Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast’ Moves to Focus Features

Focus Features announced that the studio had acquired the worldwide rights to Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” which he wrote and directed. The cast includes Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe, Academy Award winner Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, and introduces Jude Hill.

The studio’s description reads, “Belfast is the humorous, tender and intensely personal story of one boy’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s.”

According to Focus Features, Dornan and Balfe play a glamorous working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, with Dench and Hinds as the wry and spry grandparents.

The film is produced by Branagh, Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, and Tamar Thomas.

“Belfast is my most personal film. It’s about coming home – a dramatic journey of excitement, emotion and humour,” said Branagh. “To be embraced by filmmakers and distributors of such proven imagination and talent as Focus is fantastic. We are honoured to partner with Peter Kujawski and his amazing team. With the incredible support of Northern Ireland Screen also in the mix, we are very excited for the future of Belfast in cinemas around the world in 2021.”

Peter Kujawski, Focus Features chairman, added, “We are excited and grateful to collaborate with such an esteemed filmmaker and storyteller as Kenneth. Highly personal and passionate, Belfast is a heartwarming piece that is bursting with life, and we look forward to sharing it with audiences worldwide.”

The behind-the-scenes team includes many Branagh collaborators, including production designer Jim Clay, director of photography Haris Zambarloukos, hair and make-up artist Wakana Yoshihara, editor Una Ni Dhonghaile, costume designer Charlotte Walker and casting directors Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockman.

Focus Features will distribute the film in the U.S. and Universal Pictures International will distribute internationally.

Branagh’s next major release slated for the big screen is “Death on the Nile.” Branagh stars in the film with Tom Bateman, four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright. Branagh reprises his role as detective Hercule Poirot in the film, which he started with “Murder on the Orient Express.”

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