Abrahamson and Pearson among top names for Fastnet Film Festival

May 2nd, 2017 12:45 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Lenny Abrahamson, who wil introduce his film The Lobster.

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The head of Ireland’s premier media website will be in Schull this May to give a masterclass in mobile technology.

THE head of Ireland’s premier media website will be in Schull this May to give a masterclass in mobile technology.

Stories in your Pocket – Telling Tales with Mobile Technology is the name of the event which will see Neil Leyden in conversation with former film censor John Kelleher. 

Neil will discuss the ‘democratising’ of content creation – how film and documentary makers are creating content via their smartphones and how this is empowering a whole new generation of content creators.   

Neil is a former senior product manager at Independent News & Media, and a former lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and DCU, as well as a board member of the BAI and the IIA, and now head of RTÉ.ie, overseeing the performance of Ireland’s top media website, with over 5.5m unique browsers a month.

Neil will give examples of how easy it is to make a documentary or create a podcast on your smartphone. He will outline the basic steps to create, upload and build an audience online. He will discuss what he’s doing at RTÉ to encourage this content and how audiences can engage and tell their own stories.  Meanwhile, the twice-Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon, based in Kilkenny, will also be represented at the festival.

Animator Rory Conway will offer special instruction for participants, helping them discover how simple shapes can create complex characters. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. 

Rory will give an introduction to Cartoon Saloon with a sneak peek from their upcoming feature film, The Breadwinner, and talk about how to pursue a career as a layout artist and animated film maker.

In 2010 the studio’s first feature film, The Secret of Kells, was nominated for an Academy Award and in 2015 follow-up feature, Song of the Sea, won a second Oscar Nomination.

Another great name for the festival is writer Pat McCabe who will be attending in May.

Best known for his dark novels set in contemporary Ireland, his books include The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize and filmed by Neil Jordan.  He has written a children’s book, The Adventures of Shay Mouse, and numerous radio plays.  

The film festival, now in its ninth year, will run from Wednesday May 24th to Sunday May 28th in Schull. As well as the films submitted to competition, there will be the workshops with high quality hands-on experience for filmmakers, and free family entertainment, from filmmaking, craft and drama workshops, to storytelling, a kids’ cinema club, live music, parties, and roundtable discussions with industry experts.  

On the second day of the festival, May 25th, a screening of The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell, will be introduced by director Lenny Abrahamson. In this dystopian society, single people must find a mate within 45 days, or be transformed into the animal of their choice and released into the woods. 

Abrahamson was also the director of the Oscar-winning Room.

On the following day, award-winning producer Noel Pearson will be in conversation with former censor John Kelleher.

Noel Pearson began his career managing The Dubliners. He has had many successes in theatre and film, including My Left Foot (1989) which won him two Academy Awards and The Field (1991), which saw lead actor Richard Harris nominated for an Oscar. 

His production company, Ferndale Films, recently developed the adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s novel Secret Scripture, directed by Jim Sheridan, which is also being screened at the festival.

On Friday writer/director Megan K Fox will be in conversation with producer Hilary Durman on the topic ‘Crossing the Line: From Shorts to Features.’


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