Rock stars and road racers are among the highlights of films being brought to the big screen in this year’s Belfast Film Festival.
The festival, now in its 11th year, launches today with a packed programme of 130 films from 25 countries being screened over 16 days.
Films will be screened from Thursday, March 31, with the UK premiere of Killing Bono, starring rising west Belfast star Martin McCann as the eponymous lead singer of U2.
The film is based on the hit memoir I Was Bono’s Doppelganger by music journalist Neil McCormick and features as its backdrop the rise of U2 from their early days in the 1970s.
The film also stars the late actor Pete Postlethwaite in one of his last screen roles.
“I'm really looking forward to the premiere of the film,” said McCann.
“I've been to a few screenings before, but this is the first time I've done anything like this. I've never been a part of the festival to this |extent.
“I love going to the festival and seeing great films that'll never make it to the cinemas. It's an extremely important event which showcases the growing talent of not just actors but the writers and directors that we have here.” Other highlights of the festival, of which the Belfast Telegraph is this year’s media partner, are Matching Jack, starring Ballymena native Jimmy Nesbitt as a devoted dad nursing his sick son, and TT3D: Closer To The Edge, which follows riders and racers at the Isle of Man TT.
The festival will also include the usual selection of quirky screenings. Among these will be a screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe, on the roof of the Merchant Hotel and the classic Moby Dick in Belfast’s historic seafaring church, the Sinclair Seaman’s.
And, in a unique collaboration, the festival has teamed up with Belfast theatre company Kabosh to produce the world premiere of a new stage play, Raiders Of The Lost Story Arc.
The play is based on a meeting in 1978 between movie giants George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan in which the idea for the classic adventure movie was born.
Meanwhile, the festival will also host a closing night event on April 14 with the screening of drama Behold The Lamb by local director John McIlduff.
Belfast-born director Terry George’s new film The Shore, starring local actor Ciaran Hinds, will also receive its world premiere at the festival.
For the full programme and |box office, log on to www.belfastfilmfestival.org