Aaron Guthrie

Hey — nice of you to join me 

I’m currently working with some amazing people on projects such as.

🍋 donating time free of charge to help cinemas improve digital operations called Giving Back Hours more here 

✨ working as a young consultant for the British Film Institute’s FAN
🔫 producing factual content with a story studio I founded called newnotions.co

I’d love to hear from you! Ping me after this jigsaw: [firstnamelastname]@me.com

🍦 See ya at the water cooler
—Aaron Guthrie ⇱

 Mostly booked for 2021



Recent work

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I’m part of a collective of BFI FAN Young Consultants founded by Moira McVean who is Film Hub London’s Young Audience lead. We launched a newsletter. I took a lead on the brand design, but it’s a collective effort 🙏

Here’s our MO
“Cinema exhibition has a tough road ahead of it. We love the artform and think there’s life in the old dog yet. And we’re happy to put our shoulder to the wheel wherever it’s needed. We think our value is best spent connecting dots between existing cinemas and arts venues to more ✨younger vibes✨ so our work has impact and resonance with younger folk.”

🦄 Subscribe here 
🥰 Read more about us here 
👨‍🏭 Browse or download the digital assets here 

Ceasefire Generation 🔥


It’s a landmark doc series on the first generation to grow up in ‘peace time’ in Northern Ireland. Directed by Esther Mogada. Originated and produced by me while staff at Queen’s Film Theatre. Funded in part by Community Relations Council.

Rocky Road to Equal Marriage 🌈


This curated film drawn from archival film traces the journey of the equal marriage campaign — one so momentous and so long in the making that it demanded reflection. The premiere screening took place February 2020 in Queen’s Film Theatre. Produced and directed by me while staff at QFT. Available as a digital download file. Funded in part by Film Hub NI / BFIThe panellistsRead more

Dial F for Freelancer


I designed and built the platform to bring together cinema exhibition and distribution freelancers in UK and Ireland. I mostly used no-code tools. In some ways it’s a work in progress. It’s ran by a group of volunteers, more on the team here 

 Freelancers host their own profile to showcase their work.
 Contractors and companies search to find freelancers for hire.
 Aggregator of relevant job post listings.
 Publisher of freelancer resources.

🍦 Browse here 

New Notions


It’s an experiment. I founded New Notions in 2016, since then have launched;
 a pop-up cinema
 an original film, Boat Builders
+  more soon

⌘ I’m migrating the website to a new server, sorry it’s currently unavailable. You can browse the limited version  or archived version

LUMI Young Programmers


In this Twitter thread I describe;
→ how I built Queen’s Film Theatre’s new young programmers group from 6 people to recieving over 120 applicants between 16-26 years old.
→ the new brand created to attract and keep younger audiences to Queen’s Film Theatre called LUMI.
→ I delivered a talk on how this project was born and the application process at This Way Up conference 2019.

🧵 Read thread here 

LUMI Award


I strategically developed the LUMI Award in collaboration with LUMI Programmers at Queen’s Film Theatre and Belfast Film Festival, Sofa Shorts.
It launched in 2020 and recognises bold new films which deal with the diversity in young people, how we communicate and view the world, and how this is affected by technology. Read more

2020 Winner
Leave The Road Behind You by Daniel Butler. AnnouncementTrailer

QFT Player


Written July 2020 — Nobody would’ve taken you seriously if you suggested a small independent cinema should have its own VOD player just 4 months ago. 

Though one is now fully operational at Queen’s Film Theatre since early April, recently clocking up 28 newly uploaded film titles. After research it took me 72 hours to build the QFT Player back and front end while staff there. While working from home, it was truly a team effort to launch in such a short timeline, just in time for Abomination: A DUP Opera. 

I’m asking myself why more indie cinemas haven’t created their own VOD players. This is a perfect moment to explore trying to offset some risk as we all stare into a period of strong gale force winds. Your building alone might not protect you.

In this thread I put forward a strategy.

🧵 Read thread here
🗃️ Read BFI FAN Bigger Picture case study here 

From the Desk

I write about cinema on Medium  whenever the moment strikes me. This was my desk when I lived in Archway, London.


b. 1994

Aaron Guthrie holds a Bachelor of Film & Television from University of Westminster, London. He is currently enrolled at Queen’s University Belfast, researching a doctorate on cinema exhibition and its futures since 2018. He’s originally from Donegal, Ireland.

He founded and is a producer of New Notions, a production company creating factual stories and cinema events.

With New Notions he produced Boat Builders, a feature length documentary based on characters and archive film of Belfast’s shipyards, funded by Northern Ireland Screen and produced as part of BFI's Britain on Film: Coast and Sea project.

