A silent auction of rare film memorabilia has raised more than €20,000 for the creation of a film hub in West Cork. The auction, which included eye-catching pieces such as signed script pages of Star Wars: Rogue One and Hercule Poirot’s moustache, was in aid of the creation of a film centre in Schull. The project aims to transform the old AIB bank in the heart of the village into a state-of-the-art film centre.
The landmark building was gifted to the Fastnet Film Festival and could cost as much as €1.5m to refurbish. The festival organisers plan to transform it into a world-class performance centre, including a 120-seater auditorium with a stage, cinema, and rooms for workshops, archives, greenscreen, editing, and more. In total, the silent auction saw 90 items auctioned off, with some €22,000 raised. Among the items was a framed Hercule Poirot moustache, worn by David Suchet in 1993. The framed moustache, created by Patricia Coogan O’Dell, David’s personal make-up artist on the original Poirot television series, sold for €550.
Signed script pages for Star Wars: Rogue One were snapped up for €169 and two VIP tickets to the Late Late Show with James Corden in Los Angeles went for €500. It includes green room access to rub shoulders with guests on the night.
A leather-bound script of The Mission, the 1986 Oscar-winning film from producer David Puttnam, sold for €390, while a swivel chair donated by Mr Puttnam went for €1,250. The bigger ticket items included two leather screening chairs from the home cinema of Harry Cohn, the co-founder and president of Columbia Pictures. They were sold for €5,600, while a keen rugby fan will be delighted to have snapped up an Ireland rugby shirt donated by Cian Healy and signed by the Ireland team. It sold for €1,100.
Hilary McCarthy, vice chair and communications director of the Fastnet Film Festival, paid tribute to those who supported the event. “Our deepest gratitude goes out to all those who supported our silent auction,” said Ms McCarthy. “We auctioned off 90 items, an amazing array of rare film memorabilia and beautiful pieces of art. An unbelievable €22,000 was raised which will go towards transforming the old AIB bank, a beautiful landmark building in the heart of Schull, West Cork, into a state-of-the-art performance centre.”
The Fastnet Film Festival will run in Schull from May 22 to 26. It is a major showcase for Irish and international short film production. It focuses on the craft of film and has been held in high regard on a national and international level for several years. This year’s festival will see the screening of 12 feature-length films, as well as a series of seminars, masterclasses, and workshops on acting, sound, scriptwriting, and other elements of filmmaking.