For well over a century, film has charted not only narratives, but transport, geography, fashions, inventions, social mores, rituals and traditions. A crucial part of this history belongs to the spaces where films were viewed, and the way in which the general public interacted with cinema as both entertainment and art. Film festivals are markers of the cultural heritage of a place. In exploring how art reaches an audience in a city, town or country, we learn about the social fabric and cultural soul of a location.

Cork is a city rich in cultural heritage, home to the Cork International Film Festival, one of oldest festivals in the world. While modest in size, this archive provides a lens through which the social and cultural histories of Cork might be viewed. Developed by the Department of Digital Humanities at University College Cork, the materials exhibited offer a glimpse into the beating heart of the city. The project is ongoing, and further content, descriptions and corrections will be added as this resource continues to develop.

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Cork International Film Festival programme cover from 1994

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The 1994 festival programme cover is a cartoon-like representation of a film scene, centred around a reconstructed version of the Shandon Bells &…

Cork International Film Festival programme cover from 1990

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The 1990 festival programme cover is of a gritty realist scene comprising a large silver film reel against a concrete distressed-coloured…

Cork International Film Festival programme cover from 1989

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The 1989 festival programme cover is a graphic image of a laughing turquoise blue-faced man against a bright pink-red background. He has bright yellow…