It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing the rescheduling of the 20th Belfast Film Festival.

To slow down the spread of COVID-19 and protect our guests, audiences, staff and volunteers, the festival, which was due to start on April 1st, will now be postponed until the autumn.

We considered the ‘social distancing’ and digital models but yesterday, at an emergency board meeting, we decided unanimously that halfway measures wouldn’t work.

Just over a week ago we launched our 20th anniversary programme to a room packed with hundreds of excited film lovers, and we have already sold 2,000 tickets.  We want to respond imaginatively to this difficult time.  In order not to disappoint people too much, we will offer a few treats to our audience to thank them for their patience.  A selection of online events will be available free for our audience, including legendary film producer Jeremy Thomas in Conversation with Mark Cousins; the Short Film Competition and Official Selection Shorts; and others to be confirmed.  Key special events from the 2020 programme will be rescheduled as soon as it is possible.

We are also delighted to announce a one-off collaboration with our colleagues at Foyle Film Festival in November.  We’re all in this together and we think that film culture will be stronger from such co-operations. This partnership shows the true spirit of collaboration, and will lead to innovative  film events in both Belfast and Derry this autumn.

When people self isolate at home, what is one of the things they’ll do? They’ll watch films.  Classic movies and new work.  Film isn’t a fair weather friend.

In the next few days, we will process refunds for all tickets and passes purchased. Keep an eye on our website for further updates.

We thank our customers, our staff, volunteers, guests, funders, sponsors and venues for your support, and look forward to the clear weather once the storm has passed.

Belfast Film Festival