Belfast Film Festival is delighted to announce that John Cusack, Hollywood star of many hit films including High Fidelity and The Grifters, will be a special guest at this year’s Festival.

The actor, producer and writer’s ‘In Conversation’ event in the Movie House, Dublin Road goes on sale today, a week before the full programme is launched.

John was born in Illinois to an Irish-American family so the actor may also find time to explore his roots during his stay in Ireland. In addition to the ‘In Conversation’, he will take part in Q&A sessions after screenings of a number of his films. John Cusack’s visit to Belfast is supported by Movie House Cinemas, Film Hub NI and Tourism Ireland.

Now in its 17th year, Belfast Film Festival is an 11 day movie marathon, running from 30th March to 9th April, bringing the best of new world cinema, premieres, documentaries, industry events, special guests and a local filmmakers’ showcase to Belfast.

The Festival encompasses venues across the city and gives both local audiences and visitors the chance to enjoy some truly amazing cinematic experiences. Guests who have previously attended include Julie Christie, Michael Fassbender, Martin Sheen and Stephen Fry.

Festival Director Michele Devlin said:

“John Cusack is one of the finest actors of his generation with a truly incredible body of work to his credit. He has inhabited one memorable character after another – underdogs, anti-heroes, offbeat deadbeats and odd men out – in over 80 films during his 34 year career.

We are delighted that John will be coming to Belfast Film Festival for this special event at which he will talk about his life and work. We will be presenting him with our Réalta award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cinema.”

Other highlights in this year’s Belfast Film Festival include Oscar® nominated Scandinavian bittersweet comedy A Man Called Ove, World War II period comedy drama Their Finest starring Gemma Arterton, and Studio Ghibli’s lush tropical island adventure The Red Turtle.

David Tennant stars as controversial Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing in Mad To Be Normal and Terence Davies directs Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion.

In the Documentary Panorama, I Am Not Your Negro looks at race in modern America, and Notes to Eternity is a meditation on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

And no Belfast Film Festival would be complete without its Special Events section which this year includes a Live Read of A Fish Called Wanda, and a concert film about rhythm and blues singer Miss Sharon Jones! followed by soul and funk DJs playing into the early hours.