FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER
Opening Gala: FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY
Winner of the prestigious Discovery Prize awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at the Toronto International Film Festival, Float Like a Butterfly is the story of Frances Joyce (Hazel Doupe), a teenage Irish traveller who, after the untimely death of her mother, wishes to pursue a career as a boxer, just like her idol Muhammad Ali. However, Frances faces obstacles in the form of her father, Michael (Dara Devaney), a recently-released ex-convict, who disapproves of her newfound athletic ambitions.
Set in the 1960s, Float Like a Butterfly not only deals with discrimination against the Irish traveller community in Ireland, it also deals with the way in which woman and girls are often held back by the well-intentioned but stifling views of male authority figures.
Gala from 5.30pm
Live music (Traditional Irish Session featuring: The Trad Lads and the Pretty Regulars and Irish dance (Watt School of Irish Dance )
Screening starts 6.45pm.
Set in Belfast at the height of the Troubles, Good Vibrations – as its title might suggest – is an upbeat bio-pic of Terri Hooly, founder of the eponymous record store and label that signed bands such as The Undertones, known for their immortal punk hit Teenage Kicks. Played by Richard Dormer, Hooly is a force of nature, determined that his hometown be known for more than just bombs and bullets. "When it comes to punk, New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason", he declares at one point.
Good Vibrations eschews clichés which many Troubles-set films have been known to fall into. Yes, violence creeps into the story, but more than anything else, the film captures the exuberance and joy of music, be it on a vinyl record, or at a live gig. Fans of the era will delight in the appearances from the likes of John Peel (Kieron Forsyth), the BBC disc-jockey who famously played Teenage Kicks twice back-to-back the first time it was heard on the airwaves.
Cast: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot.
Director: Lisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn