Live and direct to your favourite watching device, the shiny new BFF Player will be our online portal for a regular selection of short films and features, Q&A’s and discussions.  Some of these will be new, others are wee gems unearthed from the archives.

Our May 2020 selection features Desert Island Flicks and some past short film competition winners.  So to kick off (groan) on the BFF Player, a treat for all you football fans.

You lay on the beach… on a desert island, all alone. All you’ve got is a 16mm projector, a bedsheet and two coconut trees to hang a screen, what will you watch? – what movies will you take with you? … this is Desert Island Flicks.

DESERT ISLAND FLICKS with James Richardson

Host Brian Henry Martin is in conversation with sports broadcaster and journalist James Richardson. James is best known as a former presenter of Channel 4’s Football Italia, having worked on the show for a decade between 1992 and 2002. Since then he has worked as a presenter on numerous shows including BBC1’s Late Kick Off and UEFA Euro 2012 coverage, as well as ESPN’s coverage of live Italian football.  He is now the host of The Totally Football Show.


Host Brian Henry Martin is in conversation with Jan Carson, a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children (2016), and a flash fiction anthology, Postcard Stories (2017). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. In 2016 she won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition and was shortlisted for the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia. The Fire Starters is her second novel.


Host Brian Henry Martin is in conversation with John McIlduff. John is a writer, stage director and filmmaker. His work spans opera, television, film, theatre, music videos, commercials, installations and even the odd song lyric. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, John studied at L’École de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he still lives.

His Film4 feature film BEHOLD THE LAMB premiered at the Toronto International film Festival and was awarded Best Screenplay at Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Best Director at the Arras International Film Festival.

John is also producer with Dumbworld’s media arm Dumbworld Productions and has developed projects including the multi award winning documentary THE BOOKSELLER OF BELFAST  and the animation PETER, LILY AND THE NOSE (Audience Award – Sola Nua Festival). He also produced the interactive website for the BBC’s Arts platform The Space which was awarded the prestigious FWA Site of the Day.

The Belfast Film festival has run a short film festival over the last 20 years. To celebrate our 20th anniversary we bring you a selection of previous winners of the competition.

Of Best Intentions (Short Film Competition Winner 2009)

2008 / 14 mins
Principal Cast: Stuart Graham, Rita Davies, Fionna O’Shaughnessy

The story of inventor Thomas Midgley’s life reads like acautionary tale for future generations. However, at the time of his death hewas blissfully unaware of the future ramifications of his inventions. This filmlooks at the fickle nature of our existence and the footprint we leave beindwhen we’re gone. The film follows the story of five individuals who set outwith noble intentions only to find themselves reeking havoc in the lives ofothers. The film uses Midgley’s story as a basis to examine the relationship between what we set out to do and where our actions lead us.

Incoming Call (Short Film Competition Winner 2017)

12 mins. 2006

Director Eoin Cleland

Nervous Kerri is delighted when she starts being Skyped by her future self with life advice, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The White Dress (Short Film Competition Winner 2007)

(2006) 3mins

Director: Vanessa Gildea
Stars: Rory Mullen, Gerry Shanahan, Rebecca Synnott

The white dress is the story of a little girl on her communion day but unlike other little girls she is making her communion all on her own

Even Gods (Short Film Competition Winner 2011)

2011 [18 mins]

Director: Phil Harrison
Stars: Paul Caddell, Laura Thompson, Lalor Roddy

Wisecracking, large-hearted, Hughie has been living in a long-term homeless shelter in Belfast for 6 years. He is well-liked in the hostel, the life and soul. But when his daughter contacts him out of the blue and wants to see him for the first time in thirteen years the boundaries of Hughie’s solid life begin to blur and the wounds of the past come back into sharp, painful focus. And when Hughie meets his granddaughter, who he never knew existed, he finds himself circling the contours of a life he thought lost, buried forever.

Good Girls (Short Film Competition Winner 2018)

2017 ‧ 10 mins
Director: Niamh McKeown

Bonnie, Pinkman’s finest student and head girl, takes us on a tour of her school as she tries to round up the school captains in time for the school photo.

Exhale (Short Film Competition Winner 2012)

(2012) 17min

EXHALE follows the story of KATE, a young woman driven to a life on the street by her addiction. As she survives another night on the street she contemplates the events that have led to this life.

Director: Mal Campbell

Stars: Catherine Brennan, Danielle Magennis

Rúbaí (Short Film Competition Winner 2014)

2013 (12 mins)

Director: Louise Ní Fhiannachta

Chaos abounds in the classroom when Rúbaí claims she’s an atheist and refuses to make her Holy Communion.

Introducing Brian (Short Film Competition Winner 2016)

(2015) 14min

Introducing Brian is a Nicholas Keogh film, based on stories by Brian Brown.

In a Belfast alley we meet Brian, a storyteller and dreamer, as he takes us back to a perfect childhood Christmas, and the heady days of acid house in London.


A Kind Of Sisterhood

2015 (70 mins)

Directed by Michele Devlin and Claire Hackett

This compelling documentary shown first by Belfast Film Festival in 2015 tells the story of a part of the history of the conflict in the north of Ireland that has been largely ignored in the media.


Watch this space for more BFF Player exclusives!