Belfast Film Festival goes football crazy with UK premiere of Shooting for Socrates. 

Belfast Film Festival together with O2 went football crazy tonight. The red carpet was out at the Belfast Waterfront as stars of screen and sport, and a very special trophy, lined up for the UK premiere of Shooting for Socrates.

The visit by the 2018 FIFA World Cup Winners Trophy was instigated by former international footballer, David Campbell, whose astonishing journey to make his international debut against Brazil in the FIFA World Cup Finals in 1986 is the subject of the new film.

The World Governing Body of Football, FIFA, granted the extraordinary honour to Northern Ireland to allow the Trophy to be present at the Gala Premiere of the film.

The honour was made in recognition of Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce OBE, FIFA’s current Vice President who will conclude his term in office in June this year and who was guest of honour at the film premiere.

Players from the 1986 squad who attended the premiere included Manchester United legends David McCreery, Sammy McIlroy, Jimmy Nicholl and Norman Whiteside, as well as Pat Jennings, ex-Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur (regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers of all time), Gerry Armstrong, goal scoring hero of the 1982 World Cup campaign, David Campbell, Billy Hamilton, Phil Hughes, John McClelland, John O’Neill, Jim Platt, Jimmy Quinn, Mark McCaughey and Paul Ramsey.

A feel-good comedy with true grit, Shooting for Socrates tells the story of a momentous time in Northern Ireland’s football history through the eyes of players, fans and the media.

Also on Belfast Film Festival’s red carpet were stars from the film, including Conleth Hill who appears as legendary sports reporter Jackie Fullerton, and 13 year-old Art Parkinson who plays football mad Tommy, along with the film’s director James Erskine and co-writer Marie Jones.

Jackie Fullerton himself introduced the 1986 World Cup squad onto the stage before the capacity Waterfront crowd enjoyed the screening of this titanic David and Goliath story.

The UK premiere of Shooting for Socrates is supported by the Irish Football Association and Quikkly – connecting movie-lovers everywhere to movies.

Shooting for Socrates goes on general release on 12 June, 29 years to the day since that memorable match against Brazil.

The 15th Belfast Film Festival ends on 25 April. Tickets for remaining events can be booked online at or with Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, 9 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GJ. Phone +44 (0)28 9024 6609.

Heading to the Festival this week? O2 customers can get free cinema treats to enjoy during the film. Download Priority and check for more information.