Moving Pictures @ BBC #DigiCities: See you at the pictures?

21st March 2021 38 Mins

As part of BBC #DigiCities online offerings in February 2021, Film Hub NI presented See You At The Pictures? – a discussion around the importance of a film’s theatrical release, particularly in light of the dominance of online film streaming during the pandemic.

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About this Podcast

Before COVID-19, UK & Ireland cinema admissions were booming - increasing year on year, with Northern Ireland performing particularly well. Shutting the entire film sector down practically overnight has had a massive impact on every aspect, from production right through to exhibition. Many cinema operators moved to explore online players, distributors moved to show films online – missing out theatrical runs entirely, and audiences had an overwhelming choice. As (at the time of writing) cinemas are closed for the third time, operating within the confines of government legislation, what does the enforced digital intervention we saw in 2020 mean for the future of cinema? Do audiences still value the collective experience? How can we even measure the impact of online events? What does this all mean for the whole film industry eco system?

Listen to the edited highlights to hear Hugh and Sara from Film Hub NI chat to guests Joan Parsons (Head of Queen’s Film Theatre), David Freyne (Writer and Director, Dating Amber ) and Patrick O'Neill (Wildcard Distribution) about the future of cinema through the perspective of exhibition, filmmaking and  distribution.


The Moving Pictures Podcast series forms part of a wider Moving Pictures Programme of training and mentoring for Film Hub NI Members. Sincere thanks to Northern Ireland Screen for supporting this initiative through the Department for Communities.

Every effort has been made to provide a quality listening experience but please note that these recordings were made during January – March 2021 in our homes over Zoom so the sound quality may, at times, be patchy. Many thanks to our wonderful producer, Stephen Mullan, for all his hard work recording and editing this work under difficult circumstances.

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