The French Film Festival will be launched today aboard a 126-year-old sailboat

The 33rd Cork French Film Festival kicks off in style in Cork Harbor today with a special event aboard Belem.

Steeped in history, the 126-year-old French sailboat will host a small group of guests for a preview of what promises to be four magical days celebrating the best of French cinema.

The event will take place in the presence of the Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in Ireland, Marianne Barkan-Cowdy.

This year’s festival runs from September 1-4 at the Gate Cinema, with eleven films in total crossing a variety of genres from comedy, drama, thrillers and romance. The program features some of the greatest French-speaking film directors and actors of all time.

The opening night of the festival will feature French cuisine with the screening of Délicieux. Set just before the French Revolution in 1789, it saw talented but temperamental Manceron open his first restaurant.

In keeping with the culinary theme of the film, the public will be treated to a few light bites offered by The Imperial Hotel, Cameron Bakery and Hegarty’s Cheese.

A place worthy of a movie

According to the organisers, the Belem has a fascinating history worthy of its own film.

“Having escaped volcanic eruptions in the Caribbean, and serving as a luxury yacht, she became the property of the Guinness family in 1922, who renamed her Phantom II.” they say.

“Mp. AE Guinness sailed the seven seas aboard the Fântome II in 1923 with her daughters. After undergoing further name changes and new owners, she eventually returned to her home port of France as name of Belem in January 1979. It now belongs to the Belem Foundation, fully restored as a training sailboat.In 1984, the Belem obtained the title of French Historic Monument.

Image: Darragh Kane