Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Troubles movie wins at Sundance

James Nesbitt, director Oliver Hirschbiegel and Liam Neeson
Winning director Oliver Hirschbiegel flanked by James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson at Sundance Film Festival

A film set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt has won two awards at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

Five Minutes Of Heaven tells the story of a 1975 murder and how it haunted the killer and the victim's family.

Director Oliver Hirschbiegel and scriptwriter Guy Hibbert were honoured in the world cinema category at the independent film festival in Utah.

Filming began at the end of May in Belfast.

It is the first time that Oscar-nominated Neeson and television star Nesbitt have appeared together on screen.

Five Minutes Of Heaven is a fictionalised version of real events, telling the story of 17-year-old UVF member Alistair Little who murdered a 19-year-old Catholic, Jim Griffin, in Lurgan.

Scene from Five Minutes of Heaven
The film tells the story of the aftermath of a 1975 murder
Jim's murder was witnessed by his 11-year-old brother, Joe Griffin, and the impact of Jim's death destroyed his family, who could not come to terms with the loss.

Screenwriter Guy Hibbert, who also scripted the film Omagh, worked closely with both men to create a fictional interpretation of what might happen should these two men ever come face to face.

He paid tribute to the pair, saying: "They collaborated with me for three years, reliving the most painful and defining moment of their lives."

Joe Griffin is played by James Nesbitt while the role of Alistair, 30 years on, is played by Liam Neeson, who said: "A script like this comes along in an actor's life rarely."

He added: "To work with the wonderful Oliver Hirschbiegel and to shoot back home in Northern Ireland was a double bonus."

A Big Fish/Ruby Films production for BBC Northern Ireland, the film receives its UK and Irish premieres in Belfast and in Dublin next month.

Print Sponsor

Strong British showing at Sundance
15 Jan 09 |  Entertainment
NI film-maker's a Sundance kid
14 Jan 09 |  Northern Ireland
Stars Neeson and Nesbitt team up
14 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland
Nesbitt to play Troubles victim
08 May 08 |  Northern Ireland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific