Bourdain Still

Film fans will be able to travel the world without leaving their cinema seats at the Docs Ireland festival, which takes place in Belfast from 25 – 29 August.

With films from Chile, Hong Kong, Uganda, India, Taiwan, Cuba, Russia, Iraq, Brazil, Zambia, Mexico and the US as well as the UK and Ireland, festival goers will be able to explore the lives and lands of people from numerous cultures as they watch from the comfort of Belfast cinemas including Queen’s Film Theatre, the Odeon Belfast and Strand Cinema.

After almost two years of online events, the Docs Ireland team are delighted to be back in front of the big screen with live audiences.

Director of Docs Ireland, Michele Devlin said:

“Two years is a long time and while it has been brilliant to be able to host events online during lockdown, nothing compares to the authentic cinema experience and the way in which it brings people together.

We started Docs Ireland because of the quality of documentary work being created on this island, combined with the exciting future potential of the Irish non-fiction industry. 

The new crop of Irish films which feature in the festival are truly inspiring and don’t follow what we might think of as ‘traditional’ Irish themes.  From films about spies in Cuba, to the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Russia, Irish filmmakers are going out into the world and bringing us back powerful stories, told in a fresh new way.” 

Docs Ireland will open on Wednesday 25 August with a specially restored screening of the 1958 classic ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’ which includes footage of Jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington and Thelonious Monk from the famous Newport Jazz Festival. The screening will be hosted at a unique outdoor setting at the Hidden Huntley Walled Garden, where audiences can bring their own picnic and enjoy a live set by Martello Jazz Band before watching the film.

‘The Story of Film: A New Generation’ by Belfast’s very own Mark Cousins opened the Cannes Film Festival this year and Docs Ireland audiences will be treated to a sneak peak of this brand new documentary as well as an interview with the director.

‘Untold Secrets’, by acclaimed director Teresa Lavina, looks at the life and upbringing of the late Anne Silke, a young survivor of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life’ explores the life and work of the legendary neurologist and storyteller, as he shares intimate details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact.

Through its commitment to showcasing diversity in its annual programme, Docs Ireland has partnered with aemi and film distributor Kino Rebelde to present a celebration of international experimental filmmaking from Mexico, Brazil, Canada, the US and Spain.

To find out more information and to book your tickets for Docs Ireland, visit 

Docs Ireland is supported this year by NI Screen, TG4, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, Film Hub NI, BFI FAN, Arts & Business, Yellowmoon and Belfast Media Group.


Notes to Editor:

Docs Ireland takes place from 25 – 29 August, with screenings at Queen’s Film Theatre, Odeon Belfast, Black Box, Ulster Museum, Beanbag Cinema, Strand Cinema, Hidden Huntley and online.

Covid guidance:

The health and safety of Belfast Film Festival and Docs Ireland audiences, staff and volunteers is a priority for festival organisers and a number of safety measures to ensure that everyone stays safe.  These include online booking and cashless systems, temperature checks and sanitisers at all venues and greatly reduced numbers inside movie theatres to enable social distancing. Those attending our events must also wear face masks.