Kenneth Branagh’s Drama ‘Belfast’ Lands at Focus Features

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming film “Belfast.”

The drama — written and directed by Branagh — stars Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds and newcomer Jude Hill. “Belfast” tells the story of one boy’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s. Dornan and Balfe play a glamorous working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, and Dench and Hinds portray the wry and spry grandparents.

The exact release date has not been set yet, but the film is expected to debut in theaters in 2021. Focus Features will distribute the film in the U.S., and Universal Pictures will handle the international rollout.

“‘Belfast’ is my most personal film,” Branagh said. “It’s about coming home — a dramatic journey of excitement, emotion and humour. To be embraced by filmmakers and distributors of such proven imagination and talent as Focus is fantastic. We are honoured to partner with Peter Kujawski and his amazing team. With the incredible support of Northern Ireland Screen also in the mix, we are very excited for the future of ‘Belfast’ in cinemas around the world in 2021.”

Many of Branagh’s frequent collaborators worked on “Belfast,” including production designer Jim Clay, director of photography Haris Zambarloukos, hair and make-up artist Wakana Yoshihara, editor Una Ni Dhonghaile, costume designer Charlotte Walker and casting directors Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockman.

Branagh is also producing the film with Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas.

“We are excited and grateful to collaborate with such an esteemed filmmaker and storyteller as Kenneth,” Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said. “Highly personal and passionate, ‘Belfast’ is a heartwarming piece that is bursting with life, and we look forward to sharing it with audiences worldwide.”

Branagh is represented by WME, Berwick & Kovacik and Gochman Law Group.

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