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Former Belfast Ferry Terminal Transformed for Film ‘High Rise’

3rd October 2014
Former Belfast Ferry Terminal Transformed for Film ‘High Rise’

#FilmHighRise- A former Belfast Harbour ferry terminal has been transformed for the film 'High Rise' set in a 1970s apartment block.

According to Belfast Harbour, the filming at the disused Stena Line terminal at Ballast Quay involved the creation of sets to include a lobby, penthouse suite and roof-top garden.

Stena relocated to the VT4 Terminal located downriver where a pair of 'Superfast' ferries were introduced in 2011. The sisters, Stena Superfast VII and VIII were converted in Poland to serve a new route to Scotland using a custom built terminal in Cairnryan.

'High Rise' joins an increasing number of productions filmed in the Harbour's estate, including 'Game of Thrones' and 'City of Ember', both based in the Titanic Studios.

Other productions such as 'Killing Bono' and 'Mo', a biography Mo Mowlam, have taken advantage of the surroundings of the nearby Harbour Office.

Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour's CEO, said: "Given the history of Ballast Quay this really is a transformation from the 'high seas to high rise'. Although the building was purpose-built as a passenger terminal, its high ceilings and wide, open spaces made it an ideal location in which to build a variety of sets and accommodate an in-house props department.

"Although we knew that the Harbour's development of a new £40m terminal (VT4) for Stena would open up new possibilities for Ballast Quay, we didn't imagine one of those would involve Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons.

"It's a far cry from the days when the quay was used as a store for sand and stone ballast for sailing ships, but we're happy to work with Northern Ireland Screen to look at similar projects in the future."

Directed by Ben Wheatley and produced by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Thomas, 'High Rise', is an adaptation of JG Ballard's classic British thriller of the same name.

Location Manager Andrew Wilson, added: "During my 16-year career as a Location Manager, Belfast Harbour has always been hugely supportive of the Film and TV Industry. Being able to use the old Stena terminal at Ballast Quay gave us the freedom to create a wonderful set that matched the vision of the director Ben Wheatley and production designer Mark Tildesley.

"Without the continued support and foresight of the Harbour and like-minded bodies, Northern Ireland would simply lose out on these fantastic projects and the economic and cultural benefits that they bring."

'High Rise' was produced through Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company, with the involvement of the British Film Institute and FilmFour, Scope Invest Producteurs, Embargo Films, Ingenious, and support from Northern Ireland Screen. HanWay Films are handling international sales. It is due for release in 2015.

Published in Belfast Lough
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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