Queen’s Film Theatre to celebrate 50 years of movie magic

11th September 2018 3 Minute Read

The internationally renowned Queen’s Film Theatre is set to host a month-long series of films and events to celebrate its golden year this October.

To mark its fiftieth birthday, QFT, which is an independent cinema based at Queen’s University Belfast, will host a range of events including brand new films and old classics. It will also show off its newly refurbished cinema which has now been completed after a £350,000 investment.

The month-long celebrations, funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the British Film Institute, will also see over thirty special events take place including in-depth Q&As with Mark Kermode, Jim Sheridan and the Derry Girls cast.

QFT50 will kick off on 5 October with the opening of a special exhibition that will showcase a range of artefacts, photographs and memorabilia from the past 50 years, as well as screen a preview of new film First Man starring Ryan Gosling.

President and Vice-Chancellor of Queens University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer said:

“As we begin this month-long programme of events, I am excited and honoured to lead the celebrations which mark 50 years of QFT. At Queen’s University Belfast, we are privileged to have such a unique cultural venue on campus, with vast experience of bringing a high quality film experience to Belfast audiences.

 “As well as being a social hub for our students and the wider community in Northern Ireland, QFT brings many positive economic, cultural and social benefits to the local economy.”

Joan Parsons, Head of QFT Belfast said:

 “We are so excited to be celebrating the golden year of Queen’s Film Theatre with an amazing programme of events that takes a trip down memory lane and also looks to the future of film.

 “The QFT is deeply embedded in the fabric of student life at Queen’s but it has also been an  important part of culture in Belfast itself and I am really excited to be able to present this programme of events and welcome old friends and new faces to the QFT in October.

 “With more than 30 special events, as well as our regular programme of film screening there is quite literally something for everyone to enjoy and get involved with. We have films, workshops, talks with renowned film experts like Mark Kermode, book launches, Derry Girls and even a French themed disco with tunes provided by DJ David Holmes.

“The celebrations will mark the contribution that the QFT and film has made to Belfast during some very difficult years in the past and is a testament to the power of film that the QFT is thriving today. We thank National Lottery players for supporting us to highlight and share our fascinating 50 year heritage. We hope that after QFT50 we will have welcomed a whole new audience to the QFT.”

 Angela Lavin, Senior Grants Officer, Heritage Lottery Fund Northern Ireland said:

 “QFT has been part of the fabric of Belfast for 50 years and many people have strong memories of watching the wonderful array of diverse films that have been shown there over the years. We were delighted to invest National Lottery funding to help the QFT to collate, share and celebrate their rich heritage.

 Sarah-Jane Meredith, Manager- UK Wide Audiences, BFI said:

 "We are delighted to be able to support QFT as it celebrates 50 years of screening films to audiences in Belfast.  The QFT50 programme demonstrates an ongoing commitment by the venue to screening the very best in cinema, bringing great cinematic stories to new and existing audiences and re-kindling a love for cinema in lapsed audiences."

 Highlights of the QFT50 Programme

14 October

Bloodyminded – First ever interactive live feature film broadcast online and at cinemas around the UK. The film will allow audiences to make its own decisions on the morality of war and decide the ending.

16 October
Themed 50th birthday celebration night with screening of Viva Marial, followed by a David Holmes DJ set.

19 October
Devils Doorway – Gala screening with director Aisling Clarke (former employee of QFT and first ever female-directed Irish horror feature).

 21 October
Mark Kermode book launch and Q&A.

23 October
Derry Girls screening of favourite episodes with Derry Girls cast and crew.

31 October
Closing Night Gala - Widows by Steve McQueen with special guests to be announced at a later date.

The QFT 50 celebrations are generously supported by National Lottery funding awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The British Film Institute.

The full programme can be viewed here.