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John Cusack to be special guest at Belfast Film Festival

By Noel McAdam

The Oscars it might not be - but a Hollywood star is on the way to Northern Ireland to pick up an award.

High Fidelity actor John Cusack is to be the special guest at this year's Belfast Film Festival.

The 51-year-old actor will appear at an 'in conversation' event.

He will also receive the Festival's Realta award for outstanding contribution to cinema.

Festival director Michele Devlin said: "John Cusack is one of the finest actors of his generation and we are delighted that he will be coming to Belfast for this special event."

Cusack rose to A-lister status through films like Sixteen Candles and Stand By Me, but broadened his appeal to include the film noir thriller The Grifters and action blockbuster Con Air.

At the same time he wrote screenplays and produced several major movie hits including High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank.

Cusack also intends to take part in Q&A sessions after screenings of a number of his films in Belfast.

Now in its 17th year, the festival is an 11-day movie marathon, running from March 30 to April 9.

Previous guests have included Julie Christie, Michael Fassbender, Martin Sheen and Stephen Fry.

Festival Director Michele Devlin said: "John Cusack is one of the finest actors of his generation with a truly incredible body of work to his credit. He has inhabited one memorable character after another – underdogs, anti-heroes, offbeat deadbeats and odd men out – in over 80 films during his 34 year career.

"We are delighted that John will be coming to Belfast Film Festival for this special event at which he will talk about his life and work. We will be presenting him with our Réalta award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cinema."

Tickets are on sale at belfastfilmfestival.org, by phoning (028) 9024 6609 or calling in person at Visit Belfast Welcome Centre in Donegall Square North, Belfast.

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