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Michael Flatley spy thriller to open Monaco film festival

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Action man: Michael Flatley in his new movie, Blackbird

Action man: Michael Flatley in his new movie, Blackbird

Supporting role: Expendables star Eric Roberts also appears in the new movie

Supporting role: Expendables star Eric Roberts also appears in the new movie

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Action man: Michael Flatley in his new movie, Blackbird

Lord Of The Dance Michael Flatley's spy thriller Blackbird has been selected as the opening feature for the Monaco Streaming Film Festival.

The Chicago-born dancer, who sprang to prominence with first Riverdance and then Lord Of The Dance, said he wanted the Caribbean-based film to be his personal homage to old Hollywood and the golden era of thrillers.

Prestigious entertainment industry magazine Variety said the feature was "a pleasant surprise" with key supporting roles from Irish star Patrick Bergin, and Eric Roberts from the hit action film The Expendables.

It also stars Ian Beattie, Rachel Warren, Nicole Evans and Serhat Metin.

“I wanted to make a modern movie reminiscent of old Hollywood,” Mr Flatley explained.

“The classics were always entertaining without being excessively violent or complicated.

"We shot the movie in Barbados, Ireland and London, capturing some of the most cinematically picturesque locations on film, all of which have a special place in my heart."

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The dancer now splits his time between his villa in the hills overlooking Monaco and his north Cork estate, Castlehyde.

His Castlehyde property was purchased when virtually derelict for €3m in 2001 and then returned to its 18th century glory thanks to a €27m refurbishment.

He also owns a property in Barbados where Blackbird was filmed. Mr Flatley will also be honoured for his work to support cancer and homeless charities in Monaco tomorrow evening.

Prince Albert will present Mr Flatley with the prestigious CC Forum award for outstanding contribution to global humanitarian causes.

It is the second major honour he has received in Monaco, having been honoured at the Red Cross gala in 2003 by the late Prince Rainier.

"I’m honoured to be showing Blackbird at the inaugural Monaco Streaming Film Festival. It’s an innovative venture and opens the doors globally to a rapidly evolving digital marketplace,” he added.

The film was written and financed by the dance multi-millionaire with scenes being shot on location four years ago.

It revolves around the story of a retired intelligence operative who is trying to live a quiet life running a hotel in Barbados. However, he is dragged back into his old life in a bid to help a friend.

Film Festival founder Tony Davis told Variety it was an honour to have the event open with Michael Flatley's Blackbird.

“Michael Flatley’s debut feature film is such a pleasant surprise — he brings his renowned stage presence and energy, which we have all experienced over the past 25 years, to the big screen in a gripping romantic thriller,” he said.

“Blackbird is beautifully filmed in stunning exotic locations, and a brilliant supporting cast help Flatley deliver something his legions of fans all over the world are going to love — he’s quite simply a star.”

The Monaco event runs until today, with special contributions from other stars and movie executives including Greg Berlanti, Erran Baron Cohen and Mitch Lowe.


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