TALK | Playback Film Festival: Into the Known

Sunday 6 Jun 2021 - 2:00pm

A panel discussion on the theme of nostalgia, escapism, cinema in crises and how cinema culture has changed.

About this Event

Join us for a panel discussion on nostalgia and escapism at the cinemas, hosted by Michael McConway (Playback Participant and LUMI Programmer) featuring Dr Sam Manning (Film Academic) Leanne Briggs (North Down Museum), Joseph O’Hagan (8 Bit Popcorn), and Sean Hughes (Playback Participant and LUMI Programmer).

As we begin to ease out of lockdown and have the pleasure of getting back to cinemas after so long, we explore themes of nostalgic cinema, escapism in movies as a response to crises in the past and present, and question how cinema culture has changed during the pandemic. Is the future in streaming services?

Think about why you decide to go to the cinema. Are individual stars a big draw, or the film franchises in which they star? How has cinema etiquette changed since the days of silent film, when neighbours were employed to read the written captions for those who couldn’t read or write and were victims of the half-timer education system? Are we still interpreting films for others through the art of the critique and the podcast?

Join our panel in exploring these debates and celebrating their favourite clips of movies which take them back to a time and place, or a special memory, but which are renowned for their cult flop status.


Dr Sam Manning is a postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC funded European Cinema Audiences project. He was previously an AHRC research fellow at QUB researching the fifty-year history of Queen's Film Theatre.

Leanne Briggs is a Historian and Museum Assistant at North Down Museum who has been instrumental in promoting the forgotten history of the Tonic Cinema in Bangor, once the largest cinema venue in Northern Ireland in the art deco style of the thirties.

Joseph O’Hagan is co-host of the 8 Bit Popcorn Podcast. If you like movies, games and biting, [somewhat] well-informed commentary on the current media landscape, 8-Bit Popcorn is the podcast of choice for pop-culture buffs.

Sean Hughes is a LUMI Programmer, working on developing the younger strand of QFT through a range of content including film reviews and blog posts, podcasts and programming.


Into The Known will be available to watch free on QFT Player on Sunday, 6 June at 2pm.

This event is part of Playback Film Festival: a youth-led virtual film festival hosted on #QFTPlayer from 4 - 6 June 2021, featuring films, workshops and talks programmed, produced and delivered by a group of younger cinema-goers aged 16-26. Made in collaboration with LUMI, Reimagine, Remake, Replay and Zeppo Arts.