BY JACKIE KEOGH
‘YOU don’t have to be a film buff, but it helps,’ said Hilary McCarthy, the communications director of the Fastnet Film Festival at the opening party at Grove House in Schull on Wednesday night.
Schull is the perfect venue for film fans this week as the West Cork town becomes immersed in all things visual, cultural and entertaining.
Over 200 guests soaked up the atmosphere at the opening party, as well as enjoying live music from the PC Quartet and a performance of the Lion King from Schull Community College.
People then settled down to a screening of Secret Scripture and a Q&A with the film’s director, Jim Sheridan, and some of the cast.
As opening nights go, it was indicative of the calibre of the festival, which is now in its ninth year.
The 200 guests included Paschal Scott of The Young Offenders fame, Joan Bergin, the costume designer with Vikings, and Tony O’Callaghan of The Bill and Eastenders.
Maureen Hughes, deputising for Jim Sheridan, described the Fastnet Film Festival as ‘one of my favourite festivals ever.’
The casting director, who will be hosting workshops, said: ‘Ireland is developing an extraordinary seam of Irish actors.’
And she spoke of her delight in seeing so many young actors turn up in Schull to audition for Artemis Fowl, which is being made by Disney.
The Fastnet Film Festival is a major showcase for Irish and International short films as it focuses on the craft of film and is held in high regard on a local, national and international level.
Other big-name visitors include former BBC boss Greg Dyke, directors Stephen Frears and Lenny Abrahamson, and Oscar-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow.