We had just about recovered from the Opening Night Gala but excitement quickly built again as Robert Carlyle landed in Belfast!

Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty, Carla’s Song, Summer) took to the stage in front of a sold out crowd in the Movie House, Dublin Road to talk about his life as an actor with host Brian Henry Martin.

Our chair Mark Cousins introduced him to a standing ovation and presented him with the BFF award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema. Mark Cousins took to Twitter this morning – “How to introduce Robert Carlyle at Belfast Film Festival last night? I found myself saying that throughout movie history, certain actors – James Cagney, Anna Magnani, Albert Finney, etc – brought new energy and authenticity to the screen. Robert did that from the 90s onwards.”

In an engaging, warm and entertaining in conversation event, Robert talked of his earlier career with legendary filmmakers such as Ken Loach, shared personal anecdotes and took questions from the audience.

Robert enjoyed the event so much he announced that he would stay for a short Q&A after his screening of Summer tonight in the Queen’s Film Theatre. You can get all remaining tickets here.

He was presented with another standing ovation before taking photos with fans for a good 20 minutes! You’re a good man, Robert!

Elsewhere in Belfast the documentary I Am Evidence was screened in the Queen’s Film Theatre, a disturbing and powerful investigation into the way sexual-assault cases are handled by police departments across the United States. A panel discussion followed the film chaired by Susan McKay and featured Clare Bailey MLA, Jan Melia and Dr C Quinn, Head of Operations, Rape Crisis England & Wales.

Ahead of Lenny Abrahamson’s visit to Belfast we screened Garage to a sold out audience in the Beanbag Cinema and ahead of Aamir Khan’s visit we screened 3 Idiots in the Movie House, Dublin Road.

New Cinema included Mother’s Instinct, Gloria Bell and Another Day of Life in the Queen’s Film Theatre.