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Saoirse Ronan to attend Fastnet Film Festival which will hold beach-clean after documentary

There are not many film festivals which incorporate a beach-clean, but the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull has always liked to take a novel approach to the silver screen.

The Festival, which got underway today and runs until Sunday night, has always sought to transform the West Cork village into a succession of cinemas, running an extensive programme of mostly short films across the event.

However, the 11th Fastnet Film Festival has expanded to include the new makeshift cinema at the Gallery in nearby Castlepoint, which will screen two films, Vitamin Sea and the Jeremy Irons-narrated environmental documentary Trashed - after which those watching will carry out a beach-clean.

The big stars attending this week are Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan and novelist Roddy Doyle, while those attending can check the listings for the screening of up to 240 films, mostly shorts.

Hilary McCarthy, communications director, said: "It is the busiest Wednesday we have ever had, with several sold-out events.

"It's the first time we have ever had so many online sales. We have an awful lot of filmmakers who are here for the full week."

The 13 feature films screened this week include Hanna, from 2011, and 2017's Lady Bird, both starring Saoirse Ronan, who will arrive in the West Cork town tomorrow and is expected to stay until Sunday. She will take part in a Q&A at the Festival at 9.15pm tomorrow evening.

File photo of Saoirse Ronan.

The other special guest is Roddy Doyle, who will participate in another Q&A at noon on Friday, while the critically-acclaimed short film Rosie, written by Doyle and focussing on the current homelessness crisis, is among the short films being screened this week in Schull.

Hilary McCarthy said almost 500 films were submitted, with around 200 now in competition for awards in various categories.

Another theme of this year's festival is a focus on Icelandic cinema, with three features and a short film programme curated by the Icelandic Film Institute.

There will also be a series of seminars, masterclasses and workshops covering sound, screenwriting, casting, auditioning, score composition, documentary film making, creating content on your mobile phone and more.

A special event in the programme is Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow screening his restored silent film Smouldering Fires, which will be accompanied by world-famous composer and conductor Carl Davis on grand piano.

Plus, there are the quirks that make the Fastnet Film Festival so unique, including its special three-seater cinema, live music, free family entertainment and the now sold out Long Island Cinema, where ticket holders cross on the ferry to attend film screenings in the ferryman's bedroom.