Photography by: Josh Bodgers and Freddie White
Words by Harry Potts
Christine Cort co-founded the biennial Manchester International Festival (MIF) in 2005 along with former CEO and Artistic Director Alex Poots. Born in Blackburn in 1963, Christine is Managing Director at the MIF. The festival is widely regarded as one of the most successful in the world, with a reputation for staging world premieres and entirely new work, bringing visitors from across the globe to Manchester.
Christine was previously Group Marketing Director at ‘Time Out’ (the culture, entertainment and events magazine) working across international titles in Paris, London, New York, Istanbul, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The Times Alternative Rich List in 2018 named Christine as one of thirty other people who celebrate ‘the important stuff in life’ – finding inner contentment, striving to make the world a better place, and understanding your their own intrinsic value – in other words, living an enriched life. She was also named the Inspirational Leadership in Arts and Culture winner at the Inspiring Women Awards in 2015.
Christine chose the site of the MIF’s future home ‘The Factory’ as the location for her shoot. Currently under construction on the site of the old Granada TV studios and due to
open in 2021, The Factory is a £110 million ultra flexible arts venue which will enable large-scale artistic work of invention and ambition: Dance, theatre, music, opera, visual arts, popular culture and innovative contemporary work incorporating the latest digital technologies. The World’s best artists will experiment and embark on new collaborations, the results of which will be premiered in Manchester before travelling the world. Christine predicts, “It will enrich the cultural landscape in the UK.”
Student reflection: Freddie White
“This experience of photographing Christine Cort was an eye opener for me. I had never been on an organised shoot before with anyone in the public eye, this made me nervous. However, previous to the shoot I had researched Christine, looking at articles online and managed to paint a picture of who she was and what she had achieved. For the shoot I used a full frame digital camera, which was alien to me as I prefer to shoot on film. I was surprised by the speed at which I could view and adjust my photography, allowing me more professional decision making opportunities. Another challenge I faced was directing Christine, this is something I rarely do in my own work. Although the shoot stretched me as a photographer and pushed me out of my comfort zone, the final images I believe successfully captured Christine’s charismatic personality.”