Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shooting for Socrates

Young Irish Game Of Thrones actor Art Parkinson (represented by Actors First) is currently filming in Belfast on Shooting for Socrates, a film about the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when Northern Ireland played Brazil.

He plays Tommy, the son of  football supporter Arthur (played by Richard Dormer)  from East Belfast. The lead up to Tommy’s 10th birthday mirrors the build up to the day the Northern Ireland team play their greatest match against Brazil.

The cast also includes 22 year Nico Mirallegro (represented by Curtis Brown), star of My Mad Fat Diary and The Village, who plays young footballer Davey Campbell, hailed as "the next George Best".

The film is named after Brazilian footballer Sócrates de Souza who played in the 1986 match against Northern Ireland.

November 1985, and the troubled streets of Belfast are torn up by rioting yet again. In amongst the angry mob, we find nine year old Tommy, nonchalantly dribbling a ball through the insanity. Whilst politicians argue over the peace process, there’s only one thing on young Tommy’s football-mad mind – the forthcoming World Cup, where tiny Northern Ireland will take on the mighty Brazil. For the South American giants it’s just another step on the path to inevitable global domination, yet for Northern Ireland, and young Tommy, it’s the biggest game of their lives. They are two countries that couldn’t seem further apart: Northern Ireland and Brazil. On the football field, eccentric Northern Ireland coach Billy Bingham  must plug together a bunch of misfits and third divisioners. Brazil are led by none other than the philosopher-captain (Dr.) Sócrates, who has, in part, inspired the collapse of his country’s ruthless military junta, and they are the hot favourites to scoop up football’s ultimate prize. As bunting replaces bombs on the streets of Belfast, and Catholic and Protestants alike turn their attention to the big match, Tommy’s dockworker turned philosopher father Arthur uses his son’s passion for football to enlighten him on the events that make up his chaotic world. The story interweaves young Tommy’s coming of age tale with the trials and travails of the hapless Northern Irish team over the nine months leading up to their ultimate game, in the stifling heat of Mexico at the world’s greatest festival of football. 

The film is directed by James Erskine (‘The Human Face’) and produced by Victoria Gregory (‘Senna’, ‘Man on Wire’). It was written by Erskine and Maria Jones.

The New Black Films production has been filming in locations throughout Belfast for the past two weeks.

Shooting for Socrates is supported by Northern Ireland Screen and is set to be released in May 2014, to coincide with next years’ World Cup in Brazil.

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