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‘Blind Flight’ Completes Filming
21 Feb 2003 :
‘Blind Flight’ completes filming in Northern Ireland, Glasgow and Tunisia.

The film is based on Brian Keenan’s account of his and John McCarthy’s kidnapping and imprisionment in the Lebanon in the 1980’s. First time director John Furse co-wrote the script with Keenan, with McCarthy acting as consultant.

The film stars Ian Hart (Backbeat, Land and Freedom, The End of the Affair, The Hound of the Baskervilles) as Keenan and Linus Roache (Priest, Wings of the Dove and Golden Globe-nominated for his recent portrayal of Robert Kennedy in the US-hit RFK) as McCarthy. Commenting on his role Hart says, "From the point at which I'd read Brian's book I knew this project was something I wanted to be part of, to pay respect to Brian's integrity, his sense of hope, his sense of joy." Roache adds, "The intensity of the relationship between Brian and John has an intimacy and depth of trust that is very rare. Ian and I are fascinated by the challenge of bringing it to the screen."

Produced by award-winning Sally Hibbin (Parallax Independent, best known for her work with Ken Loach) and co-produced by Eddie Dick (Makar Productions) and David Collins (Samson Films), Blind Flight is an international collaboration drawing talented crew and resources from Ireland, Scotland and England. The crew included the internationally-renowned production designer, Andrew Sanders (Chariots of Fire, The Last Temptation of Christ, Spider), and director of photography, Ian Wilson (The Crying Game, Backbeat, Below).

Director Furse says, "’Blind Flight’ is both a 'prison drama' and a 'love story' involving the search for personal freedom in extraordinary conditions. Brian Keenan and John McCarthy's incarceration in the Lebanon can be seen as a physical metaphor for their inner emotional captivity which, in the course of the film, they uncover and learn to transcend."

Paul Trijbits, Head of the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund says of the fund's £460,500 investment in the film, "This powerful and important story of survival and belief is one that needs to be told cinematically. Its message is universal, its subject matter very much part of British culture. We are proud to be supporting such a dedicated cast and crew through this difficult journey."

The film is financed by the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, Scottish Screen, the Glasgow Film Office, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, the Irish Film Board, Matrix, ZDF/Arte and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Moviehouse Entertainment is to handle international sales. Optimum Releasing have UK rights to the film and will look to Blind Flight theatrically in 2003.

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