27 January 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Fastnet Film Festival, now in its 8th year is run by a small group of volunteers with the support of thousands of filmmakers and the entire community of Schull. It has grown in all areas each year since our inception in May 2009.
Over 5 days at the end of May, the festival showcases the beautiful village of Schull. Organisers endeavour to screen every film submitted to competition, as it is difficult for filmmakers to reach large audiences and have their work appreciated in a public forum. Workshops provide high quality hands on experiences for filmmakers. We concentrate on the craft of film, sharing of ideas where industry professionals and students share the same space.
To promote, encourage, educate and develop the talents of young, promising and established filmmakers. We facilitate access to the arts in rural Ireland, specifically the electronic/visual arts. We have turned geographical disadvantage into advantage by constructing a dedicated network and server with very specific access to particular online archives of film.
“Distributed Cinema” is Schull’s very own dedicated server to short films. Anyone with a smartphone, laptop or iPad can access the past 7 years submitted films, archived workshops and Q&As, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year in the village of Schull. During the festival our server is used alongside HD media players, to screen shorts and features, in a number of smaller venues throughout the locality. From a bookshop, to an art gallery, numerous local pubs and restaurants and The Long Island Cinema, to the village hall, for 5 days at the end of May each year, the town with no cinema has 15 cinemas. Organisers change the names outside each of the venues to ‘The Adelphi’, ‘The Plaza’, and ‘The Metropole’ etc.
The festival has grown from 60+ submission films in year 1, to 200+ in 2015, with a footfall of 4,000+ film lovers attending the festival in May of this year.