FILM students from Northern Regional College together with Performing Arts students from St Patrick’s College in Ballymena will have a rare opportunity to impress a Hollywood legend next week..
The students have produced, directed and taken roles in a film tribute to Oscar-nominated actor Liam Neeson. Their short movie will premiered on Monday, January 28 as Ballymena Borough Council honours one of its most famous citizens with the conferment of the Freedom of the Borough.
Frankie McEldowney, Media lecturer at Northern Regional College, was delighted to respond to the Council’s invitation to take lead role in the celebrations, securing a unique opportunity for his students.
He said: “It’s very apt for Ballymena students to be involved in the project and it’s fair to say they are really excited and thrilled at the opportunity. Our students are huge fans of Liam Neeson and his movies, plus the fact that he’s from the town makes it all the sweeter!”
The short film documents Liam Neeson’s rise to stardom, from taking part in school plays at St Patrick’s College to becoming a Hollywood A-list actor. It includes interviews with those who grew up with him plus input from former school friends, fellow actors from the Slemish Players drama group and sparring partners from All Saints Boxing Club where Liam showed considerable promise as a teenager.
The students have incorporated the views of Ballymena locals as well as giving personal comments on their favourite performances by Mr Neeson.
“When we sat down with the students and started chatting about our favourite films, the list became pretty extensive. There are so many outstanding performances on the list but our students are massive fans of Taken, Star Wars and Batman Begins in particular,” says Adelle McCann, Media lecturer at Northern Regional College. “Everyone we’ve approached has been very generous and giving of their time, which is testament to how proud Ballymena people are of his success.
“The thought that they are making a film that Liam Neeson will watch himself is a real thrill for them.”
Mayor of Ballymena, Alderman P. J. McAvoy, is looking forward to this highly unusual premiere. He said: “As a St Patrick’s College ‘old boy’ and a longstanding supporter of the arts in our Borough I think Liam will really enjoy the fact that we are showcasing young, local talent and creativity. As a movie star, he’ll certainly appreciate the hard work and commitment which have gone into this excellent production.”