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10/07/2008

Iraq Drama Films In NI

Occupation, a powerful new three-part drama serial by Peter Bowker, which traces the lives of three British soldiers from the invasion of Basra in March 2003 to the present is about to begin production.
Filming is due to commence in Northern Ireland and Morocco in September for broadcast on BBC One in 2009.
Commissioned by Jane Trantner, Controller of BBC Fiction, Occupation is produced by Kudos Film and Television (Life On Mars, Spooks and Hustle) for BBC Northern Ireland with finance from Northern Ireland Screen through its Screen Fund supported by Invest NI.
Occupation is inspired by factual research and reveals how the lives of three British men are shaped and transformed by their experiences in Iraq.
The drama is set in Basra and explores the personal journeys of three friends from the same regiment, and how they are inspired to return to Basra for different reasons - one for financial gain, one for love and the third because of his belief in the mission to rebuild the country.
Bowker's drama explores how their different dreams come to define not just their lives but the war and the occupation itself.
The drama is set against the backdrop of growing sectarian conflict in Iraq, awash with billions of dollars from the US, creating a boom time for private military companies.
Peter Bowker's credits include the Golden Globe nominated and multi-award-winning Blackpool, Canterbury Tales, Undercover Heart and the BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning Flesh And Blood.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "We are delighted that Kudos is coming to Northern Ireland to film Occupation. Over the past year we have had a number of BBC network dramas come to our shores - first we had Fairy Tales, followed by Messiah and The Invisibles. Occupation coming now is further vindication that our strategy is working and the hard work is paying off. Northern Ireland's television production sector is on the rise and we will continue to lobby for even more productions to come and film in Northern Ireland."
Patrick Spence, Head of Drama at BBC Northern Ireland, said: "We've been working on Occupation for four years, so I am incredibly proud to be watching them all head off into production, a brilliant script in their hands, absolutely determined to bring this story, and all that it means, to the widest possible audience."
The producer is Laurie Borg (Mrs Henderson Presents, And When Did You Last See Your Father), the director is Nick Murphy (Napoleon, Chernobyl, Primeval) and the executive producer if Derek Wax (Flesh And Blood, Sex Traffic, Tsunami, The Aftermath) and for BBC Northern Ireland, the executive producer is Patrick Spence.
(KMcA)
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