Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 18 April 2015

Cinema-goers to get plugged in for ultimate sensory experience at Belfast Film Festival

In a world first, creative technology will collide with horror fans at this year’s Belfast Film Festival.

Over three nights in April, movie-goers will sit back, plug in and “enjoy’ the sensory journey that is Biosuite — an emotional-response cinema experience.

Selected theatre seats will monitor pulse rate and skin response, triggering subtle sound and image changes to the unfolding story, during the screening of Unsound.

The short horror film has been brought to the festival by Belfast production company Filmtrip, in collaboration with the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen's.

The scary screenings will take place in the SARC Sonic Lab, the world’s only 360-degree, 48-channel sound theatre. Each night’s Biosuite experience will also |involve the screening of a classic David Cronenberg feature film.

Miguel Ortiz, a research fellow at SARC, is responsible for the sound design and score on Unsound. He said after further development this type of experience could be rolled out in movie theatres across the world.

“It’s been challenging, but very interesting and so rewarding. It links to some of the work we have been doing at SARC with physiological response to music,” he said. “The public’s real-time responses will influence scenes and music. The current system will be used and that involves five electrodes being placed on each person’s fingers, so it’s very non-invasive.”

Gawain Morrison, producer at Filmtrip, said: “It will be a unique cinema experience for whoever is in one of the hot seats.

“At Filmtrip we are all about multi-platform projects and pushing technology in areas that this has never been done in before.”

Mr Morrison said when discussing the script and genre, horror was the obvious choice.

“It was a no-brainer because of the ‘boo’ moments and the tension,” he said.

Hot seats are on a first come, first served basis — to be in with |a chance of winning email contact details to before April 6.

More information is also available at


Unsound is a 10-minute horror starring Stella McCusker and Richard Dormer which will be followed by one of these classic David Cronenberg films:

Sunday, April 10: Scanners — 1981 sci-fi horror about a corporation using people with telepathic and telekinetic skills.

Monday, April 11: Naked Lunch — 1991 adaptation of William S Burroughs’ novel.

Tuesday, April 12: Videodrome — A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see life and the future of media spin out of control.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


You must be decisive. Don't leave your Fate in the hands of others. If you need more money, ask for a raise. Are you dissatisfied with a relationship? Issue an ultimatum. Are you perturbed by an ethical matter? Speak on behalf of justice. People will be uncomfortable with your dramatic behaviour, but they will respond to it. Waiting for a miracle to arrive simply isn't wise. When you want to make a change, you have to take action, even at the risk of being unpopular.More