Belfast Film Festival

12th – 21st April 2018

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And the winner is ……

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Short Film Competition

This years short film competition featured a strong line up, with over 40 films from across the island, the standard was high – but in the end there can only be one winner.

Judging Panel: Dr Laurence McKeown (Writer & Filmmaker), Prof Sarah Edge (Photography & Culture Studies Centre for Media Research at University of Ulster) & 14th Belfast Film Festival winning short Director Louise Ní Fhiannachta (Rúbaí).

Winner: A Flash (2014) dir. Niall Cutler

Judges comments:

“A Flash is a fresh, satirical look at the boy band phenomenon with a tight sense of narrative, an extremely high standard of acting by a very young cast and a really clever twist we didn’t see coming.

The film is all the more remarkable considering that it was made by young people at the beginning of their careers. We are confident a bright future awaits them”

Highly commended:

An Actor Prepares (2014) dir. Denis Halligan & Marty Stalker

Bloody Good Headline (2014) dir. Tom Burke

The Abandoning (2014) dir. Vanessa Gildea

Maysles Brothers Documentary Award

This year we had 8 international documentaries competing in this category, from films about little towns and the end of the world, to teenage kicks and gardening.

Winner: Approaching the Elephant (2014) dir. Amanda Rose Wilder

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Approaching the Elephant

Judges comments:

“Approaching the Elephant is a frank, challenging and provocative film, charting the efforts to set up a new ‘free school’ in New Jersey, where there are no lessons and the rules are written by everyone together. In many ways it’s a difficult film to watch, as the initial optimism gives way, over the course of a year, to conflict and chaos. But it’s also an intensely humane and empathetic film, and one which recalls the spirit of the Maysles brothers very directly. It connects us immediately with its subjects, making us engaged and committed viewers. It was easily the film that animated us most and whilst there were several excellent entrants in the running this year, Approaching the Elephant was a clear winner”

Audience Awards: 

Voted by you, the audience award is presented to the best film from our new cinema programme.

Winner: Timbuktu (2014) dir. Abderrahmane Sissako

Audience Comments:

“A crucible of religion, humour and delicate cinematography, measured on the human scale of a cattle herder’s family life in the dunes of Timbuktu”

“Beautifully funny, beautifully sad”

“My favourite film of the festival, simple and unforgettable”

“A glimpse into place so different from here, where the people are not so different”