Fastnet Film Festival Inundated by London Film School Talent

The tiny village of Schull (population 658), home to Fastnet Film Festival, one of Ireland’s most innovative and idiosyncratic short film festivals, will welcome a host of LFS students, staff and alumni next week as they take part in both the festival competition and its London Film School Showcase.

The festival, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, takes place from the 23 – 27 May in a beautiful fishing village on the south-west coast of Ireland. Competing films are screened in the village hall, pubs, restaurants, galleries and on the sides of buildings, posing the question “What is a cinema, anyway?”, and looking for answers in every corner of the village.

Films are also streamed on the festival’s own intranet, and there are WI-FI hotspots so that they can be viewed on smart devices and laptops, but only within the village of Schull.

The London Film School Showcase, which is scheduled for Friday 25 May, will feature an introduction from new LFS Chairman Greg Dyke, a screening of four graduation and two term five films, and a Q&A with LFS Acting Director Gisli Snaer, current student Chris Brake and recent Filmmaking graduate Laura SewardSeward (@elseaweed), who recently DOP’d and co-produced the short film 'Master of Ceremonies' which will screen in competition in the Drama category, says: “My whole family are from Cork, but we spent every summer in Schull, where Fastnet is set. So, it's sort of my Irish home away from home and I've grown up there on holiday and am extremely excited to be there with our film! All the films picked for the showcase are really strong as well, they made a great selection.”

The films show the talent that London Film School helps to transform. Films chosen for the showcase, which demonstrate the full diversity of LFS filmmaking, are:

'Meltemi' – Writer/Director Zeta Spyraki’s graduation film, a fairy-tale about love, rebellion and old age set on a Greek island which premiered at the Palm Springs International Shortfest in June 2017. Other LFS crew include Camera Operator Mark Kuczewski and Camera Assistant Celine Cotran. The film was awarded Best Film and Best Fiction Film at the Big Shoulders Student Film Festival in Chicago |

'Three Centimetres' Lara Zeidan’s one-take 2018 graduation film shot on a ferris wheel with Beirut as its backdrop, which won the Teddy Award for Best Short Film and screened as part of the Generation 14plus competition at this year’s Berlinale. Produced by fellow grad and Assistant Director John Giordano and shot by Pierfrancesco Cioffi, the film was also an Official Selection at the 2018 BFI Flare Festival |

'Diliman' TJ Colanto’s Tagalog-language graduation film set in London, which tells the story of a Filipino family caught in a long-winded catering delivery which pulls them away from their niece’s wedding reception. The film won Best Short at the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival in 2017 and was produced by fellow grads Michael Graf and Remi Itani, with Cait Lyn Adamson as Assistant Director |

'Mariela' – Written, directed and produced by graduate Victoria Romero, Mariela is the story of a young woman remembering the tragic story of her nanny, and is based on Victoria’s own childhood growing up in Salta, Argentina. It was an official selection at the Oscar and Bafta-qualifying Uppsala International Short Film Festival in 2017 |

'Bo & Mei' – A term five film written and directed by Camille Nock and produced by Tung-Ying Hsieh with Abigail Hurcomb as DOP, Bo & Mei follows a young Chinese immigrant in London as he stands up against the prejudices he experiences both outside and inside the home. It recently screened at the Wicked Queer LGBT Film Festival in Boston as part of its Coming of Age shorts program |

'Scraps' – Written, directed and produced by Chris Brake also for term five (with DOP Pawel Achtelik), Scraps uses a mix of live action and puppetry to tell the story of a boy made of trash, who one day comes to life and quickly learns what it means to bond with his creator. The film had an extremely positive response to its exclusive online release on Vero and begins its festival run at Fastnet, followed by a screening at The Shortest Nights Film Festival in June |

Brake (@chrisbrakeillo), who will take part in the LFS Showcase Q&A alongside Laura Seward and Gisli Snaer, is excited to premiere his film at such a unique festival: “Not only will this be my first visit to the festival but also my first ever visit to Ireland, as well as the first festival where 'Scraps' will be screened, so it’s triply exciting for me. It’s such a great honour to be invited to attend, and really a testament to the hard work of the cast & crew that went into what was technically a fairly difficult film to make due to its heavy use of practical effects and puppetry. To be able to start the next chapter of the film’s life at Fastnet is an amazing opportunity.”

As well as through the showcase, which will give people a chance to find out what life is like at London Film School and to really get a feel for the range of filmmaking that comes out of the school each year, LFS will also be represented by Gisli Snaer on the festival jury for Best Irish Film, and a number of recent graduates and alumni whose films will screen in competition. Along with 'Master of Ceremonies', these include Filippos Vokotopoulos’ graduation film 'Unattended Item' (2015), 'You Are Here', directed by Nicolas Jones, and 'Thursday Night', directed, shot and edited by Gonçalo Almeida, which also screened in Official Competition at this year’s Sundance festival.

The festival looks set to be an LFS reunion and we wish everyone a fantastic time and the best of luck!

photo credits: Left: Darragh Carrey of LFS graduate Laura Seward as DOP on 'Master of Ceremonies' | Right: Sam Tibi of puppet artist Oliver James Hymans and student Chris Brake behind the scenes on 'Scraps' | | | 

Written by Sophie McVeigh