Sunday, April 02, 2017

Belfast Flm Festival 2017 - kids, shorts, documentaries, Syria, North Korea, Bulgaria and beyond

Every year something clashes with the Belfast Film Festival and curtails the range of fine films that I can savour. This year I’m off taking a team of men in their twenties from churches across Britain and Ireland to visit refugee projects on Sicily and Lampedusa.

Here are some recommendations of movies to catch in my absence!

Sunday 2 April

The World of Us “boils down the complexities of adult life to their inception and poignantly delivers them through the waning innocence of its young stars” in this film that sees a new childhood friendship stretched whenever the summer holidays end and they return to school. Queen’s Film Theatre at 6.30pm.

Mimosas is billed as a “Eastern western”, following a caravan transporting the body if a sheik to his remote resting place in the wildnerness of the Moroccan desert. A test of will, faith and endurance with a dusting of fear. Queens Film Theatre at 9pm.

Monday 3 April

Liberation Day – A thoughtful yet comedic documentary following the arrival of Slovenian cult band Laibach in North Korea and the process of threading alternative rock’n’roll lyrics through the eye of the censor’s needle. Beanbag Cinema at 6.30pm.

A Man Called Ove promises to be a quirky, funny, bittersweet and Swedish film. A boisterous new family get off to a bad start when they move in next door to angry old Ove. But understanding breeds friendship. Queen’s Film Theatre at 8.30pm.

Tuesday 4 April

White Helmets follows a group of volunteer first responders who rescue victims of the civil war in Syria. Searching for survivors amongst the wreckage of flattened buildings, since 2013 the White Helmets have saved nearly 80,000 lives. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help save others. Organised by CADA (Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies in NI) and followed by a panel discussion about the situation in Syria. The MAC at 7pm.

Aquarius – An ageing music critic stages a sit in to prevent redevelopment of her apartment block. Pledging to leave only upon death, this thriller follows her cold war with the developers. Queen’s Film Theatre at 8.30pm.

Wednesday 5 April

Film Devour Short Film Festival will once again pack its Hill Street venue with people and fantastic sub-15 minute shorts that are made in or connected to this island. Always a treat. The Black Box at 7pm. Arrive early to get a seat.

Thursday 6 April

The Good Postman is a documentary set in eastern Bulgaria, bordering Turkey. In a sleepy hamlet sitting amid orchards and a patchwork of farmlands the local postie watches refugees fleeing war-torn Syria and wonders what it means to be European in his increasingly closed-off and distrustful town. Beanbag Cinema at 6.30pm.

The Peacemaker follows the work of Padraig I’Malley as he uses “unorthodox methods and dogged determination” in his work to resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Followed for five years by filmmaker James Demo, this documentary contrasts a day job of restoring broken connections with a personal struggle with alcohol, and scarred relationships with those he loves. Movie House Dublin Road at 7pm.

Saturday 8 April

Join the Banterflix team as they look back at their Belfast Film Festival highlights and record the latest episode of their movie review podcast in the Hudson Bar between 11am and noon.

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