Belfast is having a film festival dedicated entirely to documentaries

Pull Focus runs for one full week from August 9-16 and features special screenings and premieres including Mark Cousins' latest cinematic love letter

Belfast Film Festival has always had a strong interest in documentary film. From the beginning of the festival in 2000 there has been a focus on documentary as a means to explore important socio-political issues and ideas. From 2006, with the visit of documentary legend Albert Maysles, a new competition focusing on the art of observational documentary was introduced to the festival.

Irish documentary on both sides of the border is becoming world-renowned and increasingly prolific, and Pull Focus provides an opportunity to profile these films. This programme celebrates the best new documentaries being produced.

Documentaries will be screening throughout the month of August kicking off on Thursday August 9 with The Image You Missed, Donal Foreman’s meditation on his father, Arthur McCaig’s (Irish Ways and Patriot Games) filmmaking legacy in Northern Ireland. The closing film is the international world premiere of Sean Murray’s Unquiet Graves, a powerful and visceral examination of collusion and the search for justice.

Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival, Mark Cousins presents his latest documentary hybrid The Eyes Of Orson Welles a love letter to one of cinemas great artists. All of these filmmakers will be present to talk about their work.

Other special guests of the festival include producer of I, Dolours, Ed Maloney, director Feargal Ward (The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid), and director of Camino Voyage, Dónal Ó Célleachair.

As well as highlighting the quality of contemporary documentary, there is a focus on the great tradition of documentary in Northern Ireland. The programme includes work from the godparents of non-fiction filmmaking such as David Hammond, Anne Crilly, Margo Harkin and John T Davis.

Festival programmer Stuart Sloan said the selection of documentaries 'explores issues very important to our society, personal and public, and we hope that our programming continues to contribute in serious and fun ways, to the broader critical discourse on equality.'

Click here to browse the full programme of screenings and events. To book tickets visit https://belfastfilmfestival.org.