I am Belfast is a unique film about a notorious city, Northern Ireland’s capital. Opening with filmmaker Mark Cousins saying that he met a 10,000 year old woman who claims she is the city itself.  She becomes our unpredictable guide.  At first she shows us fun things – the way people talk, visual surprises. But then her story deepens.  She turns the clock back, unafraid of tragedy.  She’s good at forgotten, shocking detail. It’s like she’s remembered everything, with x-ray vision.  

With the evocative imagery of cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and a haunting new score by David Holmes, Cousins moves beyond the conventional portrayal of Belfast in the movies – as thriller, or hard man place – and shows, instead, the women and the dream life of Belfast.  Magic realist with gritty truths and some flights of fantasy, Mark Cousins’ film is influenced by Soviet cinema, popular song, and the storytelling of his grandmothers, and grandmothers everywhere.

Burns, My Dad, and Me

Bill McCue was a TV star in the 70s and 80s and one of the founding singers with Scottish Opera. With his powerful bass voice and endless enthusiasm for all things Scottish, Bill introduced many a Scot to the songs of Robert Burns. As a teenager, his daughter Kirsteen felt that Robert Burns was an unwanted intrusion into her life: 'Burns was on such a pedestal in our house, it almost put me off'. Now a professor at Glasgow University and a leading expert on Burns, Kirsteen has changed her tune.

With Karine Polwart, Jamie MacDougall and rare archive footage.

BOTHY LIFE

The story of the unsung heroes of Scotland's mountains. For 50 years the volunteers of the Mountain Bothy Association have been providing shelter for people travelling through the wilder parts of the country.

They selflessly give up their time and dry clothes to renovate old buildings for the benefit of others. This entertaining documentary celebrates their work and the spirit of adventure and camaraderie of those who step out into the hills.

Coming Oot! A Fabulous History of Gay Scotland

Celebrating the post-war history of Scotland's gay community which, over 70 years, has seen gay men and lesbians transform from Scotland's pariahs to Scotland's pride. Using a rich mix of eye-witness testimony, jaw-dropping archive and historical research, the documentary charts radically changing attitudes. Scotland was over a decade behind England and Wales in decriminalising homosexuality but now has the best gay rights in Europe: nothing short of a revolution.

Atomic: Living in dread and promise

Atomic: Living in dread and promise

70 years ago this month the bombing of Hiroshima showed the appalling destructive power of the atomic bomb.  Mark Cousins’ bold new documentary looks at death in the atomic age, but life too.  Using only archive film and a new musical score by the band Mogwai,  Atomic shows us an impressionistic kaleidoscope of our nuclear times: protest marches, Cold War sabre rattling, Chernobyl and Fukishima, but also the sublime beauty of the atomic world, and how X Rays and MRI scans have improved human lives.  The nuclear age has been a nightmare, but dreamlike too.

Showland: Behind The Scenes At The Fair

An inside look at Scotland's fairs, which are run by the Showmen's Guild - this year celebrating its 125th anniversary. Showman and expert Mitchell Miller reveals the reality of life in the fairs, the ups and downs, the challenges and the thrills.

With archive film from every decade since 1908, including never-before-seen home movies, and following families on their summer to winter runs, this is a look behind the bright lights at a unique and threatened way of life.

View Clips on BBC website 

Director Joseph Briffa

Producer John Archer