Gas masks, motorbikes and thousands of glossy programs later, the 14th Belfast Film Festival together with 02 International Sim has launched.

We had a great afternoon at the Black Box with friends both old and new who joined Michele Devlin, festival director, and her team in marking the program launch of 14th Belfast Film Festival. Just looking at the program you can see how much it’s grown over the years. Michele drew our attention to a few highlights from the brimming schedule, including screenings of kaleidoscopic Baraka at Townsend Street church, Gregory’s Girl at Nettlefield Primary School, David Holmes and Mark Cousins’ work in progress I Am Belfast, and the live score screening of Dawn of the Dead at the Waterfront. Richard Williams, head of NI Screen commended the festival’s diverse programing and fulsome support of the local industry. Kevin Jackson, festival chairperson, congratulated the team on the diversity of the program, offered words of encouragement to volunteers and thanked local venues and sponsors alike, before reminding us that last year’s festival was our best attended yet.

We are proud to be screening the world premier of Road by Doubleband Films as our opening night event on the 27th of March. A local drama of world interest, Road is the true story of two generations of the Dunlops, a motorcycle road racing family from Ballymoney. Narrated by Liam Nesson, this feature length documentary builds their story with achieve footage, interviews, and incredible camerawork that puts the audience straight into the saddle of the bikes as they race at speeds of 200 mph on local roads. Road shows us how the legacy of this high-risk sport defined Joey and Robert, and why it still defines the success and loss of their family.

Then, 124 films and special events later, the final curtain will fall on the 5th of April with Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. Don’t be sad, because you’ll be wearing the red and blue filters of those ultra sexy 3D glasses. Hitchcock’s only movie ever shot in 3D, this version of Dial M comes from a 4k scan of the original camera negative. A perfect murder becomes a perfect nightmare when an ex-tennis player masterminds a plot to murder his wife, only to learn that revenge is always a dish best served cold.

With a total of 125 films and special events, 45 shorts from 38 countries, screening across 20 venues…Belfast you have 27 days to get ready.