High Rise low Rise

This archive-based project took place on Saturday 1st February in the impressive surroundings of the Masonic Lodge on Rosemary Street in Belfast. It was a playful, in-depth look at how modernist architecture and urban design was presented in media through the 1950s to the 1980s in Northern Ireland.

We presented archive documentaries and footage that covered 40 years of films that deal with the history and geography of housing, town planning and land use in Northern Ireland. These films touched on many of the issues that faced Northern Ireland through these tumultuous years, including politics, health, war and Sammy Wilson’s evolving mullet. These films have been rarely seen, and in many ways tell the wider story of Northern Ireland through the built environment.

Watch a preview clip on BBC Website.

The final (and most exciting) part was the performance! Belfast Film Festival commissioned musicians Blue Whale and Gross Net to provide live soundtracks to Utopian (High Rise) and Dystopian (Low Rise) archive films.

We obtained all our archive materials from the BBC and UTV archives, as well as from independent filmmakers Archie Reid and Terence McDonald.

This project was supported by the BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Shifting Ground.

Man of Aran Commissioned Live Soundtrack

In June 2019, Docs Ireland and TG4 commissioned musicians Úna Monaghan, Ceri Owen and Síle Denvir to play a live soundtrack to classic Irish Documentary Man of Aran (1934).

The event took place at St. Joseph’s Church in Belfast.