7 July 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
'Philomena', Starring Judi Dench as Irish Woman Philomena Lee and Part-Filmed in Belfast, Premieres at Venice
02 Sep 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in 'Philomena'.
‘Philomena’ – partly filmed in Belfast and starring Judi Dench as real life Irish woman Philomena Lee who searched for her long-lost son given up for adoption - has premiered at the Venice International Film Festival to positive reviews.

Directed by Stephen Frears, the plot follows the title character as she enlists the help of a journalist played by Steve Coogan to find the child that nuns forced her to give up 50 years previously.

Frears shot part of the film in Northern Ireland over three days last November, with IFTA-winning actress Ruth McCabe appearing as Catholic nun Mother Barbara.

Ms McCabe won her first IFTA in 2003 for ‘Any Time Now’ and her second in 2011 for ‘Single-Handed’.

Before ‘Philomena’, the last film Frears shot in Ireland was ‘The Van’, the final part of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy, back in 1996.

Steve Coogan recently appeared in ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’, helmed by Wexford director Declan Lowney and season one of ‘Moone Boy’, filmed in Roscommon - all produced by Baby Cow productions.

Judie Dench also recently signed on for Roald Dahl adaptation ‘Esio Trot’, to be directed by IFTA-winning Sligo director Dearbhla Walsh.

‘Love/Hate’ actress Charlie Murphy, who won an IFTA for her portrayal of Siobhán in season 3 of the hit series, also appears in the film as Kathleen.

‘Philomena’ is a co-production between BBC Films, Baby Cow Productions, BFI, Magnolia Mae Films and Pathé, and the trailer can be viewed below:

Seána Kerslake on Acting
Owen McPolin on Cinematography
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