Knowledge Centre Blog

Thoughts On Commencement Of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland Programme By Fiona Clark, Producer & Chief Executive, Cork Film Festival

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe

Cork Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival, a local, national and international celebration of cinema, showcasing the latest and best Irish and global features, documentaries and shorts, over ten days each November in Cork. 2018 marks the Festival’s 63rd anniversary, and the start of a new and exciting stage in our development.

Festivals are extraordinary beasts – unique collaborations that fuse art, audience and place. They excite, engage, enrage, and entertain. In 1956 our founders were ambitious that the Cork Film Festival “must always be strongly influenced by the company it keeps. The company is good.” In 2018, the company is still good – the best world cinema for the whole city and its visitors.

Our mission is to connect people through great film, engaged conversation, and a shared cultural experience. As a defining artform of the modern age, film endures because of its relevance, popularity and democratic nature. It challenges perceptions and provokes debate. When presented over the concentrated festival period, the dialogue and experience is amplified and the impact is magnified.

The Festival must continually review and seek to refresh itself; change and evolution is essential for us to develop and grow sustainably in order to realise our ambitions. Our focus from 2018/19 is considered phased development to consolidate 2017 successes and to begin implementation of a three-year Strategic Plan, leading to the Festival’s 65th anniversary in 2020.

Our involvement in the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme comes at a pivotal time, providing the essential resources and focused investment needed to develop meaningful partnerships – creative, community and commercial – and support a period of intense and sustained capacity building over the next two years.

Participating in this programme will enable the Festival to establish meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships that generate vital resources to invest in our organisation to support our artistic and organisational ambitions, and help drive access for and ongoing engagement with a wider audience, through staff, volunteer, customer, and online communities.

Appropriate partnerships will contribute to our cultural development on multiple levels. Collaboration helps drive focus on our aims by setting a frame around what is distinctive about Cork Film Festival – what we do and who we are for. Partnerships help us to articulate our unique offering and to refine our fundraising activities in order to progress our ambitions. The better – and wider – we articulate that story, the greater the opportunity to leverage support for our work. We need to develop our capacity to invest in our artistic programme and operation, and to increase visibility and reach. We believe that corporate partnerships will both enrich and enable our cultural work in this way.

The Festival has multiple stakeholders – a large and loyal local audience, national and international visitors to Cork, emerging and established filmmakers and artists, the wider AV industry, our funders and donors, and the media.

Our Fellow, Aoibheann McCarthy, will develop, drive and deliver our engagement strategies, enabling the Festival to pursue these activities year-round over a sustained period and in a focused way, in a manner that has not previously been possible.

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is a partnership between Business to Arts’ New Stream programme and the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht


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