Barry & Fitzwilliam and the community of Schull have made their mark at this year’s Allianz Business to Arts Awards, winning top award by the unanimous decision of all 8 judges. Now in their 20th year, the awards seek to recognise the important role the arts have to play in the development of a successful business and in building communities. The very first public role President McAleese performed 14 years ago when first elected, was to present these awards and now at the end of her term for the 14th time she presented Michael Barry and Maurice Seezer with a sculpture created by renowned wood-turner, Mark Hanvey.

These unique and prestigious awards are offered by Arts & Business, the recognised leader in developing relationships between the two sectors. “In its 20th year, it seems we are seeing creativity stimulate both the artistic and local community, reinvigorating local communities,” said Brendan Murphy, CEO of Allianz Ireland. “This year the most creative and exciting nominees have come from new entrants and show a real commitment to creating collaborative art that benefits local communities.” For example, the village of Schull worked hand in hand with title sponsor Barry & Fitzwilliam to grow The Fastnet Film Festival to an international standard, attracting two film productions to the local area, and developing a relationship with the Mexican Institute of Cinematography adding a Mexican strand to the programme. In a town with no cinema they used the caption “Our village is our screen” proving Schull perfectly capable of being the active hub of an energetic and sprawling global medium.

Annually over the last weekend in May this short film festival, ‘without a Cinema’ provides those who attend with alternatives, through ‘Distributed Cinema, Schull’s very own intranet network dedicated to short film. From a horse box, to a micro cinema, a school bus, to a cycling cinema, from bookshop to craft shop, village hall, numerous local pubs & restaurants, Schull’s network connects through Ethernet cable and wireless links, to its own short film archive on a dedicated server. Through wifi you can access 3 years of films by way of laptop, iPad or a smart phone.

Best Small Sponsorship – under €25,000 value
Winner: Barry & Fitzwilliam for the Fastnet Film Festival