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PRODUCTION UK / Ireland

Neeson, Nesbitt go to Heaven

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Neeson, Nesbitt go to Heaven

Irish actors Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt are starring in the under-production film Five Minutes To Heaven. German director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall [+see also:
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interview: Oliver Hirschbiegel
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) is currently filming the production on location in Belfast.

Guy Hibbert, the BAFTA-winning writer of Omagh, has written the film. It is partially based on true events in 1975, when 17-year-old Alistair Little, a member of the Ulster Volunteer Forces, murdered 19-year-old Catholic, Jim Griffin, which was witnessed by his brother Joe Griffin.

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Hibbert said, “The opening of the film is essentially an accurate, dramatised reconstruction of the events leading to the murder in 1975. The action of the remainder of the film, set in present day, is fiction but based on their emotional response to the fictional situations their characters have been placed in, following close liaison with both men.”

Co-financed by Northern Ireland Screen, the film is produced by Eoin O’Callaghan at Big Fish Films and BBC’s Stephen Wright, with executive producer Paul Trijbits (The Wind That Shakes the Barley [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ken Loach
interview: Rebecca O’Brien
film profile
]
) at Ruby Films. Pathé will handle international sales and Element Pictures will distribute the film in Ireland. The film also has the backing of the Irish Film Board.

Patrick Spence, Head of Drama for BBC Northern Ireland who commissioned the film said, “Northern Ireland is a society emerging from conflict. We wanted to develop and produce a single film, which, in a responsible way, marks part of that transition. We have done this by recording powerful personal testimonies of the two individuals whose lives have been determined by the Troubles.”

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