‘Lost Lives’ is inspired by the 1999 book of the same name that chronicles the 3,700 deaths over the 30 year period of The Troubles

‘Lost Lives,’ the film inspired by the 1999 book of the same name, premiered this week at the London Film Festival.

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The film, co-directed by Michael Hewitt and Dermot Lavery, weaves together 18 accounts taken from the book about that chronicles the 3,700 deaths during The Troubles compiled by journalists David McKittrick, Chris Thornton, Brian Feeney, David McVea, and the late Seamus Kelters.

Among the Northern Irish talent to lend their voices to the film are Liam Neeson, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Bronagh Gallagher, James Nesbitt, Adrian Dunbar, Ciaran Hinds, and Bronagh Waugh.

Hewitt told BBC: “The actors all came on board so readily. There was something of real value in the fact that they were lending their support and their voices to the film.”

“We felt enormously honoured. Nobody needed persuading or to be asked a second time.”

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Co-director Lavery said that the premiere of ‘Lost Lives’ at the London Film Festival was timely: “After the conflict here there has probably been no moment more apposite to remind people of Lost Lives the book.

“If the film can do anything, if it points us towards what Lost Lives the book represented, then that would be a good thing.

“Because here we are on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Troubles, the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement but yet sometimes it feels that we haven’t moved that far on and that, in fact, tensions are starting to rise again in the context of Brexit.

“So, almost accidentally, it felt like a good moment to remind people of the achievement of Lost Lives, which reminds us of the terrible tragedy and loss and grief as a result of the conflict.”

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Co-director Hewitt said special care was taken in choosing which stories to feature in the film: “We took ourselves away from the office for a week to just go through the book in its entirety and be clear of any distraction.

“As we started making those selections, we found ourselves very much drawn to entries for which there was a quote, usually from a family member, or some kind of personal detail, it gives you some sense of the person, some sense of the loss, of the hurt.”

Hewitt added: “The book stands as a testament to the terrible loss that took place here over the 30 years and the loss that continues to ripple out amongst families.

“So what the book does one way, the film has to try to do it in a slightly different way, it maybe engages a little bit more emotionally than the book.

“But we always thought of it as an extension of the book, part of the same project.

“We hope the authors feel the same way about it.”

Read More: Heartbreaking images from Northern Ireland remind us why we can never return to the Troubles

You can watch the trailer for ‘Lost Lives’ here:

'Lost Lives' will be released in the UK on October 23. It is unclear if and when the film will be released worldwide.