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Northern Ireland Dramas Get RTS Nomination

One of Britain's leading forums for television and related media, The Royal Television Society (RTS), has announced the shortlist for the Programme Awards 2009.
The awards celebrate all genres of television programming, from children's fiction to comedy performance, history to soaps.
Covering both national and regional output the Programme Awards aim to recognise the work of exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams, as well honouring the programmes themselves.
Occupation, Five Minutes of Heaven and Small Island which were all filmed in Northern Ireland and were funded by the Northern Ireland Screen Fund - and supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund - have received a total of six nominations.
Occupation will battle it out with Red Riding and Unforgiven for Best Drama Serial. Occupation is powerful three-part drama serial starring James Nesbitt that traces the lives of three British soldiers from the invasion of Basra in March 2003 to the present.
It filmed on location in Northern Ireland in 2008 and aired on BBC One in June 2009.
Five Minutes of Heaven is up for Best Single Drama along with Endgame and A Short Stay in Switzerland. Five Minutes Of Heaven, which stars two of Northern Ireland's greatest acting luminaries, Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt, is a unique one-off drama that explores aspects of Northern Ireland's troubled past and the challenges the future holds in coming to terms with it.
Five Minutes of Heaven previously won two awards at the highly prestigious A-list Sundance Film Festival last year. It shot on location in Northern Ireland in June 2008 and aired on BBC Two in April 2009.
Occupation's Peter Bowker and Five Minutes of Heaven's Guy Hibbert are up for Best Writer – Drama alongside Howard Overman (Misfits).
Small Island’s Naomie Harries received a nomination for Best Actor (female) and her co-star David Oyelowo for Best Actor (male).
Adapted from Andrea Levy's best-selling award-winning novel Small Island is an epic love story about the determined pursuit of dreams in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers. Small Island filmed here in 2009 transforming parts of Northern Ireland into post war London. It aired on BBC One in December.
Chaired by Wayne Garvie, the awards will be presented at a ceremony on the 16th March at the Grosvenor Hotel. The evening will be hosted by actor, comedian and radio presenter Rob Brydon.

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