Love is in the air everywhere you look around Northern Ireland as BFI LOVE in partnership with Plusnet presents a series of big screen experiences to woo cinema audiences this autumn.

Featuring films to fall in love with and films to break your heart, the BFI LOVE blockbuster season will truly be an affair to remember, running from October to December, through Film Hub NI’s network of venues and organisations. 

From bijou pop-up screenings to special happenings, the BFI Film Audience Network venues in Northern Ireland getting all loved up are the QFT, Strand Arts Centre, The Black Box, Dungannon Film Club, Cinemagic, Take Over Film Festival and the Nerve Centre, as well as Love Coffee (Lurgan), Newcastle Community Cinema, Newry Film Club and The Braid Film Theatre (Ballymena).


Heather Stewart, BFI Creative Director said:


‘‘Film can bring love to life more powerfully than any other art form – it is cinema's most seductive illusion and has transformed the way we see ourselves, and our love lives. Our season is not about sex. We’re getting back to LOVE: embracing the intimacy of the close-up and the anticipation of the much longed-for screen kiss: the very language of cinema itself.”


Hugh Odling-Smee, Film Hub NI Project Manager adds:


“We’re really excited about this upcoming programme of films and events around the theme of LOVE. While appealing to the current audiences of each venues, I am sure that these particular films will drive new audiences to try out new venues, all in the name of LOVE. Bring a date, bring your friends or go alone - from old classics to modern day romances, this season will hit straight to the heart of everyone.”


Encompassing three key themes – The Power of Love, Fools for Love and Fatal Attractions – the BFI LOVE Blockbuster Season enables audiences to experience and share the multiple ways love has been presented in film on the big screen, whether they are newcomers to cinema or film-goers looking to expand their horizons.


BFI LOVE in Northern Ireland


Strand Arts Centre, Northern Ireland’s oldest picture house and newest community cinema, will host three experiential and immersive screenings which cover both the dark side and the fabulous side of love. A local artist will play with audiences’ sense of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell to accompany David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). American flags, ginger beer and cream sodas will get audiences all patriotic for Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1995), screening on 35mm. And the simply joyous Amélie (2001) will include a photo booth experience, gnomes & French treats!


A Young Love Weekender of four screenings will be delivered by QFT’s Takeover Film Festival youth panel curation team made up of a dozen 15-20 year olds. The focus will be ‘First Love’ and will explore younger people’s quest for love that present comic and tragic journeys of relationships and intergenerational observations. Every teenager can relate to the gangly and gawky teenager played by John Gordon Sinclair in Gregory’s Girl. The programme will include a short film screening of locally submitted work, introductions by guest speakers and the more experienced youth panel members, and a panel discussion after the Harold and Maude (1971) screening.


Cinemagic will feature five film events for children, families and young people celebrating the magical experiences of ‘first love’ portrayed through classic animations, traditional stories/folklore, and exciting adventures. The selected films – Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Tangled and The Princess Bride – will screen on two consecutive weekends in November 2015 with introductions/workshops in partnership with QFT and Newcastle Community Cinema.


Love at the QFT will consist of three main strands: Love and Cake – epic romance, tea and cake on a Sunday afternoon (Gone With The Wind); Bad Romance – dark and dangerous love stories including Last Tango in Paris that sparked local controversy when it was first released; and Love and Laughter (When Harry Met Sally) – light- hearted romances on date night.


Black Box - Alternative Love presents three immersive screening events. Weird Science (1985) will be enhanced by presentations on the science of kissing, Scott Pilgrim VS. the World (2010) features live music from godfather of punk Terri Hooley and local punk band The Penny Dreadfuls, and Lars and the Real Girl (2007) will see a few inanimate guests join the audience.


Dungannon Film Club promises a special weekend as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg will be screened outside under an installation of umbrellas using the colours of the LGBT movement as an expression of Love and Diversity.


And the Nerve Centre will present a programme of films in late November exploring LOVE through the idea of the good, the bad and the ugly, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Last Picture Show and My Beautiful Launderette.


This collaborative project curated by all regional Film Hub Lead Organisations across the BFI Film Audience Network delivers on the core network objectives of increasing and broadening audiences for international and British film, extending film choices for audiences across the UK and enhancing opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film.

 See the full listings here or check out 

For details of Plusnet's involvement please see this blog