030 Pt Atsushi Nishijima 20211110 00201 1

Belfast Film Festival announces opening and closing films

Belfast Film Festival has announced its opening and closing films for its 2023 programme in November with Andrew Haigh’s ALL OF US STRANGERS and Yorgos Lanthimos’ POOR THINGS leading the programme of events.

Both films have stormed the latest film festival circuit, garnering rave reviews and whispers of OSCAR, BAFTA and SAG nominations.

Opening Night Film

Festival opening night will screen ALL OF US STRANGERS and boasts Irish actors Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal whose characters’ chance meeting punctures the rhythm of their daily lives. This will be the fourth time director Andrew Haigh has wowed Belfast after bringing his debut WEEKEND in 2011, LEAN ON PETE in 2018 and Oscar nominated 45 YEARS in 2015 to the festival.

Closing Night Film

Closing the festival is the outstanding, outlandish and outrageous POOR THINGS from mastermind director Yorgos Lanthimos and Irish production company Element Pictures, starring Emma Stone, Willem Defoe and Mark Ruffalo. Hotly tipped for a shower of Oscar nominations and winner of the Golden Lion at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, this is an exciting coup for Belfast and is sure to be the talk of the city for weeks to come.

Writers’ strike

Standing in solidarity with all those writers who have just ended their strike for fair wages across the world, the festival has chosen this year to champion the recent Writer’s Guild of America strikes by screening a host of films about screenwriters and will host a talk with world-renowned screenwriter JOHN SAYLES and producer MAGGIE RENZI. The festival will also screen a selection of their work.

Michele Devlin, Director of Belfast Film Festival said:

“We are thrilled to present a fantastic line-up of new international film, an impressive selection which includes titles from every continent across the world.  In this year’s programme we are focussing on the current industrial action in the entertainment sector particularly the WGA and SAG strikes. We are so pleased to welcome Oscar nominated screenwriter and director John Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi who will be jointly presented with the festival’s prestigious Réalta award for Outstanding Contribution to Film.”

Belfast Film Festival will also partner with the new Avenue Cinema to bring the glitz of Hollywood to its Screenwriters on Screen Retrospective with screenings of BARTON FINK, SUNSET BOULEVARD and ADAPTATION remastered and returning to the big screen.

With a nod to the season and for those who enjoy a fright, there will be a special one-off screening of the FrightFest 2023 hit HAUNTED ULSTER LIVE by Belfast filmmakers Dominic O’Neill and Will McConnell, on Halloween night.

Belfast Film Festival is funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Belfast City Council, the Department for Communities, Film Hub NI, and Arts and Business NI. And proudly sponsored by Yellowmoon, Birra Moretti and Hastings Hotels.