Queen's Film Theatre takes 'drive' down memory lane to mark milestone year

Participants in over 60s project select Driving Miss Daisy for a special screening as part of the cinema's 50th anniversary celebrations

Queen's Film Theatre in Belfast will host a public screening of the 1989 Academy Award-winning film Driving Miss Daisy on Friday May 25 to showcase a project for older people which has been taking place as part of the cinema's milestone 50th year.

Three over 60s community groups, The Link, Words Alive and Voices Women’s Group have been working with creative community artist and author Jan Carson, filmmaker Joanne Barnett and artist Jonathan Brennan, creating film posters and trailers and sharing memories of their favourite film-going experiences.

Of those released over the last 50 years the comedy-drama starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy was a popular choice amongst the participants, making the chance to see it back on the big screen a fitting way to celebrate the project. There will also be an exhibition of the film posters in the QFT foyer.

Speaking of her experience, Jan Carson said: 'It's been absolutely fantastic to see participants’ confidence levels increasing throughout the project. As is often the case with community arts projects, people were quite shy and restrained during the first session, and several participants said they'd be hesitant about taking part in the filmmaking. It was incredible to see two of the less confident participants really throw themselves into the film making session, discovering that they both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had a natural aptitude for performing in front of the camera.'

Marion Campbell, who is the lead on QFT’s Age Friendly projects, called the group of participants 'inspirational'.

'To be able to host this celebration event which would not have been possible without the support from the Arts Council’s Arts and Older People’s Programme. The benefits of how engaging with the Arts improves well-being for people of all ages should not be underestimated, and for some can be a life-line.'

Lorraine Calderwood, Arts and Older People Programme Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explained how the programme is continuing to making a huge difference to people’s lives.

'The links between creative expression through participation in the arts and improved wellbeing are now well established. The Arts Council’s Arts and Older People Programme has evidenced how successful the arts are in making a positive impact on older people, tackling social issues such as isolation and social exclusion. With the help of professional artists these projects give a much needed voice to our older citizens through high quality arts interventions and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support QFT’s older people’s outreach project through National Lottery funding.'

Driving Miss Daisy will be screened at 12.15pm on Friday May 25. To book tickets and find information on other events happening as part of the QFT50 programme, visit https://queensfilmtheatre.com.