James Nesbitt Signs Up For Five Minutes Of Heaven
James Nesbitt is to return to Belfast to begin filming a new drama commissioned by BBC Drama Northern Ireland.
It is being made by Big Fish Films, in association with Ruby Films, for BBC Two with co-financing from Northern Ireland Screen. Pathe will act as the international distributor for the film outside the UK and Ireland.
Nesbitt will begin filming Five Minutes Of Heaven, a one-off drama that explores aspects of Northern Ireland’s troubled past and the challenges the future holds in coming to terms with it.
Written by Guy Hibbert (Omagh), Five Minutes Of Heaven is a fictional work of drama. The first act is based on real events. In 1975, 17-year-old Alistair Little, a member of the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Forces) murdered a 19-year-old Catholic, Jim Griffin, in Lurgan. He was arrested two weeks later, along with three others involved in the shooting, and convicted. He served 12 and half years in prison.
Jim’s murder was witnessed by his 11-year-old brother, Joe Griffin, and the impact of Jim’s death destroyed his family, who couldn’t come to terms with the loss.
Writer Guy Hibbert explains: “The opening of the film is essentially an accurate, dramatised reconstruction of the events leading to the murder in 1975. The action of the remainder of the film, set in present day, is fiction but based on their emotional response to the fictional situations their characters have been placed in, following close liaison with both men.”
Guy continues: “The impact of the drama is stronger still, as the story is about two real people who stand up and say it the way it is. It was important to get their full permission and co-operation. I have created this drama in their image, using their words and reactions.
“Working separately with both Alistair and Joe on the fictional areas provided a unique way of telling this story, and revealed there were no easy answers.”