VISITORS to the 10th annual Fastnet Film Festival in Schull last weekend were so impressed they described it as: ‘Cannes, West Cork-style.’
In 25-degree heat, those who attended the hugely interactive film festival chilled out with movie producers, directors and casting agents.
Film buffs mixed with locals and visitors alike as they attended the same high-quality movies, workshops and seminars. There was so much to see it was hard to make a selection but Black 47 – the first film to tackle the darkest period of Irish history the Great Famine – impressed audiences.
The Roadhouse Cinema – the mobile cinema outside the national school – was busy too. It was the intimate setting for the Sheridan Retrospective, at which the director, Jim Sheridan, gave an interview.
The Roadhouse cinema was also the venue for the award-winning amination movie, The Breadwinner, which was edited by Skibbereen man, Darragh Byrne.
There were 15 pop-up cinemas throughout the village showing 400 short films – all of which were free of charge – and there was one cinema located on nearby Long Island.
Ferryman, Maurice Coughlan, transported 240 people over the five-day festival to the island to see four short-films that had a West Cork theme.
These films included The Wheel about the restored Coosheen Mill in Schull; The Swimmer featuring Ocean 7’s hero Stephen Redmond; The Pike starring Sinead Cusack; and All the Stars, All the Heavens about bread making in rural villages, like Schull.
The Tattoo directed by Ian Power took home the Best Irish Film award and Les Misérables directed by Ladj Ly won Best International Film.
The success of the festival has been copper-fastened by the Bollinger family’s donation of the old bank house as the new Fastnet Film Centre.