Film aficionados gathered at the Queen’s Film Theatre last night to honour British director and screenwriter Terence Davies and see him receive the Belfast Film Festival’s inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Cinema award, supported by the BFI.

The Liverpool born Davies, director of films such as Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), The Long Day Closes (1992), Of Time and the City (2008) and The Deep Blue Sea (2011), was in conversation with cineaste Cian Smyth, and their talk – interspersed with clips from across Davies’ 40 year career – was by turns entertaining, informative, impassioned and hilarious.

Following the talk, Belfast Film Festival chairperson Kevin Jackson addressed the audience and spoke of how Davies’ films were renowned for their “themes of emotional and physical endurance, the influence of memory on everyday life and the effects of dogmatic religion on the lives of individuals.”

On receiving the award – a beautiful bronze Owl statuette – a beaming Davies thanked the festival, and those who had come to see him speak, before finishing with a poem from one of his favourite poets Emily Dickinson, subject of his latest film A Quiet Passion.