First Cut! Youth Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing new films by young filmmakers. Now in its tenth year, it takes place over four days at the Mall Arts Centre in Youghal, Co. Cork.
In addition to presenting programmes of films in all genres by individual filmmakers, schools and youth groups, it offers workshops and talks by film industry professionals in a friendly atmosphere where young people with a passion for making movies can meet and mingle with their peers.
First Cut! Youth Film Festival receives core funding from the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Cork County Council Arts Office, and is supported by Cork Film Centre.
First Cut! provides young filmmakers between the ages of 12 and 24 with a platform for screening their short films. It is committed to ensuring that these screenings take place in a friendly and vibrant atmosphere where young people can meet and mingle with likeminded peers and share their passion for making films. Whether working individually or as part of a school or youth group, panel discussions with participating filmmakers allow young audiences to take inspiration from the experiences of their contemporaries.
Its youth-centred approach is also reflected in the First Cut! Youth Advisory Council, a rotating group of young people who have acted as festival advisors for each edition. 2018 will see the introduction of a Youth Advisory Council prize, for which the Council will select a film to be awarded from the open submissions. This prize is in addition to the jury awards First Cut! presents every year for Best Film, Best Director, Best Young Adults Film, Best Schools Film, Best Animation, Best Music Video and Best Documentary.
First Cut! also offers workshops and presentations by professional filmmakers at the cutting edge of Irish cinema. Festival audiences have had the opportunity to listen to and engage with top-tier directors including the Oscar-nominated Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner) and Peter Foott, creator of the phenomenally successful The Young Offenders film and series. In 2018, Cartoon Saloon's Mark Mullery, technical director of The Breadwinner, was the festival's special guest. He gave a presentation on that renowned Kilkenny-based animation studio and a glimpse into the making of The Breadwinner.
First Cut! Youth Film Festival is the home of YMVC (Youth Music Video Competition). Presented in partnership with Feel Good Lost, this annual competition offers five young emerging filmmakers the opportunity to create a music video under the mentorship of top music video director Brendan Canty and producer David Lester Mooney.