We have had an action packed few days at Belfast Film Festival and continue with our ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ theme.

We welcomed Sean Duggan and some of the surfers who took part in his documentary ‘Keep It A Secret’ on Monday night at a sold out screening at Queen’s Film Theatre. The film tells the story of the dawn of surfing in Ireland during the height of The Troubles.

On Tuesday, Kathy Klugston talked to film journalist Helen O’ Hara about her third book, Women Vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film which looks at the past, present and future of women in mainstream American filmmaking.

Colin McKeown was in conversation with Hugh Odling See at the Black Box presenting his personal history of the stories told by us and about us. ‘Bad News & Good Vibrations: NI on Screen’ included clips from ‘Columbo’, ‘Miami Vice’ and Hollywood depictions of the troubles on screen.

Last night we premiered the beautiful ‘Old Friends and Other Days’ at The Strand Arts. Original concept and direction by Cameron Menzies, Old Friends and Other Days takes the music of Irish composer William Vincent Wallace and one of his contemporaries, William Balfe, and theatricalises each piece into epic storytelling through song: taking the ordinary into extraordinary and back again.  Four of Northern Ireland’s  shining lights in opera are featured in this film: Carolyn Dobbin, Mary McCabe, Emma Morwood and Sinéad O’Kelly.

Spending 35 minutes watching Old Friends and Other Days, a film by Northern Ireland Opera and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, was most enjoyable.

Screened as part of this year’s Belfast Film Festival, the film uses the music of composers William Balfe and William Vincent Wallace, both of whom are remembered for their operas, and theatricalises pieces into storytelling through son, under the direction of NI Opera’s Artistic Director Cameron Menzies.

Aine Toner, Belfast Telegraph