Making Political Films About the North: Then and Now

Banner for 2010 Belfast Film FestivalHere’s something with a bit of politics for the film buffs reading Slugger. As part of Belfast Film Festival and in conjunction with Index on Censorship there’s a free session on Thursday 29th at 2pm in the QFT looking at Making Political Films About the North: Then and Now.

The troubles in the North of Ireland have long been the subject of film-makers. This film-making landscape has changed over the years, as has the political landscape. Self Censorship and direct Political Censorship have both been key factors in defining what films get made and which ones don’t. The panel will discuss selected issues relating to censorship.

What forms of censorship influence the work being made? Is there any difference to the types of films being made 30 years ago and now? What are the key examples of censorship in Ireland?

Four panellists will give a short presentation referring to their area of special interest.

  • Prof. Bill Rolston – Chair (Professor of Sociology at UUJ’s Transitional Justice Institute)
  • Margo Harkin (Producer of Mother Ireland and Bloody Sunday: a Derry Diary)
  • James Flynn (Producer of H3)
  • Mark Cousins (Director of The First Movie, made with three small camera by Iraqi children, which will be screened in the QFT at 6.45pm on Thursday evening).

And if you can’t wait to Thursday, the 1994 film Shankill is being screened in the Spectrum Centre at 8pm on Monday 26th: “a candid portrait” of the hopes and fears of ordinary working class people living on the Shankill estate. Followed by a Q&A.

(In another place, I’ve listed some other highlights from the last week of the film festival.)

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  • If nothing else it’s an interesting title for the session.

    Perhaps when they finish discussing the difference in the two censorship bodies on the island they can then review their own policy on self censorship of the name of the region they are really talking about.

    Such small-mindedness doesn’t bode well for formulation of new perspectives. Think I’ll give this one a miss?