We were delighted to be invited to programme for the Fastnet Film Festival, based in Schull in County Cork in the South West of Ireland recently, and so it was that we took the short flight over to Cork for the opening of the FFF 2017. Now in it’s 9th year, the Fastnet Film Festival, is possibly the only film festival in the world that doesn’t have a cinema but despite this seemingly fatal handicap, the FFF has made a virtue out of necessity by the simple expedient of converting the entire village into an ad hoc cinema!
The FFF manages to screen an incredible 51 short film screenings in 5 days at a dozen venues, ranging from Horse-boxes to fisherman’s cottages and from the local library to one of the four local hostelries! Converted into bespoke cinema’s the venues retain a rural charm overseen by the fantastically energetic team at the FFF Office, overseen by the legendary and vivacious Pauline Cotter!
Apart from hosting numerous visiting film-makers, directors, actors, film festivals and producers, ranging from David Puttnam to Jim Sheridan and Lenny Abrahamson, and some notorious ping-pong parties, late night film convos in Hackett’s Bar (and the highlight for many, the pub quiz!) the FFF also hosts numerous interviews and the awards ceremony on the closing night.
We took a trip out to the small offshore fishing community on Long Island (thanks to the indefatigable International Programmer, Maria Pizzuti) in a charming little tugboat, accompanied by some mannequins dressed as scuba divers, to have a look at a fisherman’s cottage which was converted into a cinema for the duration of the festival.
We were also lucky enough to attend the opening of the FFF, a gala community event and the official opening, followed by long discussions about films, festivals, fancy-dress (and of course, ping-pong!) with the effusive and entertaining FFF chair-person, Aidan Stanley.
While we were there, we put together a short doc featuring highlights from the FFF as well as some of the talented bods that make up the thriving film scene that is the Fastnet Film Festival and we’ll have this to share with you shortly! We’re also extending an invite to the folks from Fastnet to come over to Auld Reekie for our shindig in November, so watch this space!
In the meantime, here’s some more images from the Fastnet Film Festival, for a flavour of the proceedings!
Thanks to Alexandra Person for the pics!