Magical West Cork casts a spell on actor Saoirse

June 4th, 2019 11:50 AM

By Emma Connolly

Saorise Ronan is doing the honours at this year's opening of the Fastnet Film Festival.

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Hollywood A-lister Saoirse Ronan has just been announced as a patron of Schull's Fastnet Film Festival. 

HOLLYWOOD A-lister Saoirse Ronan has just been announced as a patron of Schull’s Fastnet Film Festival. 

The Oscar nominated star will help raise the profile of the festival which has just wrapped up after another hugely successful year. 

Organiser Pauline Cotter asked Saoirse when she was in Schull last weekend to take on the role and she said she’d be delighted. 

The young woman, originally from Carlow, attended the festival and took part in a sell-out, on-stage interview with John Kelleher. 

‘Since the very beginning when I came here for the very first time I was in love...there is something magical about Schull, about West feels like a different world,’ she said. 

On receiving the Fastnet Film Festival’s first award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Irish Film’), a Pat Connor sculpture of the Fastnet lighthouse, she said delightedly: ‘I saw the sculpture up in the Film Centre and thought that would look lovely on the mantlepiece, thank you so much!’

The 11th annual festival attracted industry players from all over the world for its five days which reflects its growing reputation on the world-wide stage. 

Among the winners were: Day Out (Best Irish Film) and Fucking Drama (Best International Film), both of which got cash prizes of €5,000.

At the closing event Jude Gilbert, project officer of Comhar na nOileán, announced in Irish and in English, the introduction of an Irish language category in the short film competition element of Fastnet Film Festival 2020. 

Submissions ‘as Gaeilge’ will be judged on the Gaeltacht island of Cape Clear and screened there and in the distributed cinemas, which are a unique feature of the festival. 

The five-day event saw various gala screenings, premiers, seminars and masterclasses with lots of international film experts including Roddy Doyle, Paddy Breathnach, Jim Sheridan, Maureen Hughes, Gerry Stembridge and Gisli Snaer.  

Over 400 short films were screened across 15 different venues, from the Castlepoint Gallery, to the hotel, to pub and Café viewings, to screenings on Long Island and all over town. 

Visitors also attended feature screenings, the infamous film quiz and nightly live music.

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