Belfast Telegraph

'71, gritty Troubles movie set on the streets of Belfast, shortlisted for two Baftas

By Amanda Ferguson

A vivid and powerful Belfast-set thriller has been shortlisted for two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards.

Yann Demange's critically-acclaimed feature debut stars Jack O'Connell as a young British soldier accidentally abandoned by his unit after trouble flares on the streets of the city.

The action-packed movie has been nominated for Outstanding British Film for Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch and Gregory Burke, and Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer - Gregory Burke (writer), Yann Demange (director).

It was previously revealed that O'Connell has been shortlisted for The EE Rising Star award, which is voted for by the public.

The production features a score from Belfast composer David Holmes and also features local actors Martin McCann, Richard Dormer and 13-year-old Corey McKinley.

'71's young star, who is also shortlisted for a London Critics Circle Film award in the Young Performer of the Year category, is thrilled the award-winning film has been so popular with audiences, critics and judging panels.

Corey said: "It was amazing working on '71, my first film. I am over the Moon for Yann and Jack and the rest of the team."

Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "It is great to see '71, which was developed by NI Screen, among the list of nominees."

Belfast Film Festival director Michele Devlin said nominations "couldn't go to a more deserving film", and film critic Brian Henry Martin said that the Bafta nods were no surprise. "I expect that actor Jack O'Connell who is currently to be seen in cinemas in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, will win the Rising Star Bafta," he said.

"I also expect director Yann Demange and writer Gregory Burke to win Outstanding Debut Bafta for '71.

"Both were guests at the Queen's Film Theatre for a special screening of the film back in October, and the audience were left in no doubt that night that they had just watched an outstanding film by new major film talent."

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