14/03/2007

Major film set to shoot in Belfast

The Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission (NIFTC) has announced that a major multi-million dollar feature film is to shoot in the province this summer.

Negotiations over the past six months with Playtone Productions and Walden Media (already known here for the adaptation of CS Lewis' 'The Chronicles of Narnia'), have resulted in the Hollywood film coming to Northern Ireland in the face of stiff competition from other regions and film commissions.

'City Of Ember', a children’s fantasy sci-fi adventure from the book by American writer Jeanne DuPrau, is set in a future when the earth's citizens have moved underground to escape the planet's toxic atmosphere. Ember is “the only light in the dark world” that is slowly dying as supplies begin to run low and the electricity generator starts to fail. The story centres around two teenagers, Lina and Doon, who are destined to be the unforeseen heroes of Ember as they dare to venture into the forbidden “Unknown Regions” to try and save their city.

The movie, which will be filmed entirely in Northern Ireland, is due to start shooting in early summer for a 16-week shoot until October. Pre-production has already begun on the massive set, which will see the former Paint Hall in the Titanic Quarter transformed into the underground 'City of Ember'.

NIFTC Chairman, Colin Anderson, said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that the film everyone has been speculating about for the past few months is definitely coming. This means a great deal to Northern Ireland – in terms of economic benefit, helping grow the industry here and showing the world that Northern Ireland can pull in a major Hollywood blockbuster. In particular I would like to pay tribute to the management of Titanic Quarter who were instrumental in helping secure this production.”

Producer John Schofield for Playtone Productions and Walden Media stated: “We are very much looking forward to the Northern Ireland shoot. It’s a great place with great people and we’ve already been made to feel very much at home here. We are excited about building the city of Ember in such an historic landmark in Belfast.”

City Of Ember will be directed by Gil Kenan ('Monster House', 'Pac Man') with the screenplay by Caroline Thompson ('Corpse Bride', 'Edward Scissorhands') and is produced by Playtone Productions and Walden Media.

(SP/KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 April 2021
City Hall To Go Dark To Mark 80th Anniversary Of The Belfast Blitz
The City Hall in Belfast will go dark this Thursday evening, 15 April, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz. Homes across Belfast will be able to see two searchlights in the night sky, being beamed from the grounds of the City Hall at around 9pm.
03 December 2020
Belfast City Council Seeks Views On Coronavirus Recovery Plans
The public are being urged to get involved in shaping Belfast's coronavirus recovery plans to help create a better future. Belfast City Council is gathering views from people across the city about how Covid-19 has impacted their communities and their priorities for the future.
25 February 2009
Projecting Success At Belfast Film Festival
Stars of the big screen, Sir Ben Kingsley and Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint as well as Ulster actor James Nesbitt are among those set to attend the Belfast Film Festival at the end of March.
15 July 2008
'Hunger' Set For UK Release On October 31
'Hunger', the winner of the Camera d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival and the directorial debut of acclaimed British visual artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, is to be released in cinemas on October 31, Pathé Distribution has announced.
27 May 2021
Cardiff Flights From Belfast City Airport Take Off
Flights to Cardiff from Belfast City Airport have taken off with Eastern Airways. The Belfast to Cardiff service, one of only two direct air links to Wales in Ireland, will give passengers additional choice and frequency with up to five flights a week.