Film Hub Fortnightly – November Part 2

24th November 2020 4 Minute Read

Two brilliant festivals, in Belfast and Derry pivot online, bringing the same excellent programming from around the world.

In response to new, extended restrictions, the Belfast Film Festival’s 2020 edition will continue, through the next two weeks, online. Tonight, the 24th, there will be a work-in-progress screening of Ceasefire Baby, a personal portrait of the late journalist, Lyra McKee, and a free talk with the veteran film producer Jeremy Thomas. Or you can also watch Wildfire (2020), Cathy Brady’s directorial debut and one of the most high-profile Northern Irish films of this year.

Nora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan in Wildfire

On the 25th, there will a ‘Desert Island Flicks’ with actor Michael Smiley, while the local filmmakers’ group, Film Devour, will be hosting their 32nd short film festival. There will also be a NI Screen online pitch event, for those looking to develop a feature film.

On the 27th, Boys from County Hell (2020), a horror-comedy from the makers of Bad Day for the Cut (2017), is about a band of road workers versus an ancient vampire.

While on the 28th, series 1 through 5 of the BBC NI commissioned Two Minute Masterpiece will be shown. Along with the Cat Video Festival, a compilation of feline content pulled from the internet.

Then on the 3rd, you can view Rose Plays Julie (2020), a thriller about a young woman determined, at all costs, to track down her birth parents.

More information about the films, schedule and booking can be found at the festival website.

Meanwhile, out west, the Foyle Film Festival is also in the middle of an online only 2020 edition. From the 23rd to the 30th, you can view whiskey-themed documentary The Amber Light (2020), Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (2020), about the Swedish, abstract painter, and White Riot (2020), which looks back at the Rock Against Racism concert.

From the 24th to the 1st, there are more documentaries on show, with My Darling Vivian (2020), a portrait of Johnny Cash’s first wife, Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2020), about the media firebrand, and A Worm in the Heart (2020), which documents the LGBTQ+ community in Russia.

From the 25th to the 26th, Martin McGuinness - I Fought, I Made Peace, I Made Politics (2020), will be screening for free. While from the 25th to the 2nd, you can view Resilience (2020), a documentary of the effect of stress on children, and A Perfectly Normal Family (2020), a Danish drama about a young woman’s relationship with her father after she comes out as a transwoman.

From the 26th to the 3rd, there will be The Castle (2020), a drama about a Lithuanian girl and her eccentric family as she tries to pursue her musical passion after emigrating to Dublin.

Barbora Bareikyte in The Castle

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf (2020) is a documentary on the acclaimed, green-fingered designer, while The Girl From Mogadishu (2020), is a drama based on the true story of Ifrah Ahmed, a Somalian refugee to Ireland where she became a committed campaigner against Female Genital Mutilation.

On the 27th, through to the 4th, you can view a conversation with cinematographer Kate McCullough, Mossville: When Great Trees Fall (2020), a documentary about a Louisianan community stricken with the effects of petrochemical plants, One Man and His Shoes (2020), about basketball star Michael Jordan and his legendary sneakers, and Arracht (2019), an Irish language tale of revenge set during the famine.

The 28th to the 5th is the festival’s busiest period, with Pier Kids (2019), a documentary on a popular Manhattan hang-out for queer and trans youth and The Story of Plastic (2019), about the materials’ transformative and destructive effects. The Central Park Five (2020) is a documentary on notorious trial and key moment in American civil rights history, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020) is a Julien Temple portrait of the Irish-English singer and Eternal Beauty (2019) stars Sally Hawkins as a woman trying to get by after a period of institutionalization and with her dysfunctional family. Also, on these same dates is the festival’s Light in Motion short competition, which will screen a range of interesting, animated shorts.

This short competition will continue from the 29th to the 6th, along with Landfall (2020), a portrait of Puerto Rico, post-Hurricane Maria. Rebuilding Paradise (2020) also examines the effects of a recent disaster, the 2018 Californian Wildfires, while Topowa! Never Give Up! (2020), follows 12 young music teachers from Kampala, Uganda as they travel and perform around the world. (This film’s screening on the 29th will also be followed by a conversation with its director, producer and cast).

The festival will conclude with Women in Blue (2020), about Minneapolis’ first black, woman police chief, and the closing film, Rose Plays Julie. More information about the festival, booking and programme, can be found at its website.

Anne Skelly in Rose Plays Julie