With the Belfast Film Festival coming up in April, cinema is on my radar. A recent email to me highlighted a local film that appeared in last year’s festival line-up and is now being screened in the Queens Film Theatre from Saturday 20 to Thursday 25 March.
Ditching is the debut feature film from Factotum, the Belfast-based arts group possibly better known as the publishers of The Vacuum. (Their new Bureaucracy issue is out now.) They were also selected to participate in Northern Ireland’s first showing at the Venice Biennale. And they have a choir too!
Northern Ireland, the future: in a post-apocalyptic landscape of decaying towns and primitive technology two people set out on a journey in search of medicine.
Ulster has become a depopulated, feudal and dangerous wilderness where its inhabitants have forgotten the past and are confused about the ruins that surround them. They distract themselves with improvised ceremonies and games but feel threatened by a world they do not understand.
Along the way the travellers find themselves embroiled in a number of situations involving a cast of unpredictable characters including a wise hermit, a tribe of cannibals, a dysfunctional army and an entrepreneurial priestess. What fate will await them at the end of their journey?
The film stars local acting talent - including Lalor Roddy (Hunger), Jonathan Harden (Fifty Dead Men Walking), Juliet Crawford (Five Minutes of Heaven), Paul Garret (Cherrybomb) and Mary Lindsay – and an original soundtrack.
I’m intrigued by the sound of this film, though I’ll be out of the country so won’t be able to make it along to a screening. But if you make it along to the QFT, come back and comment below about the film and how you found it.
Update - August 2010 - posted a review of Ditching.