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Apocalyptic thriller filmed earns Northern Ireland director Fingleton Bafta nomination

By Michael McHugh

Published 09/01/2016

Martin McCann in a scene from The Survivalist
Martin McCann in a scene from The Survivalist
Writer Stephen Fingleton

A Northern Ireland-born film director has been nominated for a Bafta award.

Stephen Fingleton was named in the outstanding debut category of the British Academy Film Awards for The Survivalist.

The post-apocalyptic thriller, shot entirely in Northern Ireland, is set in a world where resources have run out.

The feature received critical acclaim following its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It will be released in cinemas and on-demand on February 12.

Mr Fingleton tweeted: "Very happy that The Survivalist has been nominated for a Bafta for best debut."

Nominations for this year's Bafta film awards were announced yesterday by TV personality Stephen Fry.

Richard Williams, chief executive of development body Northern Ireland Screen, said: "We are immensely proud of Stephen Fingleton and offer our huge congratulations to him and all the talented crew that made The Survivalist.

"A Bafta nomination, a Bifa [British Independent Film Awards] win and incredible critical acclaim are amazing endorsements for this new writer and director.

"The Survivalist is a wonderful film and we are delighted to have been able to support it from its early script development stage."

The Bafta nomination follows the British Independent Film Awards where Fingleton was named best debut director.

The Survivalist was developed with the support of the British Film Institute Film Fund and Northern Ireland Screen's New Talent Focus Scheme.

It boasts what Northern Ireland Screen hailed as stellar performances from Martin McCann, Mia Goth and Olwen Fouere.

Also on the Bafta shortlist are on-screen couple Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, who have both been nominated for their roles in transgender movie The Danish Girl.

Redmayne will go up against Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Matt Damon and Bryan Cranston in the leading actor award category.

Meanwhile, Vikander will face some incredibly stiff competition from Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Dame Maggie Smith and Saoirse Ronan in the leading actress category.

Redmayne is also an early favourite to secure an Oscar nomination for his role as Lili Elbe, one of the first known transgender women to receive sex reassignment surgery. He has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for the movie.

Kate Winslet and Rooney Mara will battle it out in the supporting actress category.

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