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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 20:24 GMT
Gala opening for Ring movie
The Northern Ireland premiere was held at the Waterfront Hall

Stars of new movie Closing the Ring attended its premiere in Belfast, where much of the story was filmed.

Shirley MacLaine and director Lord Attenborough also met politicians Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness at Stormont ahead of the gala event.

Actors Pete Postlethwaite and Mischa Barton were also at the premiere.

The film is based on a true story of an American woman whose great love was killed during WWII near Belfast when the bomber he was flying in crashed.

The tale centres on a ring belonging to her which was lost in the Belfast hills during the crash.

It is one of the biggest productions to be shot in the city, where film crews have become an increasingly regular sight.

Most recently, Tim Robbins and Bill Murray have been filming children's movie City of Ember, while Heather Graham starred in Buy, Borrow or Steal earlier this year.

Politicians held a reception for some of the stars

Northern Ireland has become a more attractive location for film-makers because of tax breaks offered by the government. To qualify for this, the production must spend at least 25% of its budget in the UK.

Lord Attenborough paid tribute to Closing the Ring's "wonderful cast", singling out west Belfast actor Marty McCann.

"He is a total natural. One of the most extraordinary personalities that I have ever come across and I have been fortunate in my career to have found some wonderful personalities, whether it be Ben Kingsley or Denzel Washington or Robert Downey Jnr - in my view this boy will be up with them."

After filming Closing the Ring, McCann won one of the lead roles in the sequel to the hit television series Band of Brothers.

Lord Attenborough said: "I was so mad about him that when I heard that Steve Spielberg was casting for Band Of Brothers and there was the possibility that Marty might be right for one of the parts I sent him some clips from Closing The Ring and he cast him."

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