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13/12/2007

Hollywood Stars Shine For Belfast Premiere

It will be a Hollywood - rather than Holywood (Co Down) - spectacular tonight as Assembly Arts Minister Edwin Poots and Economy Minister Nigel Dodds welcome Hollywood USA film legends Lord Richard Attenborough and Shirley MacLaine to Parliament Buildings.
The stars are in Northern Ireland for the world premiere of Lord Attenborough’s latest movie, 'Closing the Ring', being screened exclusively at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.
The Ministers are to jointly host a special lunch for the stars of the film at Stormont in advance of the big screen movie, with Edwin Poots commenting: “Movie producers are recognising that Northern Ireland has a lot to offer the international film industry.
"We have perfect locations with breathtaking scenery across Northern Ireland, we have the people, actors, cameramen and technicians, and we have the ability to deliver," he said.
There is already a particular success story to have sprung from the new film too, as the Minister said, a local actor who had a part in Closing the Ring is already seeing his career really take-off: "Marty McCann has been plucked from relative obscurity, to a lead role in Stephen Spielberg’s war series Pacific, the sequel to Band of Brothers, filmed recently in Melbourne.
"This is indeed a dream come true for him and inspiration for others trying to make it big," the Minister said.
Meanwhile, welcoming members of the cast to Northern Ireland, Nigel Dodds said: “One of my first responsibilities as Economy Minister was to announce £12million of additional funding for Northern Ireland Screen through Invest NI.
"Today, with a commercial world premiere in Belfast, it is clear that this funding is helping Northern Ireland Screen to deliver on its strategic objectives.”
The Minister continued: “Since 2003, the global screen industry has already delivered around £30million into the local economy. Invest NI will continue to support growth in the creative and digital content sectors, I hope to see further economic benefits from more producers choosing Northern Ireland as their premier filming location.”
Colin Anderson, Chairman of Northern Ireland Screen added: “The Commission has been closely involved with Closing the Ring, supporting it through development and production funding and facilitating its set build at Maysfield.
"I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful success story and extend sincere congratulations to Lord Attenborough and Jo Gilbert. “This film is a fine example of our ability, in the face of increasing global competition, to attract film and television projects to Northern Ireland and a reflection of our passionate commitment to develop a sustainable, dynamic screen industry and culture.”
The production, which is based on a true wartime story, was filmed on location in north Belfast and on the Cave Hill last year.
The film received £800,000 of assistance from Northern Ireland Screen - the national screen agency for Northern Ireland - which is funded by Invest NI, the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure and the UK Film Council.
It is hoped that up and coming local talent and star of the movie Martin McCann, alongside other stars of the silver screen, Pete Postlethwaite and Mischa Barton will join Lord Attenborough and Ms MacLaine at Stormont.
(BMcC)
VMI.TV Ltd

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