Film Hub Fortnightly – May
Now over 6 weeks into lockdown, more Northern Ireland based organisations are crafting online programmes in order to keep audiences engaged. This includes the Strand Arts Centre.
Collaborating with INTO Film, they will be presenting a new, online version of their weekly film series Minors Club. Aimed at families with young children, the Strand will be making this series' workshops, featuring everything 'from drum circles and hula hooping to arts and crafts, animation and storytelling’, available to stream for free. More information can be found on the Strand's website , along with other activities including printable colouring-in sheets. The Strand's YouTube channel is also a good resource with items for all ages.
The Queen's Film Theatre continues their QFT Player programme with two titles you can currently stream for free.
This includes HELP!, a variety show organized by the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's. An adaptation of their regular show at the Crescent Arts Centre, it is a 40-minute showcase of poetry and prose readings as well as music performed by an international line-up with this special edition headlined by musicians Joe Holtaway and Robin Hitchcock. The show also comes with a Spotify playlist.
You can also watch Becoming Cherrie (2019), a short documentary that tells the story of performer Matthew Cavan, who may be better known as the drag artist Cherrie Ontop. In this intimate portrait, Cavan tells of the struggle of living with a HIV diagnosis and the stigma attached to it and also how it give him the resilience to develop his persona as Cherrie.
The Belfast Film Festival is also active this month with their BFF Player. Drawing from their archive, they will be presenting three episodes of Desert Island Flicks. Hosted by Brian Henry Martin, the show features media and culture personalities picking through their favourite films. Available throughout May, this includes editions with sports broadcaster and journalist James Richardson, novelist, short story writer and community arts organiser Jan Carson and writer, stage and film director John McIlduff. More information and the programmes themselves can be found over on the BFF website. You can also check the site for any news about future releases.
And if you missed them in the cinema, a couple of recently exhibited Northern Ireland related titles are available to rent from certain streaming services.
Calm With Horses (2019), a crime melodrama set in the west of Ireland, starring Cosmo Jarvis and Barry Keoghan and featuring Belfast actor Ryan McParland, can be rented from BFI Player, Curzon Home Cinema or Itunes. Local production Ordinary Love (2019), starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville as a couple learning to live with the latter’s cancer diagnosis, can also be rented from BFI Player and Itunes.
You can also see Film Hub NI's Sara's glowing review of Calm with Horses on the latest Banterflix show.