shipping DCPs:
Please note: The preferred method of receiving screening materials for the festivals is via digital online transfer. If you are selected for CIFF 2021 but unable to send your film digitally, please do not send your film without contacting the Print Traffic team first.
If selected, DCPs and screening files must be received by the Festival by Friday 8th October, latest.
The cost of shipping physical DCP drives to the Festival is borne by the sender. The Festival will pay for one-way onward shipping of DCPs. By prior arrangement, DCPs can be forwarded to another festival immediately after Cork International Film Festival.
THE FESTIVAL DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES FOR SUBMITTED FILMS.
Any physical DCP drives will be insured for the period that they are in the Festival’s possession. In the case of loss or damage during this period, the Festival is only responsible for the replacement value of the DCPs. Only DCPs in perfect working condition for projection will be accepted under these conditions.
Using extracts of the films and film stills for promotion:
The entrant agrees that up to three minutes of their film may be used by the Festival in promotional activities including screening a clip on television, inclusion in the Festival’s trailer, and on the Festival’s website. Please ensure that uploaded stills and headshots are of print quality and that you have permission to allow the Festival to use these for promotional and press purposes in perpetuity.
Unsolicited submissions, waivers and discounts:
The Festival respectfully requests that entrants do not send unsolicited screener (Vimeo etc.,) links to Festival staff, and do not appeal for fee waivers. The Festival receives thousands of submissions, and the modest fees are necessary to ensure that all films are viewed and fairly considered, as well as to support the costs of curation and Festival delivery.
If you are a cultural institution or college or have a number of films you would like to enter at once, the Festival may be able to offer a discount; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request. Very occasionally, a fee waiver may be granted if the submitter has previously had work in the Festival.
Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions implies that the entrant will abide by them in their dealings with the Festival and also that the entrant is legally entitled to submit the film for consideration. Entry to the Festival implies that the entrant has the right to do so, has pre-cleared all materials that comprise the film, and is an authorised representative of the team that holds the intellectual property in the film.
Entering a film to Cork International Film Festival implies the acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
The Festival wishes all potential entrants the best of luck with their submission, and their film.
The Festival reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions at any time.
Updated January 2021.