FOR many years, the Cork Film Festival brought a welcome injection of out-of-the-ordinary cultural excitement and challenge to the region. Indeed, during the monochrome decades of the 1950s and 1960s, it gave Cork a glimpse of Hollywood glamour unimaginable in any other context.
Starlets waved and some of the locals swooned; it was, indeed, that exciting.
It is, therefore, unfortunate that the festival’s finances are in such disarray and that it has proven such a challenge to establish a management team that might lead the event for more than 12 months.
The festival has asked Cork City Council for €200,000, but a former head of the festival has demanded that the books be opened to scrutiny before any public funds are committed. The suggestion of unwise spending will reopen the debate about the role of public funding in supporting the arts, especially as local authorities have far more pressing problems. Nevertheless, this festival has, over the years, built considerable credibility and made a very valuable contribution. If it can be saved, it should be — this time, anyway.
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