Since its inception in 1968, QFT has occupied a unique place in the cultural and entertainment life of Northern Ireland. This uniqueness comes from QFT’s special atmosphere, its screenings of carefully curated new and classic films, its loyal members and audiences and from the many people who have worked in the cinema. Today QFT is a vibrant and modern cinema with two screens and a refurbished licensed bar and coffee shop. It provides a diverse programme accessible to all ages and purses, including a special programme for schools and colleges, family audiences and teenage audiences.
QFT shares its building with Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Creative Arts which makes it possible for QFT to collaborate with Film Studies staff and students on many film initiatives. The youth initiatives include community filmmaking projects, a year round school programme as well as a youth film club which programmes its own annual film festival Takeover Film.
The young people who take part in the Takeover Film project have the opportunity of watching more European films, learning new skills by working alongside film exhibition professionals in how to programme and deliver film events, but crucially their ideas are listened to when they are planning a festival that their own age group will want to attend.
QFT is more than just a cinema as it provides a unique cultural experience for audiences and consistently represents a wide range of tastes and speaks to a diverse audience. Cultural diversity and social equality are reflected throughout the QFT’s programme of work, from community engagement and partnerships through to audience development and education and outreach activities.
QFT receives some public funding to provide access to all audiences including those in economic need or with disabilities. It has a community ticket scheme where discounted or free tickets can be obtained for selected events.
Over its lifetime the QFT has developed into a nationally and internationally recognised ‘brand’ with a reputation and it is the only cinema that consistently screens non-mainstream film, foreign language and world cinema, offering a diversity of choice and quality of programme.
Digital marketing and communication are hugely important to QFT and this year it changed over to a new website with integrated box office system. Structured use of social media allows us to reach out to new audiences and establish a rich and constant conversation with our customers. QFT has a very active presence on Facebook and Twitter and we use them to get feedback from our audiences.
QFT prides itself on being a unique community film hub with a venue located in a central area where creatives and audiences can meet to share the immersive experience of the wonders of cinema on the big screen.
Marion Campbell, QFT Learning