Kenneth Branagh got some good news about his semi-autobiographical film Belfast, which he shot with Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan during the pandemic a couple of months ago – Focus Features just nabbed the worldwide distribution rights.

The plan is to get the film into movie theaters next year.  The cast is impressive and also includes Oscar winner Dame Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds. 

Branagh, the screenwriter, and director finished his passion project in just a few weeks. A proud Belfast native, Branagh spent the first nine years of his life in the city before his parents relocated to England as political strife was rising.

“Belfast is my most personal film,” Branagh said. “It’s about coming home, a dramatic journey of excitement, emotion, and humor. To be embraced by filmmakers and distributors of such proven imagination and talent as Focus is fantastic. With the incredible support of Northern Ireland Screen also in the mix, we are very excited for the future of Belfast in cinemas around the world in 2021.”

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Balfe and Dornan “play a glamorous working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, with Dench and Hinds as the wry and spry grandparents,” a press release said. Branagh’s role is behind the camera.

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski proclaimed himself a fan of the film. “We are excited and grateful to collaborate with such an esteemed filmmaker and storyteller as Kenneth. Highly personal and passionate, Belfast is a heartwarming piece that is bursting with life, and we look forward to sharing it with audiences worldwide,” he said.

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