Belfast Telegraph

Director Fingleton honoured as debut film feature The Survivalist makes festival awards shortlist

By Amanda Ferguson

A Northern Ireland-made post-apocalyptic thriller has been chosen to compete at the one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.

The world premiere of Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist - which stars Belfast actor Martin McCann - is to take place at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York next month.

The debut feature from Fingleton, a writer and director who was born in Londonderry and raised in Enniskillen, will compete with 11 other films at the festival.

Fingleton said: "Tribeca is the true home of contemporary independent cinema and it's the ideal setting for people to get their first glimpse of The Survivalist.

"We did our post-production in New York and it's a fantastic city."

The Survivalist was filmed in Northern Ireland last year.

It was developed through the BFI Film Fund and Northern Ireland Screen's New Talent Focus scheme.

It is the near future story of a man eking out a meagre existence on a secluded smallholding deep in the forest, when a starving woman and her teenage daughter discover his farm.

Producers Robert Jones and Wayne Marc Godfrey described the Tribeca shortlisting for The Survivalist as "an incredible honour" as it is one of the major events in the film industry calendar.

"We are particularly thrilled for Stephen who we believe in as a powerful and original new talent," a statement from the men said.

With three short films under his belt, Fingleton was previously selected as one of Screen's Stars of Tomorrow, when his screenplay for The Survivalist featured on the Hollywood Blacklist and topped the UK Brit List.

Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "Northern Ireland Screen has a clear policy of championing Northern Ireland talent; we have been long-standing supporters of Stephen, granting him our Bill Miskelly Award in 2007 which supported his MA in Screenwriting.  

"Having funded his recent short film Magpie and this amazing debut feature, The Survivalist, through our New Talent Focus scheme, we are delighted that the Tribeca audience can experience what this exciting new filmmaker has to offer.

"To be selected for official competition at this prestigious festival is a big milestone in his professional career and is testament to the world-class talent working in the industry in Northern Ireland."

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