Director Eleanor McGrath and Hugo Straney (film subject and former Divis Flats resident) are flying in to join us for an intimate screening and Q&A. Their film shines a new light on one of Belfast most iconic and infamous buildings.
“Alive FromThe Divis Flats” is the story of Hugo Straney, an Irish Canadian from Belfast, Northern Ireland, living in Toronto. He has been in show business for over 30 years. Every week Hugo performs at community events, local establishments, weddings and hosts a radio show all in the hope that one day the big break will happen. He has performed in Las Vegas; and with two records of cover songs he should be known outside of Toronto by now. Hugo’s honest interaction with the camera tells the story of the ‘everyman’ on the journey of life in his search for recognition and immortality. But in the background is Hugo’s past; a childhood spent during Northern Ireland’s worst times in history, and a disaster in social housing: the Divis Flats. This is the true story, the honest story of the impact of an experiment in social housing which ironically catapulted Hugo to Canada and forward to success beyond fame.
“Anyone who made it good coming from that hell hole “The Divis Flats” has to have something special about them. It has to be the worse slum I have ever had the misfortune to visit. If the living conditions were not bad enough, to rise above the outside influences of that area must have taken a strong character. Hugo Straney deserves a film maDE about him….Good on him!
A British Soldier, retired, served in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Divis Flats
This event is part of Belfast Homecoming 2015. Want to find out more about the project? You can check out the website here