There was palpable tension in the air at two different Festival events yesterday.

Belfast Film Festival has announced two films, Martin and Raymond, as joint winners of its first ever Short Documentary Competition, supported by DoubleBand Films.

Dermot Lavery and Michael Hewitt, DoubleBand Films, said:

“Selecting the winners of the Belfast Film Festival Short documentary competition was a difficult task, such was the high quality of the films we viewed. Eventually, however, we narrowed our choice down to two films – but then felt we could do no more. The most appropriate action was to make these two films the joint winners. Martin, directed by Donal Moloney and Raymond, by film-maker David Stephenson, are both beautifully filmed and intense portraits. In bringing us into the world of an elderly and somewhat isolated Irish farmer, Raymond is a powerful reflection on loss and death. Martin, delivers an equally powerful insight into the daily life of one homeless man in Dublin and a wonderful meditation on the nature of happiness. We were deeply impressed by the way in which each film-maker intimately, yet respectfully, portrayed his subject.”

Meanwhile, over in the Black Box, quizmasters Brian Henry ‘Maverick’ Martin and Tim ‘Goose’ Burden asked the questions that only the best of the best could answer in the annual BFF Quiz.

With quiz rounds including movies about New York, the Musack of Cusack, and Odd Born Out, over 20 teams battled for supremacy in this tightly wrought thriller – but without a surprise ending as the ultimate winners were… ‘The Usual Suspects’.

And at the Movie House, Dublin Road, on both Saturday and Sunday, we were thrilled to give filmmakers in the early stages of their careers the chance to have their medium or feature length films shown on the big screen at Movie House, Dublin Road. Thanks to the casts and crews of all of these films for showcasing an amazing weekend of local talent.