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Bafta-nominated filmmaker to turn his focus on 'madness' of Troubles

By Catherine Wylie

Published 26/01/2016

Future project: Stephen Fingleton
Future project: Stephen Fingleton

A Bafta-nominated filmmaker from Northern Ireland has aspirations to make a movie or TV drama set during the Troubles that shows the "madness that gripped the country".

Stephen Fingleton, who was born in Londonderry but grew up in Warrenpoint and Enniskillen, is up for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer for The Survivalist - a film set in a world short of food.

The film was shot almost entirely on a private estate in Ballymoney in Co Antrim, and Fingleton said the Bafta nomination was a great recognition of the work done by his cast, crew and producers.

"I'm delighted to be personally nominated, but I think it's very much a representation of the contribution everyone made," he said.

Fingleton (32), who is currently working on a US science fiction film, said he had "great ideas" for a future piece about Northern Ireland's history.

"I'm very interested in telling the truth about certain periods of history which many political parties aren't interested in looking at," he said.

"There are a lot of stones in Northern Irish history that haven't been turned over, in the 1970s and the 1980s - some very, very dark stories.

"And we're now approaching the time where we can start really looking at those stories, and looking at some of the madness that gripped the country."

He said the piece could be for film or TV, describing his idea as "a story set during the Troubles about a character that reflects something we haven't seen before". He added: "I would love to approach it from a way that an audience can watch it even if they don't understand Northern Irish history."

Asked about when he was likely to make a start on the piece, he said: "It's a long-term aspiration. I don't have firm plans."

The Survivalist is in cinemas from February 12

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