Belfast Telegraph

‘Branagh in Belfast’ film festival to mark Sir Kenneth's Freedom celebrations

Belfast will host a pop-up film festival as part of celebrations to mark Sir Kenneth Branagh being made a Freeman of the City.

The ‘Branagh in Belfast’ programme of events will be delivered in partnership with Film Hub NI and will be staged in venues across the city.

Fans of Sir Kenneth will also have the opportunity of being in the audience at a special ceremony in the Ulster Hall on Tuesday, January 30, when the Belfast-born actor will officially receive the honour.

Applications to be part of the audience can be made online via the council website  and free tickets will be allocated to Belfast residents via computerised draw.

The deadline to apply for tickets is 5pm on Friday 19 January.

Some of the highlights of the pop-up festival include a screening of Cinderella at Belfast Castle, where the audience is being encouraged to dress up as their favourite princess; and Dunkirk which is being shown onboard the HMS Caroline.

Into Film and Cinemagic are also coordinating a series of screenings in several schools across the city so children and young people will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Sir Kenneth’s work.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “Sir Kenneth Branagh is very proud of his Belfast roots and it was important to him, and to us as a council, that we marked this occasion by doing things a little bit differently, getting out into the community and involving as many people as possible; in particular, young people and aspiring young actors.

“We’ve worked with Film Hub NI to plan a series of special Branagh movie screenings across the city, and we would love to see schools and community groups getting on board to host their own events.”

Meanwhile, community groups, schools and organisations across Belfast are being encouraged to host their own Branagh-themed events as the city celebrates the achievements of one of the city’s most famous sons.

Speaking back in October, Sir Kenneth described being made a Freeman as an “incredible honour from his home town”.

He added: “Belfast has always given me more than I could ever repay.

“It took great care of me until the age of nine. It gave me a profound sense of family, a magnificent landscape to play in, and a Belfast sense of humour that is a constant boisterous reminder to never take yourself too seriously.

“I’m proud to say that you can take the boy out of Belfast, but you can't take Belfast out of the boy.

“This is an incredible honour from my home town and I am humbled to be included in a roll call that includes artists like Van Morrison and Michael Longley.”

More details on the ‘Branagh in Belfast’ programme can be found on the council website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/branaghinbelfast.

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