‘Here Before’ by east-Belfast actor, writer and director Stacey Gregg will have a gala screening this evening as the stars line up for the final film of the 21st Belfast Film Festival.

The feature film, starring Andrea Riseborough, is a chilling Northern Ireland set psychological drama looking at one woman’s grief and its deep impact on her psyché.

The film is Stacey Gregg’s feature debut and includes local actors Jonjo O’Neill, Eileen O’Higgins, Martin McCann, Lewis McAskie and Niamh Dornan in its stellar line-up.

The event took place at the Odeon Cinema, Victoria Square as part of the closing ceremony for the 21st Belfast Film Festival.  Running from November 4, the Festival has welcomed an array of local stars as it concentrated on shining a light on homegrown talent through the theme of ‘bringing it all back home’.

Highlights of this year’s programme have included the Irish premiere of ‘Belfast’ by Kenneth Branagh; a special screening of ‘Lyra’ about the life of the late journalist Lyra McKee; the gala premiere of Northern Ireland’s first Irish language film, Doineann; and the presentation of the Reálta Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Cinema to actress Bríd Brennan.

Director of Belfast Film Festival, Michele Devlin said:

“We are thrilled to present Stacey’s highly accomplished first feature film ‘Here Before’ to close this year’s festival. This psychological drama is a stunning and stylish piece of cinema and we are so proud to be showcasing the first of what I know will be many Stacey Gregg feature films.  She is an incredible actor and really has an exciting and distinctive voice as a writer and director.

“This year’s festival has stood out, as we celebrated the very best of Irish cinema and the many people involved in bringing these stories to life. We have a rich heritage of art and storytelling in this country and we are incredibly proud to have been able to showcase some of this through screenings and events which champion our magnificent creative and technical talent.

“After many months when cinemas remained closed and we all sadly became accustomed to isolation and anxiety, it has been so wonderful to welcome back collective events and shared filmic celebrations.  The past ten days have really highlighted the strength of the local sector, and the desire of audiences to engage with this very special storytelling medium.  Cinema is well and truly back… and more popular than ever.”

Belfast Film Festival is proudly sponsored by Birra Moretti, Hastings Hotels and supported by Northern Ireland Screen, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, Tourism NI, Film Hub NI.