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Now in its fifth year, the Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival , which will take place in Schull, West Cork from 22nd-26th May, was launched on 17th April at a Cinematographer’s Party at The Bodega, Cornmarket Street Cork.

Speakers at the event were the Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, his Excellency Carlos Garcia de Alba, the Cork Screen Commissioner, Niall Mahony, and of course, the festival’s main sponsor, Michael Barry of Barry & Fitzwilliam, importers of Corona Extra. Also in attendance to celebrate the festival’s success were Directors Carmel Winters, Tony Barry, Chris O’Neill from the Triskel Arts Centre and Sminky Shorts (Jason Sullivan).

The launch event brought both first time filmmakers and established directors together at the Cinematographer’s Party and all were enthused by the announcement that internationally renowned Hollywood Director and Cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak will take part in this year’s Festival in Schull in May. Andrzej was Director of Photography on three films to receive Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, ‘The Verdict’, ‘Terms of Endearment’ (which won 5 Oscar Awards), and ‘Prizzi’s Honor’. Other names announced included Lenny Abrahamson with ‘What Richard Did’, Sminky Shorts with ‘Unseen Footage’, and Music Documentary maker Myles O’Reilly among others.

‘Experiencing the extraordinary’ at the Festival’s Cinematographer’s Party were, Kate  Barry of Barry & Fitzwilliam, Distributors of Corona Extra and title sponsors of the event who were joined by Carmel Winters who has won the hearts of film enthusiasts for her direction of the film SNAP. Winters, a guest of the festival for the past 2 years was accompanied by Sally & John McKenna.

Despite the fact that the town has no cinema, organisers of the film festival have come up with innovative methods to showcase over 250 films all over the town by encouraging filmmakers, tourists and locals to access the submitted competition films locally, on their laptops, iPads and smart phones, simply by logging on to the Festival’s Short Film Archive. For five days at the end of May, Schull village itself becomes a screen.

This year’s area of special focus is Animation, with contributions from David Quin of CGI Generator for Brown Bag’s ‘Give up your Auld Sins’, Mike Ahern of Team DADDY and Rob Cullen of Boulder Media among many others.

Also featured at the festival will be Local Interest Films, a World Cinema Programme to include the best short film selections from Turkey, Poland, Spain and Mexico. Renowned Mexican actress Diana Bracho and Iván Trujillo Bolio, Director of the International Film Festival, Guadalajara will also take part. Round table discussion with Gerry Stembridge, Carmel Winters and Pat Kiernan of Corca Dorca will also be on offer.

“The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival is a major showcase for Irish and international short film production and has been held in high regard on a local, national and international level for several years now. The 2013 festival includes over 250 short films, Q&A sessions, premieres, workshops and round table discussions, with numerous, industry experts and post production professionals from Ireland and abroad.” says Chairman of the Festival, Maurice Seezer.

‘The 5th Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival would not be possible without the support of our Title sponsor Corona (through distributors Barry and Fitzwilliam) as well as Fáilte Ireland, West Cork Development Partnership, The Arts Council, The Irish Film Board, Benny & Cliona McCabe, Viv Nathan, Frank Daly, Culture Ireland, Michael Satke, William and Judith Bollinger, Cork County Council, Subaru, Denis and Mary Ryan and Digital Forge for their technical support, and huge private support from friends and local business friends of the festival. A big thank you goes out to the village of Schull for providing an idyllic setting for what is now an internationally acclaimed Short Film Festival and for the outstanding encouragement and enthusiasm of the entire community toward this event.’ Seezer added.

Once the launch event was underway last evening, several clips of short films submitted to the competition were screened as a prequel to this year’s festival, along with drama (choreographed by Karen Minihane), music and lots of fun. All in all, a wonderful way to herald what will prove to be an intriguing and innovative Festival over the final weekend in May 2013. Do not miss it!


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