Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 11:57 UK

Sweet, rubber and made in NI

Steve McQueen in Bullit
The rubber wouldn't have been burning without Northern Ireland innovation

Willy Wonka, Steve McQueen and Doc Emmet Brown will be helping to celebrate Northern Ireland ingenuity as part of a film festival.

Reel Genius at the Queen's Film Theatre is marking the cinema's three-year sponsorship deal with BT and is to showcase some films that draw part of their inspiration from Northern Ireland innovation.

The screeching tyres on the Ford Mustang Steve McQueen powers through the streets of San Francisco in Bullit would not have been possible without the invention of the pneumatic tyre by Belfast resident John Dunlop in 1888.

While oompa loompas are not native to Northern Ireland, Killyleagh man Sir Hans Sloane helped make the chocolate taste less bitter in Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

A De Lorean
This De Lorean did not come equipped with a flux capacitor

During travels in Jamaica in the 17th Century he devised a means of mixing cocoa with milk to make it more pleasant and when he returned to England, brought his recipe and cocoa powder back with him.

In Back to the Future while explaining to Marty McFly why he used a De Lorean as his time machine Doc Brown said: "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"

The iconic DeLorean DMC-12 with its famous gull-wing doors and stainless steel finish was manufactured at a car plant in Dunmurry, just outside Belfast.

Possibly the addition of a few flux capacitors would have helped the firm's survival.

The festival started Thursday and runs to 3 May.



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