Festivals - Guide

Now Press Play: A Festival of Music on Film

Not content with programming one of the island’s most consistently rewarding annual festivals, the good people behind Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival have announced details of a new, 4-day mini-festival celebrating the inner and outer reaches of music on film.

Running from 26-29 October, Now Press Play features unearthed gems, forgotten legends and grand celluloid follies, taking in some of the greatest documentaries, concert films or musical movies you’ve never seen, not to mention old favourites and new releases.

Among the many highlights are Northern Irish premieres for acclaimed documentaries Syd: Have you Got it Yet – the long-awaited Syd Barrett documentary, hosted in association with The Thin Air, as well as Dio: Dreamers Never Die and It’s a Fine Thing to Sing featuring members of Lankum, The Henry Girls amongst others tackling songs from the famed Inishowen Song Project. We will also be teaming up with the festival on the little-seen neon pop cult classic Human Highway. Starring and co-directed by Neil Young and featuring new wave legends Devo, Dennis Hopper and more, it’s the missing link between John Waters, David Lynch and Tim Burton.

Elsewhere, the hallowed surrounds of Rosemary Street Church will host gospel classic Say Amen Somebody, while in the Tap Room of the Ulster Sports Club there’s an extra rare screening of Abba in Studio 2 and I am Weekender – the stunning documentary about the rise of the rave scene as seen through the prism of Flowered Up’s now legendary Weekender video.

Sealing the deal is a Talking Heads Day and an old-school Heavy Metal Double Bill of the small and perfectly formed Heavy Metal Carpark followed by the greatest video diary of all time: In Bed with Chris Needham. Meanwhile, the two Brians (well one Bryan and one Brian) slug it out in a Roxy Music vs. Eno double bill, Eno Roxette. Wrapping up the inaugural Now Press Play with a swing is an amazing new film on the life of jazz legend Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes.

Hit up CQAF for tickets and full programme details.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.