NIMHAFF: Take Shelter

Saturday 11th October 2014 from 8pm

On 11th October, Newcastle Community Cinema is honoured to be involved in NIMHAFF 2014, the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, running from 9th - 13th October 2014. The festival exists for one reason - to promote positive mental health and wellbeing through the arts and film, as well as raising awareness of important Mental Health issues, and the support networks that exist in NI.

During the day, the Newcastle programme will include a number of art workshops and film events, plus a vintage tea shop, drop in centre and Information Hub, all to be based in the Annesley Hall on Cwentral Promenade. NCC's involvement will be in the evening from 8pm, as part of a one-off simultaneous screening with Dungannon Film Club, Fermanagh Film Club and the Queens Film Theatre in Belfast, and a showing of critically acclaimed drama thriller "Take Shelter” (15) (2011), written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The story concerns Curtis, a father and husband living in flatland Ohio, who starts to experience bad dreams and unsettling hallucinations,and who, assuming the onset of mental illness, seeks medical help and counselling. However, fearing the worst, and heeding the visions that haunt his waking dreams, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in the families backyard, as a physical and literal representation of wanting to protect his family from the storms on the horizon. The shelters construction threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he continues to build it, as in his clouded mind, it is all he can do to save his family's lives.

The films' breathless conclusion is a tour de force in raw, emotive film, and dazzles the audience with it's honesty and audacity. “Take Shelter” is a masterclass in elegant, tense filmmaking, and a mesmerising central performance by Michael Shannon as Curtis, a family man torn apart by the visions in his mind. Edgy, nerve jangling, and hugely emotionally involving, this a film much feted by critics on its release, with many big names calling for an Academy nomination for Sheen’s performance. Alas, no such recognition emerged, and “Take Shelter” remains somewhat of an underground film, adored by those that have seen it for it’s brave approach to mental health conditions, and it’s taut, kinetic cinematography.

NCC are also delighted to be able to showcase the winning film from the Down Community Arts' Film 300 project 2013, "Well, Max", a short film by first time directors Eoin O'Toole and Niall McCabe, alongside our main feature. Tickets for the event will be available via, and follow us on FB & Twitter.


Director: Jeff Nicols
Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham
Genre: Drama | Thriller
Run Time: 120
Cert: 15