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‘Triage’ Opening Belfast Festival
11 Mar 2010 :
The 10th annual Belfast Film Festival will open with the gala Irish premiere screening of Danis Tanovic’s ‘Triage’. This year’s festival will feature screenings of Irish and World cinema works, workshops, an acting masterclass with ‘Sliding Doors’ star John Lynch, short films and documentaries. The event will run from April 15th to 30th.

‘Triage’, the festival’s opening film, tells the story of the impact of post-traumatic stress syndrome on a war photographer, played by IFTA winning actor Colin Farrell (Ondine) who returns to Ireland to be faced with the fact that his best friend has failed to come home. It was produced by Alan Moloney (Intermission), Cedomir Kolar (Heaven) and Mark Baschet (No Man’s Land) and the director of photography for the film was Seamus Deasy (The General).

The festival’s other Irish screenings include Conor McPherson’s ‘The Eclipse’, which recently claimed the title of Best Film at the 2010 IFTAs and ‘Mickey B’ written and directed in 2007 by Tom Magill. ‘The Eclipse’ tells the story of a widower, played by Ciarán Hinds (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), who is haunted by nightmarish visions. When he volunteers at an international literary festival, his life converges with a beautiful author of supernatural fiction, played by Iben Hjejle (Chéri) and a self obsessed novelist played by Aidan Quinn (A Shine of Rainbows). The events that follow draw all three into a life-altering collision between the living and the dead.

‘Mickey B’ is a feature film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, made with serving prisoners as cast, in Northern Ireland’s maximum security prison HMP Maghaberry. Set in the fictional private prison of Burnam, where gangs run the wings, Duncan, the number one drug dealer, is about to be released. Mickey B is the muscle collecting on his behalf. The three witches take on the guise of three bookies, fixing the odds for their own ends. Ladyboy, Mickey B’s girlfriend embodies the corrupting role of the queen of hate, scheming to reach the number one slot. The ‘Mickey B’ screening will be followed by a Q&A chaired by Professor Phil Scraton (QUB), with Director Tom Magilll and Sam McClean who plays Duncan.

The festival’s other gala screenings include Ger Leonard’s ‘Five Day Shelter’, an ensemble drama interweaving the lives of several characters, all of whom live lives of quiet desperation, in a contemporary urban setting over five days; Michael McNulty’s ‘Empire’ which is an independent film on a variation of the classic Greek myth Orpheus that is set in Belfast and was shot over three years on a zero budget; ‘Cupcake’ from Colin McIvor which examines a 23 year old man, who lives in a world of robots, gadgets and bad cakes discovers the importance of keeping a promise to his family and following his heart.

Several workshops will run as part of the festival. Two days of workshops entitled ‘Northern Exposure’ will look at the creative talent and profile of the Northern Ireland sector at which is currently enjoying an all-time high number of aspiring film-makers, writers and producers. Belfast Film Festival and Northern Ireland Screen have partnered to host a 2-day seminar where they will bring in key sales agents, distributors, producers and literary and talent agents, for a series of 4 industry-focused panel sessions and discussion groups. Some of the confirmed panellists are BAFTA nominee Tony Grisoni, Robin Gutch (producer, Warp X), Hilary Davis (Bankside Films), Julia Short (Verve Pictures), Stephen Murphy (Optimum Releasing), Mike Runagall (Pathé International), John Fletcher (Pathé Distribution), Nick Marston (Curtis Brown Agency) together with representatives from Future Shorts and Shorts International.

John Lynch will deliver an Acting Masterclass as part of this year’s festival. John received a BAFTA nomination for his haunting and memorable performance in the 1983 Irish film ‘Cal’. Since then, he has appeared in many Irish films including ‘In The Name Of The Father’. Other credits include ‘Sliding Doors’ with Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man); 2005’s ‘Lassie’ alongside Peter O’Toole (Laurence of Arabia) and Channel 4’s recent biopic ‘Mo’.

The Belfast Film Festival will also host the screenings of documentaries such as Deaglan O’Mocháin’s ‘The Hamely Tongue’ and ‘Banríon an Cheoil’. Ken Wardrop’s ‘His & Hers’ comes from its recent IFTA victory to compete alongside Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell’s ‘Colony’ in the festival’s Maysles Brothers Documentary Competition. The event’s short film competition sees Irish entries like Ross Whittaker’s ‘Bono & My Ex’; Rob and Ronan Burkes’ IFTA-winning ‘Runners’; Will Maloney’s ‘The Fuse of Peace’ and Matt curry’s ‘Latte’.

The 10th Belfast Film Festival will feature 30 Irish and UK premieres in its programme, with 125 screenings and events across Belfast from over 25 countries. The festival runs from April 15th - 30th at the Moviehouse, Dublin Road. For more information please see www.belfastfilmfestival.org.

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