Belfast Film Festival today launched its 16th annual festival at the Mac in Belfast. In its biggest programme ever, over 133 films from 30 countries will be screened during 10 days from 14th to 23rd April.

The tantalising line-up includes new international cinema and documentaries, critically acclaimed television, features and shorts from local filmmakers and plenty of post-screening discussions throughout the city.

Guests attending this year’s festival include widely renowned English screenwriter and director Terence Davies who will be honoured with the Belfast Film Festival Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award. He will give a public talk about his career spanning 40 years including such seminal films as Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes that will be screened during the festival.

Those attending the festival launch were treated to a range of food washed down with Peroni beer and were welcomed by Festival director Michele Devlin, who said: “This year’s Belfast Film Festival promises some truly exceptional world cinema including Argentinian mafia family drama The Clan; Japanese Yakuza thriller Mr Six; the Don Cheadle biopic of Miles Davis, Miles Ahead; black comedy Swansong featuring a superb cast of British and Irish talent including Eva Birthistle and Antonia Campbell-Hughes; Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee from Turkey, Mustang; and the epic endurance test that is the 6 hour Arabian Nights Trilogy. We’re also delighted that our closing night gala screening is the eagerly anticipated Stephen Frears biopic, Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.”

Festival chairperson Kevin Jackson spoke of how the festival is not only a feature of the Northern Ireland cultural landscape during ten days of April, but that the festival team work with more than 30 organisations throughout the year, including Oxfam, Lighthouse and the Roma Romanian community, and that special events now take place throughout the year and throughout the North of Ireland.