Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Carrickfergus Castle to feature in ‘Our Robot Overlords’ film

Stormont Executive press release - Department of the Environment

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has today confirmed that Carrickfergus Castle is being used as a film location for the latest blockbuster movie to be filmed in Northern Ireland.

The production company behind the sci-fi film entitled ‘Our Robot Overlords’ has permission to film at Carrickfergus Castle for five days from 24 – 28 June, when the Castle will, as a result, be closed to the general public.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood, said: “The fact that this production company has chosen Carrickfergus Castle as a venue for their filming is an excellent example of how our Built Heritage can be used to encourage interest and investment in Northern Ireland. One of our most impressive built heritage assets will now be showcased to both a local and global market.”

NIEA Chief Executive Terry A’Hearn explained: “The production company requires exclusive use of the Castle for these five days of filming. Whilst we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to the visiting public, it is our belief that the spin-off publicity may ultimately lead to many more tourist visits. Therefore the net benefits to the Castle, to the town of Carrickfergus and to the rest of Northern Ireland would by far exceed any short term inconvenience.”

The Sci-Fi film entitled 'Our Robot Overlords' stars Ben Kingsley (Ghandi) and Gillian Anderson (X-Files). The storyline concerns the struggles of a group of youngsters who attempt to thwart a robot invasion.

NIEA negotiated with the film company to ensure that already pre booked tours and school visits could proceed.

From 24 to 28 June, Carrickfergus Castle will be closed to the public except for those who have already pre booked tours. The site will open on Saturday 29 June. Those with an interest in our heritage who visit Carrickfergus during the days when the Castle is closed could instead explore the 12th Century St Nicholas’ Church, the historic Town Walls built in the 17th Century or the Victorian Gasworks at the ‘Flame Centre’ museum.

Notes to editors:

1.The first phase of Carrickfergus Castle, including the Great Tower and Inner Ward, was built by the Norman adventurer John de Courcy between 1177 and 1181, with several subsequent additions and alterations. It was garrisoned continuously until 1928.

2.The Castle and Town Walls are conserved and managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which recently announced the start of a two-year Innovation Trial which will see the Agency working closely with Carrickfergus Borough Council towards maximising the benefit the Castle brings to the town and wider community.

3.Several NIEA-managed properties have been used as film-sets for TV and cinema productions in recent years. These include Dunluce and Audley’s Castles, Inch Abbey and the Quoile Pondage. A new tourism sector is developing in which film fans tour the locations at which films have been shot, bringing addition income to the Northern Ireland economy.

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