First Cut! Youth Film Festival 

Festival 2017 Dates:   April 27–29 (ThursdaySaturday)

Venue: Mall Arts Centre, Youghal, Co. Cork

Admission: FREE

First Cut! Youth Film Festival is a vibrant international festival screening the works of young filmmakers aged 12-24. The festival is packed with an impressive line-up of screenings, workshops, and talks by film industry professionals. Awards are presented in a variety of categories including fiction, documentary, animation, and music video. First Cut! provides a valuable opportunity for young filmmakers to network and share their passion for making films with a group of likeminded people in an enjoyable and supportive environment.

2017 has yielded a record number of entries covering an unprecedented geographical sweep. Short films made by young people have been pouring in from Donegal to Cork, and many counties in between. International entries heralded from Czech Republic, Greece, India, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, UK and USA.  In its 8th year, First Cut! finds that the standard of the films keeps getting higher, and this promises to be the most exciting programme yet. The skill and imagination of young filmmakers in Ireland and across the world is clearly represented.

Once again, First Cut! Youth Film Festival is excited to team up with Feel Good Lost for the second edition of YMVC – Youth Music Video Competition. Up and coming young filmmakers can access this great opportunity to create music videos under the mentorship of noted director Brendan Canty. Feel Good Lost are best known for the phenomenally successful video for Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, which was voted Video of the Year by the Irish Times and nominated for two MTV VMA awards. Many of Feel Good Lost’s music videos have featured on the biggest music websites in the world.

This year, First Cut! has partnered with the UCC based AquaSpace Transition Year Video Contest and the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation to screen films with an emphasis on the environment and in response to the prompt ‘Make Every Second Count,’ respectively.

Involvement from local youth is integral to First Cut! All 6th class primary school pupils from Youghal are making animation films in the weeks leading in to the festival. These short animations will be shown on the ‘Big Screen’ on the opening day of the festival, alongside other exciting guests. Pobalscoil na Tríonóide students, as well as screening their own short film, ‘Paper Chase,’ are acting as festival hosts, showing pride in their town as they welcome hundreds of other secondary school student filmmakers to their stunning local Mall Arts Centre.

Bus loads of students arrive from schools all over Ireland on Friday to see their films on the ‘Big Screen.’ The number and variety of films coming from schools is a positive indication of the way schools are engaging with the moving image as an increasingly relevant means of expression for young people today. Saturday will be abuzz with the excitement of the open call film screenings, workshops, awards and closing event. The themes of these films often pinpoint issues facing young people today: drugs, alcohol, crime, social media, exam stress, peer pressure, environmental concerns, and identity. But there is, of course, room for pure flights of imagination, and the horror film is as popular as ever. The First Cut! Youth Council participates in festival planning so that the programme is informed by and responds to the views of young filmmakers and young audiences.

Last year successfully drew crowds to Youghal for screenings and workshops and organisers envisage a further increase in participation this year! The festival team would like acknowledge the support of both the Arts Council and the local Cork County Council,` and welcome on board the local business community whose support is invaluable in bringing this festival to Youghal each year.

For more information on festival events please visit:


All events and screenings at the festival are free and open to the public.



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