The Belfast Film Festival began in 1995 as part of Féile An Phobail and has developed hand in hand with the evolving culture of film patronage and filmmaking in the city.
The 2018 will see the eighteenth programme roll out across the city. The Festival’s activities are entertaining and provocative, and in many instances provide an important platform for debate across the religious, social and cultural divides in Northern Ireland.
The presentation of site specific events and innovative ways to screen film is one of the festival’s specialities; films have been screened in used (Jaws) and disused swimming pools; on a boat in the River Lagan, (Piranha); with live piano accompaniment in St Anne’s Cathedral, (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939); collaborating with local talent such as Duke Special and David Holmes on audio visual performances; and profiling unique architectural sites such as a screening of an episode of the TV series The Prisoner in Church of Christ Scientist, Belfast.
The Festival promotes film education and practical filmmaking skills and has attracted film industry guests such as John Cusack, Michael Moore, Julie Christie, Terence Davies, Seamus Mc Garvey, Brendan Gunn and John Lynch. The Festival showcases local talent alongside the best in new International cinema. Belfast Film Festival initiated a documentary film competition named in honour of Albert and David Maysles, The Maysles Brothers Award in 2006 to celebrate the best work in the medium.