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Monday 21 May 2018

Filmmaker Stephen Fingleton backing drama on Northern Ireland's Troubles

Stephen Fingleton has got a nod for the Oscars
Stephen Fingleton has got a nod for the Oscars

A Bafta-nominated filmmaker from Northern Ireland has aspirations to make a film or TV drama set during The Troubles which shows the "madness that gripped the country".

Stephen Fingleton, who was born in Derry but grew up in Warrenpoint and Enniskillen, is up for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer for The Survivalist - a film set in a world short of food.

The film was shot almost entirely on a private estate in Ballymoney in County Antrim, and Fingleton said the Bafta nomination is a great recognition of the work done by his cast, crew and producers.

"I'm delighted to be personally nominated, but I think it's very much a representation of the contribution everyone made," he said.

Fingleton, 32, who is currently working on an American science-fiction film, said he has "great ideas" for a future piece about Northern Ireland's history.

He told the Press Association: "I'm very interested in telling the truth about certain periods of history which many political parties aren't interested in looking at.

"There are a lot of stones in Northern Irish history that haven't been turned over, in the 1970s and the 1980s. Some very, very dark stories.

"And we're now approaching the time where we can start really looking at those stories, and looking at some of the madness that gripped the country."

He said the piece could be for film or television, describing his idea as "a story set during the Troubles that is about a character that reflects something we haven't seen before".

Fingleton said there are a lot of people interested in telling stories about that period of history in Northern Ireland for television, and said it is "about finding the right home" for the story.

"I would love to approach it from a way that an audience can watch it even if they don't understand Northern Irish history," he said.

Asked about when he is likely to make a start on the piece, he said: "It's a long-term aspiration. I don't have firm plans but I've got some great ideas."

Speaking about why people should see The Survivalist, he said it is "frightening" and "exciting", adding that as an independent film it showcases choices that big studio films cannot make.

:: The Survivalist is in cinemas from February 12.

Press Association

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