Schools, churches and monastery open up for film festival

Belfast Film Festival
Belfast Film Festival

Thousands are expected to attend what is being branded the “most ambitious” Belfast Film Festival yet – which starts today.

It is the 14th year of the festival, and new additions this year include screenings in schools and a monastery – plus a free full-length feature film, shown on the big screen outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday at 3pm.

Organisers have chosen the comedy Groundhog Day to mark the death of director Harold Ramis last month.

An outreach programme called Cine-Roma also intends to bring “cultural cinema” to places which would not normally experience it.

The addition of this new element will see films hosted at Clonard Monastery, Bloomfield and Townsend Street Presbyterian churches, and Nettlefield and Strandtown Primary Schools – and means the 2014 festival is “probably the most ambitious we’ve ever had” said marketing manager Damien Connor.

The first film will be run at the Strand Arts Centre at 6pm today, and the programme runs until April 5.