Film Hub Fortnightly – end Oct – Nov

26th October 2020

Since cinemas are now closed, due to the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown in place all across Northern Ireland since October the 16th, this blog has to change again with these very changeable times and follow this part of the world’s film events as they return to an online-only outlets.

Unfortunately, this means that the rest of Belfast International Arts Festival’s film screenings have been cancelled but we are hopeful that Docs Ireland and Belfast Film Festival’s joint online and in person 2020 edition, set to run from the 9th to the 28th of November, will be able to host its in-person screenings as originally planned. We'll update our Now Showing guide with any announcements,

Yet in the meantime, there are programmers and organizations hard at work to make sure cinema can still be seen and heard.

For instance, the Queen’s Film Theatre’s QFT Player has several new titles. Until the 31st, you can watch Second Sight: New Commissions, a touring programme featuring new works by filmmakers such as Ayo Akingbade and Rehana Zaman. Commissioned by the Information Commissioner's Office in association with avant-garde distributors LUX, it contains a trio of short films made in tribute to the Black Film Workshop Movement, a radical film movement active in the UK in the 1980s. From the 28th to the 11th, you can rent In My Blood Runs (2019), a feature length documentary which follows an Aboriginal boy in a small Australian town. While A Sign (Un Signe, Un Geste) (2014), a Belgian short film about faith, and a music video by the band Lean Logic for their song “Safe in a Dream”, are available to stream for free.

Ulster Gaeilge: It's Yours Too! Is a series of short films about the Irish language in East Belfast. While Queen’s Alumni and regular QFT Player partner, The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, have produced a free conversation between writer Susannah Dickey and the Centre’s president Glenn Patterson. Cinemagic’s Young Filmmaker Competition short programmes are still available, for free, until the 1st and Cahal McLaughlin and Siobhán Wills’ documentary Right Now I Want to Scream: Police and Army Killings in Rio - The Brazil-Haiti Connection (2020), will be available, for free but for 24 hours only, from 7pm on the 9th.

More information about these titles, the player’s back catalogue and booking can be found here. 

Also, over at NI Screen’s Digital Film Archive, they recently celebrated Home Movie Day with the launch of a collection of cine films shot by Dr. Frank McDowell. McDowell was a Belfast-based doctor who in his spare time was an amateur filmmaker. His films, shot in the period between 1959 and 1972, showcase McDowell’s and his family’s lives, construction in and around Belfast, the workings of its dockyards, the Big Freeze of 1963, a trip to Belgium and many other moments in between.

Other online offerings include the continuation of Cinemagic's month long festival, and The Dark Hedges horror festival presented by Banterflix.

By Ruairí McCann