‘71 stars Jack O’Connell (Skins, Starred Up) as a young disoriented British soldier whose life is put in grave danger after he is separated from his unit on the streets of Belfast at the height of the troubles in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe and increasingly wary of his own comrades, the raw recruit must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape.
Written by Gregory Burke (Black Watch), ‘71 is the feature directorial debut of Yann Demange, who has made a name for himself as the talent behind TV hits such as the BAFTA nominated Top Boy and Criminal Justice. ‘71, produced by Warp Films and Crab Apple Films, filmed on location in Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool & Blackburn.
Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire and Executive Producer on ‘71 says:
“The acclaim for Yann Demange’s ’71 comes as no surprise to us. Its selection for Official Competition at the Berlin Film Festival is much deserved recognition for Yann, Angus, Robin and the whole team at Warp. We are immensely proud to have supported Warp over the last ten years and to see it now as the most significant film production company outside London, based in the most dynamic region, Yorkshire!
’71 is the first film to come out of the Yorkshire Content Fund, and there is an exciting slate of films to come this year, culminating in Get Santa, starring Jim Broadbent, which is filming now and will be in cinemas in time for Christmas.”
Screen Yorkshire invested in ‘71 through its Yorkshire Content Fund, the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK, backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The £15m fund is open to content producers working in film, TV, games and digital based in Yorkshire or from outside but looking to establish a base in the region thus stimulating local production levels.
‘71 was filmed on location in Sheffield, home to production company Warp Films, at multiple locations including the landmark Park Hill Flats, which also feature in This Is England ‘86. ‘71 also filmed in Leeds, making use of the period housing in Hyde Park and Beeston to double for Belfast; additional scenes were shot in Liverpool and Blackburn.
Young British talent Jack O’Connell (Skins, Starred Up) heads up the cast of ‘71, flanked by Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Martin McCann, Charlie Murphy, Sam Reid, Killian Scott, David Wilmot, Jack Lowden and Jim Sturgeon. ‘71 is written by Gregory Burke and produced by Robin Gutch for Warp Films and Angus Lamont for Crab Apple.
Press reactions from the Berlin Film Festival World Premiere..
‘’..Demange’s cracking, edge-of-your seat thriller tracks his determined efforts to get back to barracks before terrorists or rogue British intelligence officers bring him down.’’ Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
‘’A gripping, nightmarish journey into the end of night that augurs great things for its debutant director…This outstanding, muscular feature almost never puts a foot wrong,from the softly underplayed performances to the splendidly speckled cinematography and fine-grained period detailing. Looks to be one of the strongest British films of the year.’’ Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
’A tense and exciting action-drama about a young British soldier caught out of his depth on the mean streets of Belfast in Northern Ireland in the early years of the Troubles, the impressively mounted ’71 is a remarkably assured feature debut for Yann Demange…” Mark Adams, Screen
‘’The Troubles have rarely been more troubling on screen than they are in ’71, a vivid, shivery survival thriller that turns the red-brick residential streets of Belfast into a war zone of unconscionable peril. Wringing every sweat-bead of tension from its fiercely concentrated narrative”. Guy Lodge, Variety
‘’The Northern Ireland Troubles emerge as a phantasmagoric nightmare in this harrowing, powerful study of a single violent night in Belfast. It’s a film that holds you in a vice-like grip throughout.’’ Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
‘’An Outstanding, Bloody, Meditation On The Personal Cost Of Conflict. A gripping, at times almost unbearably tense, incredibly involving anti-war statement…Demange and screenwriter Gregory Burke walk the line between realism and metaphor so well that the story feels utterly authentic to its claustrophobic setting…such an intense and committed performance from O’Connell, the process of this scarring is unbelievably affecting to watch.” Jessica Klaing, Indiewire
‘’Has you in its grip from start to finish’’. Time Out
‘’The UK’s only entry in the Berlin Film Festival competition turns out to be a feisty, twisty thriller. Demange cooks up an atmospheric, cinematic night of nightmare’’. Kate Muir, The Times