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The Hearth - The people of Belfast are making a film!

The people of Belfast are making a film!

Belfast Film Festival is delighted to be initiating a new film project in the city. ‘The Hearth’ project will co-create a film made by the people of Belfast for the people of Belfast. The project will capture hundreds of stores and create a self portrait of our city during the coming year.

How To Get Involved

We want you, the people of Belfast, to get involved. This is a film about you, about us! What is life like in our city right now? Tell us your stories. We want to create a self portrait of Belfast on film with you. This project is part of Belfast 2024, Belfast City Council’s programme of cultural celebration in 2024.

You can participate by:

  • Filming a story on your phone and sending it to us, it could be you or someone you know who has great story to tell. We would encourage your film to be no more than 3 to 4 minutes in length. Make sure to film on your phone in landscape, not portrait (see below). Email us at for further information.

  • If you are a member of a community or interest group and want us to visit your group to give you more info and chat about getting involved. Email us at
  • We plan to collect hundreds of stories over the coming year, and the final film will be premiered at the Belfast Film Festival in November 2024.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • The Hearth will be a self-portrait of Belfast on film.
  • To include every age, creed, race, class, sexuality, neurodiversity and physical ability diversity.
  • To show moments that move us, make us laugh or cry.
  • We will encourage you to film things that are magical to you, or unexpected, raw or transformative.
  • Tell us about moments that changed you.
  • You can use your own phones or the simplest of cameras and send us your story.
    Alternatively, you can write stories, observations, poems which could be used as voice overs.
  • Don’t worry about how perfect everything is, unfiltered rawness, and authenticity is what is important.
  • We want to see and hear things that professional filmmakers would miss.
  • When all submissions are in – an editor and our Creative Lead, Mark Cousins, will look at them all and select the magic moments.
  • These won’t necessarily be big things, it might be just a joke, a look, a laugh…
    The completed film will world premiere at the 2024 Belfast Film Festival, with the contributors and their families there.
  • It will play at locations around the city and at international film festivals.

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