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Belfast Film Festival - Director's Highlights
11 Apr 2018 :
Michele Devlin
IFTN caught up with Michelle Devlin, the Director of the Belfast Film Festival ahead the opening night on Thursday, to find out what titles and events she is really looking forward to over the ten days of the festival.

“I am delighted that Internationally acclaimed British filmmaker Ken Loach will be with us to receive our Réalta Award for those filmmakers who shine a light on social injustices and inequality.   His entire filmmaking career, from ‘Cathy Come Home’ to ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ and ‘I, Daniel Blake’, Loach has shown a lifetime commitment to challenging the political status quo in film.  

“Amongst other special guests I’m looking forward to meeting BAFTA and Emmy winning writer/director Graham Linehan (‘Black Books’, ‘Father Ted’ and ‘IT Crowd’);   Award winning British writer and director Deborah Haywood will be taking part in a Q&A after a screening of her critically acclaimed, debut feature film, ‘Pin Cushion’. Haywood’s film is an off-kilter, heart-wrenching story with a distinctive visual style, about two generations of outcasts, which i absolutely loved.  Mexican writer and director Issa López will be taking part in a Q&A after her critically acclaimed ‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’, a film that has been praised by Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro.

“As part of a series of films focusing on 1968 we are screening Agnès Varda’s ‘Black Panthers’ alongside a Q&A with Bernadette McAliskey.  This will be a very special event as McAliskey has her own personal connections with the Black Panthers; after she was given a golden key to the city of New York by Mayor Lindsay she handed it over to the Black Panther Party “as a gesture of solidarity with the black liberation and revolutionary socialist movements in America.”

“ ‘The Dig’ is our closing night premiere Directed by the Tohill Brothers, the film features a fantastic performance by Moe Dunford (‘Patrick’s Day’, ‘Vikings’) alongside Emily Taaffe (‘Beast’, ‘Paula’), Francis Magee (‘Jimmy’s Hall’) and Lorcan Cranitch.

“We have 120 features and 58 shorts, the titles are drawn from 30 countries around the world.  We are very excited about this year’s programme and really looking forward to it rolling out across the city.”

Further details about the Festival are available here

Festival Director Michelle Devlin is on twitter here

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