Belfast Telegraph

Local movie fans close in on Ring

By Claire McNeilly

Ulster is gearing up for the most glamorous event on its showbiz calendar as tickets for the star-studded world premiere of Closing the Ring go on sale.

Members of the public will be grappling to get seats for the big budget movie - not to mention the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

The much anticipated film, which was locally produced and predominantly set in Belfast, will be screened in front of an audience for the first time at the Waterfront on December 13.

And, as Oscar winners line up for the red carpet extravaganza, Northern Ireland movie-goers will have an opportunity to see Academy Award winners - like Lord Richard Attenborough, Shirley MacLaine and Brenda Fricker - up close and personal.

With a stellar cast, also including Academy Award nominee Pete Postlethwaite, The Sound of Music's Christopher Plummer, Scream star Neve Campbell and The OC's Mischa Barton, local fans lucky enough to have the hottest tickets in town can mingle and marvel.

Inspired by true events, Closing the Ring is a deeply moving epic romance about an American woman who honours a war-time promise of love with a lifetime of heartache until the discovery of a gold ring has life-changing consequences.

Spanning two continents and half a century, the film has the power to cross boundaries, appealing to generations of movie-goers.

With the majority of the film shot on location in Belfast - including the Cave Hill, the east and north of the city, as well filming on the stages of the Titanic Studios and at Bangor's Clandeboye Estate - Closing the Ring boasts Northern Ireland's credentials as a movie-making hotspot.

Local producer Jo Gilbert - whose credits include The Brylcreem Boys (featuring Gabriel Byrne) and Darkness Falls - brought the film here with assistance from Northern Ireland Screen and Invest Northern Ireland.

"This will be the first time that Northern Ireland has hosted a world film premiere with such a high calibre cast and crew," she said.

"Film fans are being given this rare opportunity to enjoy an exclusive viewing in the Waterfront alongside such acclaimed figures as Lord Attenborough and Shirley MacLaine.

"It will be a glamorous red-carpet extravaganza shining the international spotlight on Belfast, its qualities as a film-shoot location and the remarkable acting talent it has nurtured."

The film is set to showcase a star-making performance from west Belfast actor Martin McCann, whose performance led the film's director Lord Attenborough to describe him as a "natural talent".

Speaking during production, the rising star said he was honoured to have been chosen to appear - especially in terms of the film's local significance.

"I'm still pinching myself. Every day on set is a gift," he said.

The event is being co-hosted by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, the Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment, Invest NI and Northern Ireland Screen.

Tickets for the premiere of Closing the Ring are available now through the Waterfront Box Office. Contact: 028 9033 4455. Price £25 or £10 concession; early booking strongly advised

Belfast Telegraph


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