I caught up with Mark Cousins whose film The First Movie was being screened last night at the QFT. He took his mobile cinema to a northern Kurdish village in Iraq. Handing out digital cameras to the children, their highly creative filming (including “a continuously held camera shot … [a] revealing fable of a boy who, without friends or toys, [who] confides his hopes, dreams and thoughts to the mud) is included in the war zone documentary, as Cousins reflected on his own childhood in Northern Ireland.
On the last full day of the Belfast Film Festival, Mark Counsins was part of a panel discussion held in conjunction with Index on Censorship looking at Making Political Films About the North: Then and Now.
“The troubles in the North of Ireland have long been the subject of film-makers. This film-making landscape has changed over the years, as has the political landscape. Self Censorship and direct Political Censorship have both been key factors in defining what films get made and which ones don’t. The panel will discuss selected issues relating to censorship.
What forms of censorship influence the work being made? Is there any difference to the types of films being made 30 years ago and now? What are the key examples of censorship in Ireland?”
The four panellists talking from their areas of personal experience and special interest were:
- Prof. Bill Rolston – Chair (Professor of Sociology at UUJ’s Transitional Justice Institute)
- Margo Harkin (Producer of Mother Ireland and Bloody Sunday: a Derry Diary)
- James Flynn (Producer of H3)
- Mark Cousins (Director of The First Movie)