In the Spring of 2016, audiences discovered Shakespeare on Film in cinemas all around the UK, including many events in NI.
Film Hub London worked in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and the UK’s eight other Film Hubs to present BFI Presents: Shakespeare on Film - a spectacular UK-wide series of 300 special screenings and events celebrating Shakespeare's impact on cinema.
The season saw multiplexes, independent cinemas, film clubs, pop-ups and community venues all over the UK screening a huge range of must-see filmic interpretations of Shakespeare’s work, along with a range of special events.
The NI events began on 27th May 2016 with hometown boy Sir Kenneth Branagh, in conversation with Film London CEO Adrian Wootton at the QFT, beamed across 80 sites in the UK, including the Movie House in Coleraine. The season ended with Vincent Price’s Theatre of Blood at the Belfast Harbour Commissioner's building in Corporation Square, Belfast. The collaboration also included:
QFT in association with the Queen’s University School of Creative Arts – Screenings through May and June including Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, My Own Private Idaho and Kiss Me Kate with accompanying live music from Megan McKinney.
Cinemagic – The Little Bard season from Ireland’s premier children’s film festival included a ‘Script to Screen’ filmmaking workshop for 8-12 year olds, an animation workshop for 12-16 year-olds, and screenings of Bill, The Lion King and Gnomeo and Juliet.
Strand Arts Centre, the jewel of East Belfast, hosted the 1961 version of West Side Story with live dancers from NiStars, a family friendly immersive screening of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a 20th anniversary screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.
The Braid Film Theatre took over the Galgorm Report and Spa in Ballymena to screen Branagh’s Henry V, accompanied by a medieval themed buffet. They were joined by the composer Patrick Doyle, who composed the music for Henry V and has worked with Sir Kenneth on many of his films.
Belfast Film Festival – Belfast’s finest purveyors of the spectacular brought the Bard to their famous big screen, showing Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing in Crescent Gardens in South Belfast, followed by a collection of the best of Silent Shakespeare in Dunluce Castle. The Festival also brought the weirder side of the Stratford master to the Beanbag Cinema, with rarities from the back catalogue. The Festival finished the season with a screening of the Vincent Price classic Theatre of Blood from 1973 in the opulent surroundings of the Harbour Commissioner’s Office.