It was a Beautiful Day for the opening of the 2011 Belfast Film Festival as it launched with the premiere of Killing Bono.
Notable names gathered at the Movie House on the Dublin Road for the event, and although this wasn't a black-tie affair befitting Hollywood, there was certainly an air of excitement.
Belfast actor Martin McCann played the title role of Bono. Fresh from his recent best actor win at the Irish Film and Television Awards, he seemed delighted to be at the event. “This is my second Belfast premiere. Closing The Ring was the first, and I'm able to appreciate the experience now I'm older,” he said.
The film tells the story of two Dublin teens and their attempts to become rock stars only to watch as U2 gain global stardom. “Playing a living person can be tough, but I tried to approach it as I would every other part,” Martin added.
The film's Belfast-born director Nick Hamm was also at the event, his first premiere in his home town.
\[Clare Palmer\]”It was the first time I've shot here and the crews were great. Northern Ireland Screen helped to make it a delightful experience and I would definitely film here again,” he said.
Hamm added: “This is a great place for a premiere, particularly as there is so much home grown talent in the film. It's an honour to have it open the Belfast Film Festival”
Guests at the event were treated to a champagne reception and although there was no red carpet to rival the likes of Leicester Square, there was a jovial crowd of eager film buffs in attendance for the film's first showing., mixing with some of the cast and crew from the film they were about to see.
“This year we really are showcasing the very best of Northern Ireland film talent”, said festival Chairman Brian Henry Martin.
“The festival gets bigger and more exciting every year.”
\[Michael McSwiggan\]Killing Bono will be on general release throughout Northern Ireland from today. The eagle-eyed will be able to spot locations such as the Frames complex and Dongall Street as they double for Dublin during the 1980s. The Belfast Film Festival will feature dozens of silver screen events around the city in various locations.
For tickets and information go to www.belfastfilmfestival.org