25 November 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Belfast Film Festival Dishes out Sinks
28 Apr 2010 :
Ciaran Hinds with his Sink Award
This year’s Belfast Film Festival marked its 10th anniversary with the bestowal of the first ever ‘Belfast Sink’ award on actor Ciarán Hinds. The festival’s other winners include Lifetime Achievement winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler, Andrew Legge’s ‘The Chronoscope’ which won the Best Short Film Award and Michael Palmieri’s ‘October Country’ which scooped the festival’s Maysles Brothers Documentary prize.

The first ever ‘Belfast Sink’ Awards were designed by local ceramicist Steven Farnan who was commissioned to produce a piece of ceramic art based on the iconic household jaw-box sink. Belfast born actor Ciarán Hinds was presented with a ‘Sink’ Award for his Outstanding Contribution to Cinema & Television and he accepted his award at a special event honouring key moments in his career, and with a screening of the IFTA winning atmospheric feature, ‘The Eclipse’. The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to filmmaker Haskell Wexler after a screening of his seminal 60’s film ‘Medium Cool’.

The Best Short Film Award was presented to Fastnet Films’ ‘The Chronoscope’, directed by Andrew Legge. This 20 minute short is in the form of a faux documentary about a beautiful scientist who invents a machine that can see into the past. The film is narrated by Jeremy Irons (The Merchant of Venice) and produced by Morgan Bushe (Colony) and Ben Keenan (The Rise of the Bricks).

The judges were impressed with the originality of the story and the wit and inspiration apparent in the short, as jury member Kevin Jackson commented: “The choice of archive material, the interwoven original material, it's grading and the inclusion of graphics and manipulation of images to create this faux documentary demonstrates that the director is a confident and extremely competent film maker as well as a storyteller to look out for in the future. The supreme irony of the film is that its message is that truth can sometimes ruin a good story. Here a good story is told by the invention of a piece of "missing" history.” The judges of the Best Short Film competition included filmmaker Lisa Barros D’Sa (Cherrybomb) producer Kevin Jackson and Red Rage Films’ Brian Durnin.

The Maysles Brothers Documentary winner at this event was ‘October Country’, directed by Michael Palmieri (Virus) and Donal Mosher. The doc is a portrait of an American family struggling for stability while haunted by the ghosts of war. The category’s jury members included directors Alison Millar (At Home With the Cleary’s) Eva Weber (City of Cranes) and filmmaker Daniel Dewsbury (Slave Labour).

”We couldn't be more pleased to welcome the 2010 jury's decision to award the Belfast Film Festival's Maysles Brothers Award 2010 to Michael and Donal for their magnificent film October Country - a true gem of American cinema that overturns a lot of preconceived notions about an American obsession with violence and its impact on society. It's equally pleasing that it is the first American film to win our Maysles Brothers Award considering it is a fitting tribute to the Maysles' style of filmmaking, recognising their contribution to American cinema”. Commented Cian Smyth, the Festival’s Documentary Programmer.

The final award to be announced will be, ‘The Audience Award’, for most popular film or event. This will be announced after the closing night premiere of Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Tetro’, on Friday 30th April.

One of the final highlights of the festival is the upcoming panel event, ‘Then and Now :Index on Censorship’ which will be held in the Queens Film Theatre at 2pm on Thursday 29th April. Admission is free for the event which will examine the realities of making political films about the north in the past and contemporary times. The event’s panellists will include Prof. Bill Rolston who will chair proceedings and filmmakers Margo Harkin (Bloody Sunday), Hames Flynn (H3) and Mark Cousins (The First Film). The participants will discuss questions such as ‘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?’ and ‘What are the key examples of censorship in Ireland?’ For more information about this and other remaining festival events visit www.belfastfilmfestival.org

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