15 August 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
Liam Neeson narrated large-format documentary 'Ireland' to release in Irish/US cinemas this February
07 Jan 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Actor Liam Neeson.
Actor Liam Neeson has joined forces once again with McGillivray Freeman Films to narrate a big screen documentary entitled Ireland.

The feature documentary will have a major theatrical run in IMAX and other large screen theatres, initially across the US, Canada, and Ireland, from February 11th.

MacGillivray Freeman Films is one of the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of original giant-screen 70mm films. The production company has partnered with Tourism Ireland, who feature as Ireland’s worldwide sponsor, to present the new documentary to a worldwide audience.

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Liam Neeson is best known for his work in more than 90 films including Schindler’s List, Michael Collins, Kinsey, The Grey, the blockbuster Taken trilogy, 

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Love Actually, and Gangs of New York. Over the course of his career, his films have grossed more than $7 billion, making him one of the top-grossing actors of all time. Neeson is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

This is the fourth film Neeson has narrated for MacGillivray Freeman Films, following Everest (1998), Journey Into Amazing Caves (2001) and Coral Reef Adventure (2003). Ireland will be released in IMAX and giant screen theatres starting February 11.

Ireland follows Irish writer Manchán Magan on a cross-country adventure exploring the island of Ireland’s history, culture and stunning natural landscapes, connecting people of Irish descent from around the world to their land, language, and stories along the way.

Joining Manchán is leading Irish concert violinist Patricia Treacy and four Irish teenagers looking to gain greater insight into their Irish heritage. Their journey takes them from Dublin to Belfast, Kilkenny to Cong, and to such spectacular natural landmarks as the giant Cliffs of Moher, the volcanic Giant’s Causeway and the rugged Skellig Islands where they meet scientists studying the local puffin population. At each stop along the way, they rediscover the vibrant traditions, language, stories and sacred customs of this ancient land.

“There is a movement in Ireland to reconnect with our heritage, to rediscover what it means to be Irish, and I am delighted to help bring the joy and diversity of all that Ireland has to offer, both the old and the new, to IMAX and giant-screen audiences worldwide,” said Liam Neeson. “As viewers experience Ireland’s great beauty and humanity on the world’s largest screens, they will fall in love all over again.”

“As one of Ireland’s greatest storytellers, Liam Neeson’s prodigious talent and luminous voice lend a richness to our story that intertwines Ireland’s ancient past with its vibrant future,” said director Greg MacGillivray. “Ireland has long captivated the world’s imagination with its rich history and picturesque landscapes, and with this film we hope to share with audiences, including the 70 million people of Irish descent living around the world, all the wonder and cultural diversity that makes the island of Ireland such a unique and special place.”

The MFF production crew filmed for six weeks in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland where they captured images in Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Cong, Donegal, Lahinch, and in such epic locations as the Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, and Skellig Michael. 

The crew had a difficult time obtaining permission to film on the island of Skellig Michael, especially for aerial drone photography, but they prevailed.

“The country’s gorgeous landscapes are just begging to be on the IMAX screen,” says unit production manager, Meghan MacGillivray. “Audiences can expect to experience Ireland’s immense natural beauty and rich history, language, arts, and music without ever having to hop on a plane.” 

Before the production team left for Ireland, director Greg MacGillivray told the crew to bring a book because they would likely be reading a lot while waiting for clear weather. But, as it turned out, it was one of the sunniest six weeks the country had ever seen in recent history. “Our production team is known to have what we like to call ‘MacGilla-luck’ because we always seem to get the shot, no matter what the challenge is,” said Meghan. “With the incredible weather we had on location, I’d say our MacGilla-luck saved us again.” 

Throughout MacGillivray Freeman Films’ 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations for The Living Sea and Dolphins, and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame, including Everest, the highest grossing giant screen film of all time. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one-billion-dollar benchmark for worldwide box office.

Ireland will be available to view in cinemas across the US, Canada, and Ireland from February 11th.





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