Not content with breeding some of the most exciting filmmaking talent, Newry will now recognise its love of film with the inaugural Newry Film Festival.
The festival, which will take place from Tuesday, August 21, to Sunday, August 26, will bring the best of classic, contemporary and up-and-coming film talent to the city in a variety of locations and guises.
Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council Charlie Casey was on hand to launch the event, the first of what organisers plan will be an annual highlight in any film fan’s calendar.
Opening with a boutique public screening of Steven Spielberg’s classic ET in Newry’s historic market on Hill Street, on Tuesday, August 21, Newry Film Festival will be packed with masterpieces, such as Casablanca and Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, while celebrating challenging independent cinema, with screenings including Martha May Marcy Marlene and Another Earth. The district’s large Polish community is also being recognised with In Darkness, from the country’s own fine film industry.
Events will take place over the six-day festival programme in Newry Market, Newry Arts Centre and Bagenal’s Castle.
Newry Film Festival also aims to champion local and up-and-coming talent and one of the city’s most beloved home-grown acting stars, Susan Lynch (above) will return to open the festival officially with a screening of one of her own brilliant shorts. Newry Film Festival’s own Short Film Competition will showcase the greatest in ambitious young filmmaking, with the finalists screened and the winner announced during the programme. The closing date for submissions for the competition is June 29, so there is still time for filmmakers to enter. Workshops delving into the magic behind the scenes will also offer young people an insight into a career in film.
Chairperson of Newry Film Festival committee Aidan Lennon said: “Newry has a close relationship with the film industry and we are delighted to invite back Susan Lynch, one of our greatest exports, to the first Newry Film Festival. Our carefully selected programme offers something for people of all ages, from families to film fanatics and we are very excited about the first festival for Newry.
“We are indebted to our partners Newry and Mourne District Council, Newry City Centre Management and The Quays Shopping and Retail Centre, Newry for helping to make all this possible.”
To find out more log onto www.newryfilmfestival.org.uk.