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Children’s Drama ‘Bel’s Boys’ To Shoot In NI
19 Dec 2005 :

The NIFTC have announced UK production company, Initial (part of the Endemol Group), will set up in Northern Ireland in January for the production of a new 26 part children’s television series ‘Bel’s Boys’ for CiTV.

The Emmy Award winning production company will shoot the 26 episodes of the drama series in early 2006. Co-funded by the NIFTC, the drama follows pop-obsessed nine-year old Bel, who ends up managing a new boy band. Bel really does know what works, music wise; but will the band, her Dad and the world take a 9 year old seriously? The show will broadcast in 2006 on the UK’s largest commercial television station, ITV1, in its children’s slot, CiTV.

NIFTC Chairman Colin Anderson and CEO Richard Williams have been working with Initial carving the deal for almost a year. Both agree it is a huge coup for Northern Ireland that a company of this calibre is coming to the province, not only to shoot the series, but also to do all the postproduction.

Anderson commented: “There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to reach this point. The presence of a film or television crew often brings a sense of excitement but you have to remember that with it comes economic benefit for the province – in terms of utilising local cast and crews and facilities. And of course when the series is broadcast on television, it helps build positive exposure for Northern Ireland to a much wider audience.”

Initial’s Christopher Pilkington is Executive Producing the series. He commented: “This is a great aspirational story, and we are excited at the opportunity of basing and shooting the series in Northern Ireland. The NIFTC has been really helpful in facilitating this creative relationship, and we are looking forward to working with the rich talent base across the province. The series celebrates story-telling, and great music, so where better to be working? This is a hugely important series for us, and to be working with CITV and the NIFTC feels like the beginning of a big story, and one that we want to run and run.”

From pre-production, to shoot and through to post-production, ‘Bel’s Boys’ will spend just over 6 months in Northern Ireland. All the cast is being sourced from there and the production team is headed up by NI producer Colin McKeown (Secret Life of Words, The Honeymooners). For further info email:belsboys@hotmail.co.uk.

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