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Local Talent Forms Core of Belfast Film Fest

The programme for the 9th Jameson Belfast Film Festival, which runs from 26th March until 4th April 2009, has been unveiled. Northern Irish shot films to screen will include Kari Skogland’s ‘50 Dead Men Walking’, Glenn Leyburn & Lisa Barro’s ‘Cherrybomb’, the post apocalyptic ‘Ditching’ and Carol Moore’s ‘Pumpgirl’.The programme was launched last week in Belfast by Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Gregory Campbell and the Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tom Hartley who described the event as “a cornerstone event in the city’s annual arts calendar”.

Over 130 film screenings from over 30 countries mix in with various special events.

The Irish Premiere of ‘Little Ashes’, a film which chronicles the life of a young Salvador Dali, will open the Festival at Movie House Dublin Road on 26th March.

Rupert Grint of ‘Harry Potter’ fame will attend the mid week Gala screening of ‘Cherrybomb’ alongside local actor James Nesbitt, while ‘50 Dead Men Walking’ based on the life and times of informer Martin McGarland, will be the Festival’s closing night Premiere with actors Sir Ben Kingsley and Nathalie Press in attendance.

Other Irish films to screen include ‘Macgill – Tachrán gan Todhchai’ – starring Stephen Rea in a creative documentary examining the life of poet and novelist Patrick MacGill, Bob Quinn’s ‘Vox Humana’ and Maeve Murphy’s ‘Beyond the Fire’ about a love story involving an ex priest.

Festival Director, Michele Devlin, explains: “As the Belfast Film Festival grows each year, we are so proud of the fact that, as well as a strong selection of international and European films, we are able to showcase a burgeoning wealth of local film-making and acting talent.

“We have the eagerly awaited premieres of first features, the locally-made ‘Cherrybomb’ and ‘Ditching’. We are also proud to be screening ‘Pumpgirl’ starring local talent Samantha Healey and Geraldine Hughes and to be celebrating local legends including Davy Hammond, Brian Desmond Hurst and John T Davis, as part of the 2009 Festival.”

New additions to the programme this year, will include the ‘Jameson Sound and Vision’ strand, which will celebrate the role that music plays in film. Supported by Arts & Business, events will include renditions of the soundtrack to ‘O, Brother, Where Art Thou?’ by local bands Spring and Airbrake, and a screening of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ to a live score in St. Anne’s Cathedral.

The will also be the ‘Spotlight on India’ which will welcome, Indian film-makers Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who will host a panel discussion and present some of his films such as ‘The Walls – Mathilukal’ and ‘Shadow Kill – Nizhalkuthu’.

A host of Irish shorts will screen in the Jameson Short Film Competition. as well as documentaries from across the world such as ‘Corridor #8’ and ‘Valentino: The Last Emperor’ to be showcased as part of the international Maysles Brothers Documentary competition.

Full information and tickets is now available through the Official 9th Jameson Belfast Film Festival Programme, Tickets for the festival are also available for purchase by phoning the Festival Box Office on (tel) 02890 246609 or from the Belfast Welcome Centre at 47 Donegall Place, Belfast.

Original article found at IFTN I March 2, 2009

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