The festival, which takes place across 22 locations in Belfast, will also see a number of special events including in-depth Q&As with well-known Father Ted writer, Graham Linehan and Director Ken Loach who is set to receive the Réalta award for outstanding contribution to cinema.
The festival kicks off on 12 April with the Lance Daly directed film ‘BLACK 47’ as the opening gala and continues through to 21 April.
Mark Cousins, Chair of the Belfast Film Festival said:
'We are thrilled to be launching the 2018 film festival with a whole host of great films, documentaries and shorts. Our festival is one of the boldest and most distinctive and this year we have curated a programme that shows how passionate we are about film and the people who make them and feature in them.'
'As the new Chair of the film festival I have great ambition for it. We want to take it out to more people and make it accessible for everyone to spark an interest they may not know they had. We have so much potential to raise the profile locally and internationally and with energy and the right strategy, we can do it.'
'BFF18 brings an entire showcase of 178 features, short films and VR titles, applauding innovation and exciting work from 30 countries around the world.'
'As part of the festival we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ken Loach to Belfast, to screen a selection of his film and TV work and present him with our award for his Outstanding Contribution to Cinema.'
'This is an extremely exciting project for us. VR has been around for a few years, but only in recent months has the content caught up with the technology. The totally engaging experience of viewing a film on a VR headset is one that can simply take your breath away.'
'Virtual Reality headsets create a 360 degree viewing experience that completely immerses the user in different VR universes. During the 2018 Belfast Film Festival we will feature virtual reality (VR) for the first time, showing extraordinary works over nine days; works that demonstrate the current capability of immersive technology in the hands of pioneering designers, both locally and internationally.
Our Virtual Reality studio will be open throughout the festival for audiences to select and experience a range of films from our VR menu.'