Blacknight has announced it will sponsor IndieCork Film Festival once again this year, as the organisers prepare to launch a hybrid programme in response to pandemic restrictions.

It is the first physical event we will sponsor this year, a fact which reflects the careful preparations being made to ensure public safety and full compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.

This will be our fifth year as a sponsor of IndieCork. In the past we have sponsored the Festival Centre, where talks, workshops and smaller screenings are held in addition to the main venue at the Gate Cinema. But Covid-19 has led to a prohibition on large indoor gatherings and a new approach is required.

Many festivals went fully online this year, especially during the depths of lockdown. Other events have been postponed in the hope that things can resume their normal course in 2021. IndieCork’s organisers have decided to try and retain, as far as possible, the essence of a physical event, and the gradual reopening has facilitated that.

A Safe Space for Entertainment

The Gate Cinema has been open since late June and is attracting audiences back to what is seen as a safe space for entertainment.  Audience capacity is reduced to allow for social distancing. Anticipation is high for the festival opening night which will host the world premiere of a locally produced feature.

Technology will also play a part. This year, instead of a festival centre, Blacknight will sponsor IndieCork Online. In addition to the physical screenings at the Gate, the online festival will stream all the films with a choice of showing times, extending the festival to a wider audience who can participate remotely. Interviews with filmmakers and panel discussions will also be presented online.

Here at Blacknight, we’re delighted to be able to continue our association with IndieCork, despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020. We’ve been in touch with them throughout their preparations and we’re impressed by their commitment to overcoming the limitations imposed by the pandemic. As we’ve noted recently, online technology goes a long way, but engagement with a live audience is important for art. And the importance of physical events for civic society cannot be underestimated. We are very pleased that IndieCork will be the first major festival to have a physical presence in Cork City since restrictions began to relax.

We’ll have more details in the next few weeks: Úna Feely from IndieCork will be our guest on The Lock-In Podcast next week, and we’re looking forward to sharing the festival programme when it is announced.

IndieCork 2020 will be held over 8 nights, from 4th to 11th October 2020.