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Stephen Rea: I’m thrilled to see the film industry coming to Northern Ireland

By Amanda Poole

One of Belfast’s most successful actors has spoken of his pride in Northern Ireland’s flourishing film industry.

Oscar-nominated star Stephen Rea said that he was “thrilled” to see a growing confidence in Northern Ireland as a movie-making location.

The renowned actor was speaking as the 12th Belfast Film Festival kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Good Vibrations.

The biopic of record shop owner and godfather of Northern Ireland’s 70s punk music scene, Terri Hooley, will see stars from the local and international entertainment industry flock to the Ulster Hall for a screening of the hotly anticipated movie.

Largely shot in the shops and alleyways of North Street, Belfast, where the Good Vibrations record store was established, the film boasts an ensemble cast of of local actors including Richard Dormer as Terri Hooley, plus Michael Colgan and Adrian Dunbar.

Tickets for this evening’s show have been in such high demand that there will be an additional screening at the Ulster Hall, along with another at the nearby Movie House, Belfast.

The director of the Belfast Film Festival, Michele Devlin, said: “Securing Good Vibrations is a real coup for the Belfast Film Festival and shows just how far the city has come.

“The global interest in this world premiere is a real indication of the high profile that Belfast Film Festival now enjoys, and the film’s production demonstrates the world-class level of Northern Ireland’s film industry.”

Rea spoke to the Belfast Telegraph as he prepared to be interviewed in front of an audience at the Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT) by broadcaster Marie-Louise Muir.

Tomorrow evening’s event, part of the Belfast Film Festival, will see Rea honoured with an award for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

“It must mean I’m going to die or something,” he joked.

“It’s nice to be recognised in my home town.”

From his recent Bafta-nominated role in The Shadow Line to his brilliant Oscar-nominated performance as Fergus in The Crying Game, Stephen Rea is one of the city’s most accomplished talents.

He said it was a thrill for him to see the creative arts flourish here and he praised the line-up of this year’s festival. “There is an active film industry now that wouldn’t have been there before,” he said.

“There was the odd film, but not the regular production output of late.

“The new film Good Vibrations looks great.

“It’s fantastic to see and a real sign of confidence. The whole festival line-up is extraordinary.”

To view the full programme visit www.belfastfilmfestival.org

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