He worked as Young Audiences Coordinator at Queen’s Film Theatre, building new things for the cinema to attract and keep young audiences. That included building a new brand called LUMI, curated screening events, a new young programmers initiative, the new LUMI Award, and producing original content such as Ceasefire Generation (yet to be released).

Also while staff at QFT, he produced Rocky Road to Equal Marriage (2020) a landmark archive film charting the story of the equal marriage campaign in Northern Ireland through established archives, BBC NI, NI Screen, NVTV. The premiere in Queen’s Film Theatre on February 27 2020 included this panel.

He has advised the development of a yearly conference on cinema exhibition This Way Up in Liverpool 2018, Nottingham 2019 and the upcoming online edition in December 2020.

At This Way Up 2018, he gave a talk about changing cinema audience behaviour illustrated with a landmark example of behaviour change—when cars entered our city streets.

At This Way Up 2019, he gave a talk on creating a new brand for young audiences work at Queen’s Film Theatre called LUMI. And played conference session host to a discussion on the theme of resilience for pop-up and community cinemas.

Aaron is a member of Centre for Documentary Research at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Past Events

The following are some select examples of the live events that I curated and produced either while freelancing or employed — the list is not exhaustive. 

‘Everybody’s Everything’ (2020) Irish premiere of the Lil Peep documentary in Queen’s Film Theatre with live conversation with Mabfield.

2018, MAR / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘Brexitannia’ (2017) screening and led a conversation with Director Timothy George Kelly.

2018, FEB / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘Citizen Jane’ (2016) and discussion with Save Cathedral Quarter Campaign on their work in Belfast.

2017,  OCT / NEW NOTIONS ORIGINAL FILM EVENT + ORIGINAL PRODUCTION ‘Boat Builders’ (2017) Funded by Northern Ireland Screen, British Film Institute (Britian on Film), Film Hub NI which I conceived and produced.

‘The Other Kids’ (2016) Partnership with Cinemagic Film Festival.

‘Free Lunch Society’ (2016). Partnership with Moving Docs and MEDIA Europe.
Ken Loach Double Bill for Cinema Day.

‘The War Game’ (1965) + short film surrounding the controversy.

2017, FEB / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘Evaporating Borders’ (2015) with a talk by Justin from NICRAS, the only refugee-led organisation working for refugees and asylum seekers entering in Northern Ireland.  

2017, JAN / EVENT
Delivery of a Literary Salon at The Book Reseve, event with an illustrated talk about the historical importance of the literary salon.

2017, JAN / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘The Queen of Ireland’ (2015) + discussion.

2016, DEC / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘Citizenfour’ (2014) + commissioned writer Una Murphy to write on Northern Irish context of Surveillance. She joined for a Q&A afterwards.

A screening strand of the films that inspired the television series ‘Stranger Things’. Included ET, Stand By Me, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, Super 8, Halloween.  
Delivery of a Mini Market for Social Saturday, a nationwide celebration of businesses that put people and planet first. Market stalls from 13 social enterprise businesses.

‘From the Sea to the Land Beyond’ with live film score performed by Rodger Montgomery of Belfast Music Club. Supported by Film Hub NI.

2016, MAY / FILM EVENT + Q&A
‘Black Gold’ (2006) with discussion partners Stop the Traffik, an organisation tackling human traffiking.  

Founded New Notions a pop-up documentary film screening project. We host powerful real-life stories through film, workshops and conversation. With support from BFI Film Audience Network, Film Hub NI.


Ceasefire Generation (2021) is a landmark doc series on the first generation to grow up in ‘peace time’ in Northern Ireland. Funded in part by Community Relations Council.

‘Boat Builders’ (2017) A New Notions Original Film, 90 minutes. Through a unique blend of archive footage, live storytelling and documentary film we brought the experience of working in Belfast's shipyard to life. Funded by Northern Ireland Screen, BFI—Film Hub NI.
Beautiful Nightmare’ (2014) A three minute documentary telling the story of Olivia O’Brien, an eighteen year old girl who has a burning passion to be a successful singer and dancer. A sufferer of M.E. (severe muscle pain) she is struggling to find the energy to keep it up

‘Mr. Duncan’ (2015)
Death seems to be old Mr. Duncan’s only escape from a lonely and torrid existence, until he rediscovers friendship and the simple pleasures in life with the help of his young neighbour. Format: ARRI Alexa, ProRes -CINEMATOGRAPHER
‘Lily & The Revolution’ (2014) Lily doesn't like the way the world works. A short film about her and her plans to change it. Format: S16mm, colour 200T

Elusive Smile (2014)
A black-comedy film about two sons exploring their attic after the death of their father. Format: 16mm Kodak 500T b&w

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