VIDEO: Cork film festival tracks down its Movie Girl

One of the world’s longest-running film festivals is rolling out the red carpet for a special guest next week who was tracked down after 40 years thanks to the Irish Examiner

VIDEO: Cork film festival tracks down its Movie Girl

Catherine Treacy was a young model and one of Cork Film Festival’s Miss Movie Girls when she posed with the festival’s founder, the late Dermot Breen, and famous French director Francois Truffaut as they were greeted by the then lord mayor, Pat Kerrigan, before the 1974 festival.

The photograph was published in a special Irish Examiner supplement last week celebrating the film festival’s 60th anniversary. A friend of Catherine’s spotted the photograph, took a snap of it on her smartphone, and sent it to her.

Catherine, who was a cover girl with Image magazine and was consistently picked to model on the prestigious Late Late Show Fashion Awards, and who now runs Versatile Bathrooms and Tiles in Navan in Co Meath, emailed the film festival office expressing her delight that the picture had surfaced after all this time.

She has now been invited to attend this year’s gala event as a guest of honour.

Former Miss Movie Girl Catherine Treacy was tracked down by the ‘Irish Examiner’.
Former Miss Movie Girl Catherine Treacy was tracked down by the ‘Irish Examiner’.

Catherine spoke last night of that exciting week in 1974 when, as a 19-year-old model, she attended the Cork Film Festival and rubbed shoulders with some of world’s top movie stars and directors.

“I remember that time with fondness,” she said. “It was a different time. We really didn’t see movie stars in Ireland so it was a very big deal.

“We all lived frugally and I had to borrow a few dresses from right, left, and centre for all the wonderful evenings. We attended reception after reception and were treated royally.

“There was a lot of ushering people through doors, and a lot of standing back while guests of honour were brought in.

“I felt like quite the film star being in the midst of all of that and as the week went on, my confidence grew.”

She recalled how courteous and supporting Mr Breen was and how she met Mr Truffaut, blues guitar legend Rory Gallagher, and Trevor Howard, who starred as Father Hugh Collins in the 1970 epic Ryan’s Daughter.

Film festival creative director James Mullighan said he hopes Catherine can attend some of the screenings and social events lined up for this year’s festival, which opens on Friday.

The RTE-supported festival has added four new venues — the Everyman Theatre, St Luke’s Church, the Pavilion, and the Ballymaloe Grainstore.

Among the highlights will be an appearance by British actor Simon Callow, who will give an extended introduction to Orson Welles’ classic F For Fake, marking the 100th anniversary of the film icon’s birth.

Callow, who is best known for his hilarious turn in Four Weddings and A Funeral, will also sign the third volume of his book on Welles’ life, One-Man Band.

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