Belfast festival screening for Troubles victims film

Colin Davidson's Silent Testimony portraits, seen here in Riddel's disused warehouse, were the basis for Hear My Voice film
Colin Davidson's Silent Testimony portraits, seen here in Riddel's disused warehouse, were the basis for Hear My Voice film

A short film based on paintings by world-renowned artist Colin Davidson of 18 victims and survivors of the Troubles is to get a second showing on Thursday night as part of Belfast Film Festival.

Director Brendan J Byrne said: “When I first saw Colin’s Silent Testimony exhibition (in 2015) like many thousands of others, I was struck by its raw power. The experience lingered with me for another year or so before I decided to go and meet Colin to talk about the prospect of a film.

“I wanted to make his paintings centre stage. In order to do that I had to hang the paintings somewhere other than a traditional gallery where paintings are fixed to a wall and camera angles are limited.

“To do that we used Riddel’s warehouse in Belfast – a disused iron factory beside Musgrave Street police station. In some respects seeing the paintings there on their own almost evokes the memories of the dead people who the people in the paintings have been painted in memory of.”

He added: “While the events depicted in the film happened many decades ago to the film’s contributors, the legacy of those experiences remain as powerful and unforgettable today.

“I chose to do audio only interviews because I didn’t want the painting of that person to compete with the image of them on camera.

“What struck me was how the loss these people suffered may have been two, three or four decades ago, but it was still tremendously raw.

“There are the most poignant interviews I’ve done as a film maker.”

• The first screening of Hear My Voice had been introduced by US senator George Mitchell.

• The second takes place on Thursday at 6.45pm at Movie House, Dublin Road.