Belltable cinema brings ‘cultural experience’ to Limerick, says Programme Manager

Since re-launching in April of this year, the Belltable promises to give the people of Limerick a “cultural experience” according to Programme Manager, Marketa Dowling, with its current Wednesday night cinema programme.

Since closing its doors in 2013 following a developer dispute, the Lime Tree Theatre made a 5 year service agreement with the Limerick City and County Council to reopen the Belltable, breathing back life into an institution that was the first regional arts centre outside Dublin when it first opened in 1981.

And a good cinema programme, of both Irish and international flavour, are going to be a major part of the new Belltable.

Already the Belltable has screened films from France and Belgium and the USA, including the Oscar-nominated Turkish film Mustang (2015) that tells the story of five orphaned sisters and the challenges they face growing up as girls in a conservative religious society.

On where she finds the films Ms Dowling said, “Most of the films I see at the Dublin International Film Festival, but some I just hear about, like the documentary Atlantic (2016), a Irish film about the natural resources of the Atlantic ocean and the impact on local fishing communities in countries like Scotland and Ireland when their rights come under threat.”


Belltable cinema. Photo credit: Andrew Roberts

“I thought it would be great to have at the Belltable, so I got in touch with the filmmakers and they decided to not only allow us to screen the film, but to do a Q&A afterwards as well,” she said.

Ms Dowling said that it is this approach with Irish filmmakers that help form good connections for later collaborations should the opportunities arise, and financially assists the filmmakers themselves by “cutting out the middleman so money from the screenings go directly to supporting the filmmakers.”

Such an approach of speaking directly to Irish filmmakers has already brought the likes of Terry McMahon to Limerick where he screened his award-winning film Patrick’s Day (2014) for Mental Health Week at the Belltable, taking part in a Q&A after the screening.

Gender balance in film is also an element when deciding on what films to screen at the Belltable,“I look at directors and try and get the right balance between male and female directed films,” Ms Dowling said.

Screening A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), directed by Ana Lily Amirpour and considered “the first Iranian vampire Western,” is an example of the Belltable addressing gender imbalance, providing a cultural experience, and bringing one of the most strangest, moving and entertaining horror films of recent years to fans of cinema wanting something different on a Wednesday night.

The Belltable cinema programme 2016 runs till 14 December. Films play at 8pm every Wednesday except for the Saturday 12 November screening of Long Way North (France) at 2:30pm.

The Atlantic screening is at 8pm, 19 October, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers (short film The Snowman’s Gift playing before main feature).

For more information visit

Belltable Cinema Programme:

-Wed 19th October, 8pm: Atlantic (Ireland)

Q&A with filmmakers

Film Short: The Snowman’s Gift

-Wed 26th October, 8pm: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Iran)

-Wed 2nd November, 8pm: The Price of Desire (France & Ireland)

-Wed 9th November, 8pm: Where to Invade Next? (USA)

-Sat 12th November, 2:30pm: Long Way North (France)

-Wed 16th November, 8pm: Julieta (Spain)

Film Short: Headlights

-Wed 23rd November, 8pm: Who is Dervla Murphy? (Ireland)

Followed by Q&A with Garret Daly.

Film Short: The Daytrippers

-Wed 30th November, 8pm: The Measure of a Man (France)

-Wed 7th December, 8pm: Heart of a Dog (France & USA)

-Wed 14th December, 8pm: Viva (Ireland & Cuba)

Film Short: Hit it off

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