Film Hub NI in 2019
It’s been a busy year at the Hub this year, supporting our members to deliver work independent cinema to audiences in NI, wherever they may be. Thanks to all our membership, the BFI and all our FAN colleagues, for all their hard work to bring more films, to more people in more places.
Here’s some of the highlights from this, the last year of the decade:
In September, QFT was the venue for the Access Cinema Viewing Sessions, the first time Access Cinema had brought the event to NI in their 42 year history. Access members enjoyed the famous Belfast hospitality and watched a huge range of films from across the world, including the premiere of The Last Right, funded by Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland. You can find more information about Access Cinema and their great work here.
As a pre-cursor to the Viewing Sessions, we organised the first all-Ireland programming event which saw distributors, exhibitors and programmers from across Ireland come together to hear from Mia Bays and Jo Taylor from Birds Eye View talk about their work in developing wider perspectives of the world by engaging with audiences and films by women. A networking lunch was held at QFT, where knowledge was shared, contacts made and films discussed. We’ll look to developing another event in 2020.
Two major BFI FAN supported seasons, ‘Film Feels: Obsession’ across the summer months, and 'BFI Musicals' running from October saw FHNI members join their exhibitor colleagues across the UK in screening amazing films, often in amazing ways. Coordinated by our friends at Film Hub Midlands, audiences were treated to a smorgasbord of cinematic offerings dreamed up by always creative programmers and producers, be it musicals on boats, live scores in decommissioned churches, or wild cabaret performances.
For more details on the remaining BFI Musicals screenings go here.
This year also saw the launch of our Collective Scheme, with FHNI working with distributors to bring the latest independent cinema to community cinemas and venues across NI. Beginning with a short tour of The Dig, members have now screened the very funny ExtraOrdinary and the wonderful documentary Gaza and January see the beginning of an 11 date tour of A Bump Along the Way starring Bronagh Gallagher. You can find more details of the tour here.
FHNI Membership now number 91, from Enniskillen to Bangor and Portrush to Rostrevor, building a thriving independent sector, serving audiences with the best of film. The sector is best summed up by this year's Cinema Day, which saw 29 members take part in a one day celebration of the independent exhibition sector.
Joining FHNI in 2019 were: The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre; St Columb's Hall; Ormeau Community Cinema; University of Atypical; Our Social Space; NMNI; Bullitt Hotel; Open House Festival; Household; CinePunked; Platform Arts; Tread the Boards; Prisons Memory Archive; Glasgowbury; Cushendun Building Preservation Trust; Hillsborough Castle & Gardens; Rathfriland Regeneration Company; Bennigans Film Club; the Ulster Orchestra; Rathmullan Film Festival and Moving on Music.
Thanks again to all our members and all their audiences for making it a great film year in 2019. Here’s to more in 2020.