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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast ready for its world premiere at Toronto

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- The Northern Irish helmer’s “most personal film” will star Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan in the lead roles, alongside veterans Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast ready for its world premiere at Toronto
Director Kenneth Branagh

Northern Irish filmmaker Kenneth Branagh will present his new feature, titled Belfast [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (9-18 September 2021). His new effort, which was shot in London and Belfast, and which wrapped filming in October 2020, comes on the heels of the Disney+ production Artemis Fowl (2020) and the period drama All Is True [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(2018).

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Belfast, described as Branagh’s “most personal film” and a “semi-autobiographical drama”, promises to be a “humorous, tender and intensely personal story of one boy's childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s”. The lead roles will be played by Jamie Dornan (The Fall, A Private War [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Caitriona Balfe (Ford v Ferrari, Money Monster), who will portray the boy’s “glamorous, working-class parents” (simply known as Ma and Pa). Moreover, the kid’s grandparents will be played by Oscar winner Judi Dench (this will be her sixth collaboration with Branagh) and Ciarán Hinds (The Man in the Hat, First Man). The other members of the main cast include newcomer Jude Hill, Lara McDonnell (Artemis Fowl), Aoife Hinds (the TV series Normal People), Conor MacNeill (Artemis Fowl) and Brid Brennan (Calm with Horses [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
). Ireland’s Úna Ní Dhonghaíle (All Is True, Rosie [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) was attached as the editor, whilst Cyprus’s Haris Zambarloukos (Artemis Fowl, Murder on the Orient Express) served as the cinematographer.

Belfast was produced by Branagh himself, Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas for British outfit TBKC. Focus Features, part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), will release it in the USA, with Universal Pictures International distributing for the rest of the world. The project, one of the first to start filming after the UK’s lockdown in late August last year, also received backing from Northern Ireland Screen.

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