By Ryan Coney
A love of film is breaking down barriers between the native population and refugees or migrants from as far away as China who have settled in the Ormeau Road area of Belfast.
A group of local film enthusiasts have set up the Ormeau Community Cinema and regularly screen popular films in unusual venues in the locality.
The Cooke community hall was one of the first venues to be used for the screening of Finding Nemo, the bowling hall, located inside the park has played host to a few screenings as has the Pavillion bar for the over 18 screenings.
The opening up of locations around Ormeau is a key aim of the community cinema.
One of the founders, Dominic O’Neill said:
“We’re a group of local residents who want to share our love of film and where we live.
“We’ve been really pleased to see so many people from all walks of life come along to our
screenings. Ormeau is a diverse area and we want to create a welcome space for everyone to come together to enjoy a film.”
They have so far screened a number of films, from child friendly big hits such as The Lego
Movie 2, Jumanji to more adult offerings like Reservoir Dogs and the Irish produced Extra
Ordinary. Their wide range of films and themes reflect the diverse nature of the audience.
The area of Ormeau in the south of Belfast is one of the most diverse areas in the city.
Welcoming people from all over the world, the Ormeau has a diverse range of people from
the large Chinese population, refugees who have made the area their home and young
professionals, families and students.
The area has many places of public interest, including Belfast’s biggest park, Ormeau Park which has played host to the Belfast Mela, the largest celebration of cultural diversity on the
island of Ireland.
The park also hosts the annual Belsonic music festival which attached huge crows each
summer to enjoy the biggest acts in music today.