The Cork Film Centre and the Cork Screen Commission have set up house together in the latest move to promote the area of Cork as a prime filming location.
The newly refurbished premises at the Gunpowder Mills Centre in Ballincollig have been transformed into a media hub for local and international filmmakers looking for a creative space to develop productions. New facilities include a digital cinema, an animation bench, and a video exhibition space. Both the CFC and the CSC will share the office premises, but will remain to work as separate entities.
The move comes just weeks after it was announced two new audio-visual studios were to open in Cork, one a video production and photographic studio, the other a state-of-the-art post-production facility.
The CFC, established in 1993, is a resource-based facility focused on developing and promoting the film industry in Cork. The CSC was set up in 2011 to promote the film industry in Cork, and provides a crew database for location scouts as well crew and cast members hailing from the Cork area.
Speaking at the launch of the new premises last Friday, May 18, Tim Lombard, Mayor of County Cork, commended both Cork County and City Councils for their commitment to the film industry. He said the amalgamation of the film centre and commission’s premises was “a further step in realising our commitment to making Cork a key location and centre for making TV programmes and films”.
Cork CFC’s chairperson, Helen Guerin, said she was “delighted” to be expanding the centre’s premises, and praised newly appointed screen commissioner Niall Mahoney for his wealth of experience in the film sector.
Mahoney, a filmmaker in his own right, having worked in the industry for the last 25 years, said “facilities like this, with tangible benefits to filmmakers both from here and abroad, are exactly what we need [in Cork]”. As part of his plan to get Cork on the international locations map, Mahoney has set up a free location recce service which he will helm himself. Having worked as a producer, director and location manager in the Cork area for many years, Mahoney feels he is equipped to take on the PR role of the Cork film industry.
Cork has been an ideal location for Irish filmmakers over the last few years, with Andrew Lowe executive producing ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ which was shot in different parts of Cork in 2006, and Ian Power directing his IFTA Award-winning feature ‘The Runway’ in Cork in 2009. But by implementing a new plan for Cork, Mahoney and the county and city councils are hoping Cork will soon be on international production companies’ radars.
Mahoney is currently in talks with a number of high-profile international production companies about possible projects to be filmed in Cork. While no deals have been signed on the dotted line just yet, Mahoney hopes the establishment of organisations such as the CSC and CFC can help with “cutting through red tape” when supporting productions.