Traditionally, the Fastnet Film Festival takes place annually in Schull, County Cork, a selection of cinema under the shadow of Mount Gabriel. In May 2021, the festival will be delivered entirely online, with over 300 shorts from Ireland and abroad available to view completely free this week.
As announced in February by the festival organisers, uncertainty over the state of play for live film festivals this year led them to press ahead with offering an online edition this month. It’s an alternative arrangement that, while not replicating many of the joys of the face-to-face festival experience, nevertheless opens up the viewing audience, as many festivals have managed to do successfully over the last 12 months. Besides, if you’re face-to-face with someone watching a film, something has probably gone wrong…
An astonishing 350 short films from 50 countries will be available to view from the comfort of your home wherever you are, including shorts shot during lockdown and in isolation. The line-up for the Fastnet Film Festival 2021 will also include pitches for the event’s Puttnam Award, screenings of the shortlisted films, and winners who will share in the total prize fund of €45,000 will be announced among other events.
With programming dividing the shorts up into categories and genres, it looks to be straightforward going through the selection, whether you want to watch comedy or drama, local-to-Cork shorts, scannain as Gaeilge and more ensures there’s plenty to pick from for a diverse festival palate. Saoirse Ronan will be on hand over at onlinefastnetfilmfestival.com this Wednesday.
Anyone looking to learn more about the industry or develop their craft is in luck also thanks to the festival’s ‘In Short’ series. This includes 24 ‘In Short’ mini tutorials by a wide variety of industry professionals in Ireland, with some big names all advising on their particular field of expertise. These include Ed Guiney (Producing), Joan Bergin (Costume), Kate McCullough (Cinematography), Mike Ahern (Directing Comedy), Ros & John Hubbard (Casting), Mark O’Halloran (Scriptwriting), Ray Ball (Production Design), Ross Whitaker (Directing Documentary), Cara Holmes (Film Editing), Maurice Seezer (Music), Cian McElhone (Legal Issues) – and many more.
All screenings at the Fastnet Film Festival 2021 are completely free with no booking required. You can check out the full programme now HERE and get yourselves ready for a week packed with films.