Barton on red carpet for Belfast film epic

One of Hollywood’s glamorous young stars Mischa Barton will arrive in Belfast today for the world premiere of one of the biggest movies to be filmed in the city.

One of Hollywood’s glamorous young stars Mischa Barton will arrive in Belfast today for the world premiere of one of the biggest movies to be filmed in the city.

Mischa Barton, who was catapulted to fame as the troubled teenager Marissa Cooper in the television drama 'The OC', will join Oscar winners David Attenborough and Shirley MacLaine for the premiere tomorrow night of the romantic wartime epic 'Closing The Ring'.

The movie directed by David Attenborough was shot in Belfast last year and tells the tragic story of a ring found on a hill overlooking the city 50 years after an American B-17 bomber crashes there.

Spanning two continents and over five decades, it emerges the last dying wish of the gunner was that he wanted the ring returned to his girlfriend in America.

Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker and acclaimed actors Pete Postlethwaite, Neve Campbell and Christopher Plummer are also among the cast.

The film is loosely-based on real events surrounding the crash of an American bomber which was returning to its base in Nutts Corner near Antrim.

The movie, part of which is set in North Carolina, was also filmed in Toronto.

The securing of the movie was a major coup for the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission which has since been able to attract a number of high profile screen projects to the city by converting an old paint hall in Belfast docks into the Titanic Film Studio.

Bill Murray and Tim Robbins shot the children’s science fiction epic 'City Of Ember' in Belfast this year and actor Ben Kingsley, who won an Oscar in the title role for David Attenborough’s Gandhi, is currently shooting 'Man On The Run' about an IRA informer.

'Closing The Ring' has already boosted the career of Belfast actor Marty McCann, who, on the strength of his performance, landed an audition with Steven Spielberg and then a role in the follow-up to the television series 'Band Of Brothers'.

Stormont Culture Minister Edwin Poots and Economy minister Nigel Dodds will tomorrow host a lunchtime reception for the movie’s stars.

As the Hollywood team arrived in the city, 'Closing The Ring' producer, Belfast-based Jo Gilbert spoke of her pride over the North’s role in the making of the movie.

“With the majority of 'Closing The Ring' shot on location in Belfast including the Cave Hill, the east and north of the city as well filming on the stages of the Titanic Studios and at Bangor’s Clandeboye Estate it proves that Northern Ireland has strong credentials as a movie-making hotspot.”

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