Cut to the Belfast Film Festival 2013...

This year’s Belfast Film Festival features the best of new Northern Irish and international cinema, alongside a special outdoor screening of Sam Raimi’s splatter classic Evil Dead II.

Samuel Wigley

Wielding the chainsaw is writer Malachy Grant. He’s recreating a blood-splattered scene from Sam Raimi’s horror sequel Evil Dead II (1987) to help promote an open-air screening of the film at this year’s Belfast Film Festival. Taking place in Belfast’s Ormeau Park on 20 April, the screening is among the 110-plus taking place across the city during an 11-day festival, from 11-21 April.

Raising the curtain on the festival is the premiere of Made in Belfast, the debut feature from Paul Kennedy, about a successful novelist (Ciaran McMenamin) who returns to Belfast after a spell of self-imposed exile in Paris, his first novel having drawn uncomfortably on the lives of friends and family.

Other highlights from the screening programme include Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing; arthouse auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s Tokyo-set Like Someone in Love; Renoir, a new French biopic about the great impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste and his filmmaking son Jean; and Spoof or Die, a Northern Irish film by director Prasanna Puwanarajah about a teenage boy’s fixation on Belfast’s violent past.

“We are very excited to be showcasing homegrown work and international filmmaking talent from more than 30 countries,” says festival director Michele Devlin. “The programme is packed with well established, lesser-seen and exciting first time directing talent. From Iran to Japan, from Cuba to China, the world will be at festivalgoers’ fingertips.”

Made in Belfast (2013)

Made in Belfast (2013)

This international tasting menu will be supplemented by several site-specific events. The city’s Crumlin Road Gaol will play host to an outdoor screening of the Paul Newman jailbird classic Cool Hand Luke (1967), while St Anne’s Cathedral will see a screening of Franco Zeffirelli’s film of Verdi’s La traviata (1983) accompanied by a live performance by members of Northern Ireland Opera’s Young Artists’ Programme.

The festival comes to a close on 21 April with the premiere of Final Cut, a new film from Hungarian director György Pàlfi (Hukkle, 2002) comprising a mash-up of scenes from over 450 classic international films. It’s a history of the movies, told with exuberant originality, featuring the likes of Alain Delon, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Chan, together at last.

Speaking about this year’s festival, Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Alderman Robinson, said “I am pleased the festival is clearly going from strength to strength each year, and would applaud all involved in pulling together and delivering such an exciting programme.”

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