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Ken Branagh homes in on new movie about Belfast

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Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl

Kenneth Branagh

Sir Kenneth Branagh has written and is directing a new film about Belfast.

The award-winning star, who spent his early years in Tigers Bay, said the movie, called Belfast, would pay tribute to the city and its people.

It will be set in Northern Ireland and England, where some of the story unfolds.

Filming is expected to get under way here and across the water next month.

It is understood the shoot will take place over three to four weeks.

Speaking exclusively to Sunday Life, Sir Kenneth confirmed the new project.

"I have written and will direct a new film called Belfast. It is partly set in the city and is a very personal movie about a place and people I love," he said.

With the local film industry severely impacted by coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Richard Williams, the CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, welcomed the news of the star's latest production.

"Film-making in the time of Covid is challenging, but we hope this humorous and tender tale will find its way safely to the big screen," he said.

"The production intends to film partly in Belfast and partly in England, where some of the story is set.

"The dates are inevitably fluid, but a late summer shoot is planned."

Casting is under way for the shoot and the film's plot is being kept under wraps.

Artemis Fowl

Sir Kenneth's most recent project Artemis Fowl, which was filmed partly on Northern Ireland's north coast, began streaming exclusively on Disney+ last month.

The film, based on Eoin Colfer's best-selling book, was directed by Branagh, with scenes filmed at Whiterocks Beach in Portrush and Dunluce Castle during the summer of 2018.

Sir Kenneth was born in Belfast in 1960, but his family moved to England when he was nine years old.

His first starring role was in the Graham Reid-penned Billy trilogy, which was broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland during the 1980s.

The actor, writer and director, whose films include Hamlet, Dunkirk, My Week With Marilyn and Murder on the Orient Express, to name but a few, was given the Freedom of Belfast in 2018.

He said at the time: "I'm proud to say that you can take the boy out of Belfast, but you can't take Belfast out of the boy."

Belfast Telegraph