Step into Noirland at The Braid on Thursday

Actor James Murray from Ballymena  was played Leslie Arnott in locally made film Noirland which will screen this Thursday, November 13, in The Braid.
Actor James Murray from Ballymena was played Leslie Arnott in locally made film Noirland which will screen this Thursday, November 13, in The Braid.

Locally made film ‘Noirland’ will screen in the Braid this Thursday, November 13, at 7pm as part of its continuing tour.

Written and directed by Portstewart novelist and film-maker Philip Henry, it features a wealth of local talent both behind and in front of the camera.

Actress Elza Margrain from Ballymena who plays Rosie in locally made film Noirland which will screen this Thursday, November 13, in The Braid.

Actress Elza Margrain from Ballymena who plays Rosie in locally made film Noirland which will screen this Thursday, November 13, in The Braid.

The film is a full-length feature made for only £3000, something no-one thought possible, including Northern Ireland Screen who co-funded the project.

“I think they thought I was mad,’ says Philip.

“I had to explain to them that I had been making short films for as little as £50 in the past, so £3000 was a big budget to me.”

Philip admits though that the film would not have been possible without the support of the local community. “The only reason I could bring the film in for such a small amount was because so many people helped us out for free. The actors and crew worked for little more than crisps and cola and we were given lots of props,

costumes and locations from all sorts of people who just wanted to support local film-making.’

Elza Margrain, a well known name in local dramatic circles, allowed the production to film in her Cullybackey home and ended up with a major role - that of kooky psychic, Rosie - when another actress dropped out.

One of the key locations for the film is in the offices of The Braid.

“We were having trouble finding somewhere to double as our police station. The Braid was a really good substitute and we got a great response from Ballymena locals to act as extras in that scene so it worked out well in the end.”

The film also includes great performances from some well known figures in the Ballymena drama scene including James Murray as the head detective in charge of a murder investigation, Bryan Gallagher as a PSNI officer Marion Kenny and her son Lee, and 12-year-old Aimee Brett, the youngest member of the cast.

“Poor Aimee - she spent a good deal of one day’s filming screaming until she was hoarse. If you want to find out why, you’ll have to watch the film!” said Philip.

Noirland premiered at this year’s Belfast Film Festival in March and sold out.

It will be doing a small tour of Ballymena, Portstewart, Ballymoney and Derry in the coming weeks. Times and dates are available through www.philiphenry.com or find NoirlandTheMovie on Facebook.