So much has happened since we started #pull focus on Thursday, we are only just catching up with ourselves.
On Friday night we had a surprise guest at our screening of Dust On The Bible. Director John T. Davis delighted a packed Beanbag Cinema when he dropped by to introduce his 1989 documentary which reflects on his experiences in America’s Bible Belt, drawing parallels between fundamentalist religion in the US and his home country.
Four very different documentaries screened on Saturday, from the archives and hot off the edit. One of NVTV’s first ever films (made for Channel 4) Under The Health Surface, was followed by Anne Crilly’s 1991 feminist examination Mother Ireland. In the Movie House two premieres had audiences enthralled – a visually stunning The Silver Branch directed by Katrina Costello and The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid.
We welcomed editor and sound designer Tadgh O’Sullivan and producer Luke McManus who joined the audience to watch their film The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid which was followed by a Q&A hosted by Declan Lawn and Phil Harrison. The Thin Air came along to the premiere and gave the film a 4 star review describing it as a beautiful, intriguing illustration of the encroachment of industrial mono-culture on Irish ways of life and the dignity of simply saying no. You can check it out here: http://thethinair.net/2018/08/pull-focus-the-lonely-battle-of-thomas-reid/
On Sunday we treated doc fans to a day of new short docs showing 17 of the finest new Irish and Northern Irish documentaries. Paul Duane, director of While You Live, Shine, a story of how an American record collector’s obsession with the oldest music in Western Europe changed his life, chatted with Stuart Sloan about the making of the film. An audience member commented :
‘I’ve just watched one of the most beautiful documentaries I’ve ever seen …… the film is extraordinarily beautiful with a 7 minute static shot of the dancers moving in a circle that adds to the entrancing and hypnotic nature of the music.‘
In the evening the fittest looking audience we have ever seen crowded into the movie house, cycling fans were out in force for the screening of Wonderful losers: A Different World, and we were delighted that Lithuanian director Arunas Matelis could join us to tell Stuart Sloan about how he spent four years following a series of ‘gregarios’ – the workhorse cyclists who toil for their team, and their team leader. The film was partly shot in Belfast during the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and supported by Northern Ireland Screen.