The Programme at a Glance

Welcome to the First Cut! 2023 programme!

Audiences are invited to the beautiful seaside town of Youghal for the 14th edition of FCYFF 2023! This five-day programme of events includes short films from all over Ireland and abroad, as well as features, workshops, conversations with some of the leading filmmakers in Ireland and much more. FCYFF also offers a brand new parallel online programme of international shorts that can be enjoyed all over the world. All events are free of charge!

Browse the First Cut! Youth Film Festival Brochure below.

First Cut! 2023 Festival Brochure. Designed by Kieran O’Connor 

Tuesday March 7th & Wednesday March 8th

Animania – A Day of Animation!
10am, The Regal Cinema

Animation plays a major part in First Cut! Youth Film Festival because nothing conveys the magic of cinema like animation. That’s why we open the festival every year with an event dedicated to animation for a local primary school audience. A packed programme of workshop films, shorts and a feature presentation. Full details here.

Thursday March 9th

Schools & Youth Groups Open Call
10.30 am, The Mall Arts Centre

Secondary schools and youth groups are where many young people get their first chance to make a film. This programme showcases the quality and variety of films made in schools and youth groups throughout Ireland. Full details here.

Competition Programmes
1pm, The Regal Cinema

A screening of films made as part of two exciting filmmaking competitions. These are a TikTok Competition presented with Cork Credit Unions, and Athrú Amháin!/One Change! which is First Cut’s first filmmaking through Irish programme. As an additional celebration of the popularity of Irish language filmmaking, a diverse programme of shorts in Irish from the First Cut! Open Call will also screen. Full details here.

Family Animation Screening
6.30pm, The Regal Cinema

An opportunity for participants in the Animania schools workshops to share their films with family and friends. Their shorts are followed by a delightful and moving animated gem of a comedy about finding your home: Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. Full details here.

Friday March 10th

Cork Young Filmmakers
The Regal Cinema & The Mall Arts Centre

For the past fifteen years, the Cork Young Filmmakers (CYF) programme has been bringing hands-on filmmaking workshops annually to hundreds of young people throughout County Cork. This screening showcases films made in schools during 2022/23 by the creative young people participating in these workshops, which give them a first-hand opportunity to express themselves through film. Full details here.

Youghal Connections
7pm, The Regal Cinema

An evening of inspiring short films followed by a thought-provoking Q&A with the filmmakers. Renowned filmmaker Brendan Canty curates a selection of the best of recent Irish shorts and Darina Clancy presents a section of her documentary on the River Blackwater, Cois Móire that focuses on Youghal. Full details here.

Saturday March 11th

Open Call Programmes
10am, The Mall Arts Centre

First Cut welcomes short films of every genre by young people from Ireland and abroad. The skill and imagination of young filmmakers shines through in the diverse and entertaining films that make up these programmes. Full details here.

Cork International Film Festival Shorts, Award & Conversation
1.30pm, The Regal Cinema

Cork International Film Festival partners with First Cut! every year to curate a programme of shorts for FCYFF. This year, it is a selection of nominees for Best European Short Film at the European Film Academy awards. The screening will be followed by a public conversation tin which CIFF senior programmer Don O’Mahony and Galway Film Fleadh Director of Programming Maeve McGrath discuss the process of submitting to festivals. Full details here.

1.40pm, The Regal Cinema, Screen 2

Fusion is a diverse programme of short films from two of the most established youth film organisations in the country: Cork Young Filmmakers and Wexford Youth Film Project. Full details here.

3pm, The Regal Cinema

Spotlight is First Cut’s open call programme celebrating the vision of emerging filmmakers of third level age. Some are in film courses, some are working independently but all are significant upcoming talents to watch for in the future. Full details here.

Someone Like Me: A View from LGBTQIA+ Filmmaking Communities Special Guest Panel
4.45pm, The Regal Cinema

A panel of outstanding filmmakers from LGBTQIA+ communities. Writer/director Katie McNeice, director Bob Gallagher, film artist Francis O’Mahony and filmmaker & educator Barry Dignam (who will moderate the panel) will discuss issues that they have faced in making films as well as how their work develops from their own specific points of view. They will explore and celebrate film as a rich and diverse medium of expression and look to the future of telling LGBTQIA+ stories including in mainstream cinema. Full details here.

YMVC – Youth Music Competition
6.15pm, The Regal Cinema

First Cut! continues to partner with award-winning director Brendan Canty for the seventh annual YMVC, a unique professional mentorship programme, which hothouses young film talent. Five outstanding young filmmakers were selected in 2022 by directors Brendan Canty and Bob Gallagher for the opportunity to make a music video under their mentorship. This event showcases these videos. Full details here.

Awards Ceremony
7.15pm, The Regal Cinema

The 2023 First Cut! Youth Film Festival Awards will be announced and presented! Full details here.

Strange Boy – Live Music!
7.15pm as part of the Awards Ceremony, The Regal Cinema

Following the Awards Ceremony, FCYFF 2023 will conclude with a special live set from a 1000-year-old poet channeling through the body of a young man from Limerick: Strange Boy. Full details here.

Tuesday March 7th – Saturday March 18th

First Cut! International

First Cut! is launching a new strand to its programming – First Cut! International, an online platform that offers online screenings showcasing the best short films by young filmmakers from all over the world. Full details here.