A stellar line-up of talent from in front of and behind the camera will attend this year’s Belfast Film Festival, starting tonight, for a series of special talks and Q&As with festival audiences.

Widely renowned English screenwriter and director Terence Davies will be honoured with the Belfast Film Festival Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award, supported by the BFI. He will give a public talk (QFT, 19th April) 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.

Traders is a thriller about recession-hit Ireland and the extreme, brutal lengths to which people will go to hang on to wealth and status. Rising star Killian Scott (RTE’s Love/Hate) will attend the screening (QFT, 21st April) with directors Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy.

What do punk rockers do as they approach 60? They go back on tour! Directors Kate and Paul McCarroll will be in Belfast to discuss their music documentary Outcasts by Choice (Strand Arts Centre, 22nd April) about the legendary Punk Explosion in 1970s Belfast. And rumour has it some of the band will be making a special appearance.
Swansong (QFT, 17th April) is a comedy drama about a washed-out musician who kidnaps his wife and her lover. Director Douglas Ray will take part in a Q&A following the screening along with Derry-born actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes.

Neil Edwards got under the skin of ‘The Process Church of the Final Judgment’ for his documentary Sympathy for the Devil (QFT, 17th April). The Sixties religious movement was branded a satanic cult and accused of a long line of lurid conspiracy theories. Neil will be joined at the Q&A by John Harvey, formerly a member of this controversial cult when he was known as Brother Zachary.

Director Marc Serena has crafted a lush, perceptive documentary, Tchindas, about the openly transgendered and deeply respected woman at the heart of the annual Carnival on a small, tropical Cape Verdean island (Movie House, Dublin Road, 21st April). Glue, glitter and feathers are at a premium in this beautifully shot film.

In 1990 filmmaker David Barker met novelist Carlo Gebler and they have been making films ever since. David and Carlo will discuss the documentaries they love and loathe as well as the secret of staying creative (The Mac, 17th April).

Cult classic Donnie Darko is given the live score treatment at The Black Box on 21st April when Jean-Yves Leloup from French pioneers of cinemix, RadioMentale, will create an atmosphere of rock, electro and electronica. And local folk inspired band Heliopause will create a live soundtrack to the 1927 silent classic Sunrise (The Mac, 20th April).

Alan Clarke’s three controversial television dramas of the 1980s were among the decade’s best attempts at capturing the Troubles. Biographer Richard T Kelly will talk about Clarke’s work in Northern Ireland and introduce the screening of Elephant (QFT, 17th April.)

Director Anthony Haughey will talk with Ed Vulliamy following the screening of UNresolved (QFT, 23rd April) reflecting on the 20th anniversary of genocide in Srebrenica. Ed is a journalist who reported extensively for the Guardian on the mid-1990s war in Bosnia and was one of the first reporters on the ground in Iraq in 2003.