Feature-length Seamus Heaney biopic
A major feature-length film about the life and work of Seamus Heaney, one of the greatest Irish poets since Yeats, has been announced by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two.
Heaney died, aged 74, in 2013. Six years after his death Heaney's wife Marie, and his three children Michael, Christopher and Catherine, talk about their family life and read some of the poems he wrote for them, and for the first time his four surviving brothers, Hugh, Charlie, Colum and Dan remember their childhood and the shared experiences that inspired many of his finest poems.
Seamus Heaney stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries; Death Of A Naturalist, his first collection of poems published by Faber & Faber (the first of 12) in 1966 announced the arrival of a major new talent, and his reputation grew and grew until he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.
Admired and revered far beyond UK and Ireland, Heaney spoke to a whole generation of younger poets in America, many of whom he taught as a visiting professor at Harvard in the 1980s and 90s. He strode the international stage, with commentaries on Dante and Virgil, as well as a complete new translation of his beloved Beowulf, but his deepest debt was to his family, and to the landscape in which he grew up.
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “Seamus Heaney is a cultural colossus who created some of the most powerful, beautiful and resonant poetry of the last 50 years. This film promises exceptional intimacy and poignancy; I am so delighted the family has agreed to share their memories of him for the BBC Two audience.”
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts, says: “We are so pleased to have been able to bring the DoubleBand team together with Adam Low and Lone Star to make a rich and tender appraisal of this great writer using the memories of his family and those closest to him.”
Seamus Heaney: The Music Of What Happens (w/t) is 1 x 90 DoubleBand Films production in association with Lone Star Productions for BBC Arts, BBC Two and BBC Northern Ireland made with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. The Executive Producer is Michael Hewitt, it was directed by Adam Low and Dermot Lavery and Martin Rosenbaum are the producers. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts. The Commissioning Editors for the BBC are Mark Bell and Fiona Keane.
The Band is a new series for BBC Two Northern Ireland that brings us into a remarkable world of colour, character and community. A community brought together by a shared love of music and performance.
This is the world of marching bands – a strong part of the Ulster-Scots tradition – as we have never seen it before.
Intimate and revealing, the programmes meet those involved in bands across Northern Ireland. For them, the band is family. It gives them a sense of being part of something special, a chance for cultural expression and to share the music passed down from generation to generation.
The Band is made by DoubleBand Films for BBC Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcasting Fund.
We are so saddened by the terrible, tragic loss of William Dunlop. A brilliant sportsman - but above all a sweet, kind man. A gentleman. A friend. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family.
Movie House Screening: Belfast to Dachau
In recognition for Holocaust Memorial Day, Movie House Dublin Road is holding a free public screening of from Belfast to Dachau along with a short discussion by the filmmakers. This Documentary is about Belfast man Teddy Dixon who, as a soldier in WWII, fought in France and Germany and was among the first to discover the horrors of Dachau concentration camp.
Teddy Dixon was a typical Belfast Boy, except that he was born in New York. Teddy’s American roots were all but forgotten to him until the day he was told to report to duty with the US Army. As a member of Rainbow Division, Teddy was one of the first servicemen to enter Dachau concentration camp in 1945. What he witnessed has haunted him ever since. This poignant documentary accompanies Teddy as he is reunited with his fellow servicemen and returns.
Brave New World: Back Home
Over four years and across seven hours of television, William Crawley has travelled to America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to tell the stories of some remarkable Ulster-Scots men and women who made their mark in a new world.
Now to conclude his journeys, in this special documentary, Brave New World: Back Home, William returns to home soil to find out what those stories reveal about the Ulster-Scots diaspora as a whole and how the loss of sons and daughters, neighbours and friends over centuries has made emigration part of our story and of this world – back home. The one-off documentary, which received support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast fund, broadcasts on BBC Two Northern Ireland, Sunday 22nd October at 10pm.
DoubleBand win the double at Celtic Media Festival 2017
The biggest award of the night went to DoubleBand Films Eoin Mac Néill: Fear Dearmadta 1916 which was named as the Spirit of the Festival. This was the second award the documentary picked up, having previously picked up a Best History Torc.
Eoin Mac Néill: Fear Dearmadta 1916 examines MacNeill’s reasons for his most controversial decision – when he, as Chief of Staff of the Volunteers, attempted to stop the Easter Rising by issuing a countermanding order. Through dramatic reconstruction, access to MacNeill’s unpublished memoir, interviews with key historians and the personal account of MacNeill’s grandson, former Tánaiste Michael McDowell, pivotal moments in history are brought to life.
Eoin Mac Néill: Fear Dearmadta 1916 was produced by DoubleBand Films for BBC NI and TG4 with funding from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.
Road Racing People Exhibition
‘Road Racing People’ is a collection of 26 portraits by internationally renowned motorcycle racing photographer, Stephen Davison.
Featuring riders, fans, mechanics and families, the exhibition will run until May 31st.
The pictures were taken last year during the Mid Antrim 150, Tandragee 100, Cookstown 100, Skerries 100, North West 200 and Armoy road races. Using nothing more than a portable studio and a 50mm lens, Stephen invited people to come inside and bare their souls. His photographs capture the enthusiasm, character and essence of the sport.
The exhibition is a collaboration between BBC Northern Ireland and independent production company, DoubleBand Films, who produced the BBC Northern Ireland three-part series, ‘Road Riders’.
Britain's Ancient Tracks returns for second series on Channel 4
The popular DoubleBand produced series Britain's Ancient Tracks with Tony Robinson will return to Channel 4 for a 4 x 60' run in Autumn 2017.
Britain is criss-crossed by a network of ancient trackways that have been travelled for over 5000 years. Walked by pilgrims and traders, hunters and invaders, Celts and Romans, Saxons and Vikings, each track is bound up in myth, mystery and legend.
In a new four part series, Tony Robinson returns to explore the mysteries and legends on these remarkable routes.