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Bobby Sands 66 Days 'one of Northern Ireland's biggest ever films'

Published 26/08/2016

Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Tomboy Loudon, Gerry Roche, Denis Donaldson and Bobby Sands pictured in the Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
Hunger strike protesters outside the Dail in Dublin 1981
Hunger strike marchers blocked by gardai as they approach the British Embassy in Dublin
PACEMAKER BELFAST Rioting in west Belfast on the day hunger striker Bobby Sands died in 1981
A man walks past the Bobby Sands mural, in the Falls road area of Belfast
Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots beside hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, at Milltown Cemetery.
Bobby Sands (seated fourth from left). The Star of the Sea football team.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands funeral procession making its way down Stewartstown Road on Route to Milltown cemetery
Several unionist politicians have called for Maze cells which housed hunger strikers to be flattened
Bobby Sands funeral
1st March 2011. Launch of the Hunger Strike 30th Anniversary Exhibition in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. Ten republican prisoners died during the 1981 protest inside the Maze Prison. A letter written by Bobby Sands on cigarette paper which was smuggled out of the prison pictured at the exhibition.
Michael Fassbender stars in Hunger, the film about the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands
Kieran Doherty died in the Maze prison in 1981 after being on a hunger strike
Former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald pleaded with Ronald Reagan to pile pressure on Margaret Thatcher over the hunger strikes

The Bobby Sands Film 66 Days has become one of the most successful Northern Ireland films of all time.

Brendan J. Byrne’s critically acclaimed documentary sparked controversy on its release with an outcry that public funds had been used to produce the piece and that it was "one-sided".

The controversial film, which is based on the 1981 hunger strike, enjoyed the highest opening weekend viewing figures at the Irish box office for an Irish-made documentary.

More: Unionists outraged as public money used to fund film about Bobby Sands' IRA hunger strike

Now, however, it has surpassed all previous records to become Northern Ireland's biggest ever film raking in £110,000 at the box office surpassing Steve McQueen’s Hunger which starred Michael Fassbender and the Terri Hooley bio-pic Good Vibrations.

However, '66 Days' is expected to bring in even more as the film continues to draw audiences with reports of sold out screenings and new cinema openings.

More: Bobby Sands documentary has a vital piece missing...voice of the loyalist community

Director Brendan J. Byrne said: “This is simply fantastic news. This film has been dear to my heart and thus far, is certainly the pinnacle of my documentary making career.

"I knew it was very important subject matter and we hoped that it would attract audiences north and south.

"The sheer box office success of 66 Days, added to our critical acclaim, has been a little unexpected but very welcome for everyone on the production team. It just proves that people do love a good documentary and now that the box office for 66 Days has even surpassed two fiction films - both of which I admire hugely (Hunger and Good Vibrations), I hope we’ll see more documentaries in our local cinemas. Bobby Sands: 66 Days is just the first of a number of exciting feature documentaries from Fine Point Films due to premiere at major international film festivals in the next 12 months."

Jailed in 1977 for 14 years for his role in bombing a furniture store, Sands starved himself to death in a bid to gain political status in the Maze Prison.

Dougie Adams, Jane Adams, Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Ronan Heenan are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast.
The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Dougie Adams, Jane Adams, Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Ronan Heenan are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Gerry and Margaret Kelly are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Mary Nellis and Mary Kay Hinphey are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Sabina Cherek, Rabek Cherek and Alina Grychta are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Loretta Van der horst and Marco bij le Veld pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Mary Nellis, Mitchel McLaughlin and Mary Kay Hinphey are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Alex Maskey, Liz Maskey, Patricia Maskey and Paul Maskey are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Pauline and Padraig Omuirigh are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 John Darcy, Eamonn Mallie and John Darcy are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Leontia McKenna and Peter Lynch are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Tomboy Loudon, Gerry Roche, Denis Donaldson and Bobby Sands pictured in the Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
Hunger strike protesters outside the Dail in Dublin 1981
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Bairbre de Brún, Sile Darragh, Mary Doyle and Carál Ní Chuilín are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Byrne and Colm Scullion are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Byrne, Olivia Byrne, Sharon Darby and Greg Darby are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Hunger strike marchers blocked by gardai as they approach the British Embassy in Dublin
PACEMAKER BELFAST Rioting in west Belfast on the day hunger striker Bobby Sands died in 1981
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Michele Devlin and Brendan Byrne are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Sheila, Ella, Mia and Trevor Birney are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Colm Scullion and Peter Bryson are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
A man walks past the Bobby Sands mural, in the Falls road area of Belfast
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Laurence McKeown, Michelle Beyers and Lachlan Whalen are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Michael and Betty Doherty are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Niall Ó Donnghaile, Irene Sherry and Dominic Adams are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots beside hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, at Milltown Cemetery.
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Professor Siobhan O'Neill and Professor Deirdre Heenan are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Danny Devenny and Paddy Molloy are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Denzil McDaniel, David McDaniel and Trevor Birney are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Deceased hunger striker Bobby Sands (seated fourth from left). The Star of the Sea football team.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands funeral procession making its way down Stewartstown Road on Route to Milltown cemetery
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Byrne, Aisling Higgins, Trevor Birney and Paul Higgins are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Byrne, Fran Rowlatt McCormick, Ben Rowlatt McCormick, Andrew Tully and Trevor Birney are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Byrne, Professor Siobhan O'Neill, Professor Deirdre Heenan and Trevor Birney are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Trevor Birney, Martin McCann and Brendan Byrne are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Brendan Wright, Catherine James, Jennifer Wright, Siobhan Wright and Trevor Birney are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Rita Harkin and Stephen Douds are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Sharon Curran and Eva Grossman are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Bobby Sands funeral
©Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland - 1st March 2011. Launch of the Hunger Strike 30th Anniversary Exhibition in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. Ten republican prisoners died during the 1981 protest inside the Maze Prison. A letter written by Bobby Sands on cigarette paper which was smuggled out of the prison pictured at the exhibition.
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Michele Devlin, festival director, Belfast film festival pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Michael Fassbender stars in Hunger, the film about the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 The audience at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Kieran Doherty died in the Maze prison in 1981 after being on a hunger strike
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Aisling and Seamus Higgins are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Paul Mullin and Cathy Church are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 31st July 2016 Ciaran Morrison and Cath Kelly are pictured at the film premiere of Bobby Sands: 66 Days at the Omniplex Cinema at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. The premiere was hosted with Féile An Phobail and West Belfast Film Festival. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald pleaded with Ronald Reagan to pile pressure on Margaret Thatcher over the hunger strikes

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