Today, in the surrounds of Belfast City Hall we held the launch of the first ever Docs Ireland programme.

DOCS IRELAND will showcase the best new documentary films, presenting Irish and international feature length and short documentaries from 12-16 June in Belfast.

The 5 day programme is bursting with the hottest new documentaries, and the new festival will also host a series of industry events, master-classes and pitching sessions for new and emerging filmmakers and give them the chance to meet with some of the biggest names in the documentary industry to pitch ideas and learn about the business side of filmmaking from those who know best.

The festival will also play host to some of the biggest industry names including Dogwoof,BBC Storyville, TG4, Channel 4, CAT&Docs, USA PBS, RTÉ, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland.

We are excited to welcome Oscar-Winning Director Alex Gibney to open our new Irish documentary festival. The director of Loughlinisland documentary, No Stone Unturned, Alex Gibney, will take part in an event on the opening night of the new Irish documentary film festival.

Gibney will participate in an ‘In Conversation’ event with Brian Henry Martin and will also be presented with the “Outstanding Contribution to Documentary Film Award” when he is here.

The festival includes screenings, talks and special events.  Awards will also be presented for:

Co-Chair of Docs Ireland, filmmaker Brian Henry Martin, said:

“It’s truly a coup to have Alex come and join us for the opening night of Docs Ireland and we’re honoured to be able to present him with the Outstanding Contribution to Documentary Film Award.

“The importance of documentary films today cannot be overstated. It’s more important than ever that we celebrate those brave and creative voices who seek out the truth no matter what it is or where it takes them.

Michele Devlin, Director of Docs Ireland said:

“This is a fantastic time for the film industry in Ireland, there’s a real sense of excitement and opportunity.  We are a nation of storytellers, and it seems year on year our indigenous talent becomes more and more confident and assured in their work, especially in the north.

The rise of streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix, and the growth of theatrical releases for documentaries, show that there is a hunger for real-life, compelling and beautifully told stories. By showing people here the very best work from around the world we can light a spark and inspire the next generation of documentarians.

We are looking forward to hosting 30 national and international guests, all of whom are key decision makers in the documentary world.” 


Some highlights to look out for are:

  • Diego Maradona:Thursday 13thJune 6.45pm, Odeon Cinema Belfast Directed by one of the world’s hottest documentary filmmakers today, Asif Kapadia, this documentary focuses on the much-loved but controversial footballer. It includes never seen before footage from Maradona’s personal archive.
  • The Gift: The Journey Of Johnny Cash – Thursday 13thJune 8.45pm, Odeon Cinema Belfast.Taking the remarkable Folsom Prison recording as a central motif and featuring interviews with family and celebrated collaborators, the film explores the artistic victories, the personal tragedies, the struggles with addiction, and the spiritual pursuits that colored Johnny Cash’s life.
  • Game of Thrones: The Last Watch – Thursday 13 June, 6.30pm, The Strand Cinema –This documentary delves deep into the mud and blood to reveal the challenge of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and carparks of Northern Ireland.
  • Framing John DeLorean – Friday 14 June, 6.45pm, Odeon Cinema Belfast – A deep portrait of the controversial businessman with Alec Baldwin playing John DeLorean in re-enactments of key scenes in his life.
  • Firing Line with William F Buckley: Bernadette Devlin – Friday 14 June, 4.30pm, Queen’s Film Theatre – An hour-long conversation between the respected American journalist and the Irish civil rights activist filmed in 1972. Bernadette McAliskey will participate in a post-screening Q&A.
  • Shellshock RockSunday 16 June, 3pm, Ulster Museum – A seminal documentary on the Northern Irish 1970’s punk rock scene.
  • Closing Night Gala: Gaza – Sunday 16 June, 6.45pm, Odeon Cinema Belfast – This elegantly shot, and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life offers a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of Gaza.