The 19th Belfast Film Festival ended with another packed day before Brian Welsh’s euphoric Beats blasted the roof off Movie House, Dublin Road.
We started the day with Fantasy of the Deer Warrior in the Beanbag cinema, the cover of this year’s festival, an epic Taiwanese drama from 1961.
In the Black Box we were treated to a live read of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, but with an all-female cast. Directed by Emily DeDakis and produced by Accidental Theatre, the cast included Mary Lindsay, Victoria Armstrong, Christine Clare, Claire Connor, Cathy Brennan Bradley, Colette Lennon and Gemma Mae Halligan.
Following the live read we screened The Social Model, a documentary looking at how able-bodied filmmakers and actors have exploited negative depictions of disability to win awards and gain stardom. Justin Edgar from 104 films, took part in what was called an “engaging and insightful discussion” following the screening.
Over in the Queen’s Film Theatre a 50th anniversary screening of Secret of Santa Vittoria was accompanied by an Italian wine reception. We also screened Dead Good, an intimate documentary following three groups of people as they participate in the ritual of care after death. Following the screening there was a Q&A with director Rehana Rose who took to Twitter after to thank the audience for a “thought-provoking and inspired” discussion.
Over in the Strand Arts Centre we screened Rem Koolhaas, a documentary about legendary architect and master provocateur Rem Koolhaas. Following the screening there was a panel discussion with the Royal Society of Ulster architects.
Director Brian Welsh introduced his film, Beats to a packed out screening in the Movie House, Dublin Road after our director, Michele Devlin, dedicated the film to Lyra McKee.
Some fans took to Twitter after the screening, “Best representation of my youth and the acid house revolution, it feels so authentic, watched it in a packed cinema with a mixture of old and young and felt proud” and “We needed some catharsis, and Beats delivered. A terrific Belfast Film Festival closer.”
Afterwards film fans, Belfast Film Festival staff and filmmakers all enjoyed an after party in the Marcus Ward with some beverages provided by Birra Moretti and Jawbox.
What a festival! We hope to see you all for our new documentary festival, Docs Ireland. Get these dates in your diary: 12th – 16th June 2019