Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Rare sighting of an Early Bird at QFT

BY EDDIE McILWAINE

THE Early Bird, one of the first movies ever to be shot in Northern Ireland, was due to be screened for the first time in 30 years at the Queen's Film Theatre in Belfast today.

THE Early Bird, one of the first movies ever to be shot in Northern Ireland, was due to be screened for the first time in 30 years at the Queen's Film Theatre in Belfast today.

Starring the late folk singer and actor Richard Hayward it was filmed mainly in the Glens of Antrim and tells the story of a puritanical woman to tries to enforce her rigid views on her home village, the fictional Ballytober.

Played by Charlotte Tedlie she forms the wholesome Uplift League in the village in an attempt to persuade people to reform and accept higher moral standards.

And this tyrant goes to extremes by naming offenders in the local newspaper.

Directed by Donovan Pedelty in 1936 The Early Bird also stars well-known names from that era like Jimmy Mageean, Myrtle Adams, and Nan Cullen.

The film attracted widespread attention at the time although it didn't take any of its cast to Hollywood.

It was filmed at a time when movie cameras were very much a novelty on the streets of Belfast, never mind the Ulster countryside.

Professor John Hill of the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, will be at the QFT to take part in a question and answer session with patrons.

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