Downton creator visits Titanic Belfast

Published Thursday, 29 March 2012
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The Oscar-winning writer behind Downton Abbey and the new Titanic mini-series, Lord Julian Fellowes, is in Belfast and has visited the building that commemorates the ship his latest project is all about.

Downton creator visits Titanic Belfast
Lord Julian Fellowes talks to UTV at Titanic Belfast. (© UTV)

As patron of the charity Cinemagic, Lord Fellowes has been judging short film awards for under-25s - brought about as a joint effort by the charity and Titanic Belfast.

And he was full of praise for both Northern Ireland's future film makers and its newest tourist attraction.

"The problem was people came to Belfast that were interested in the Titanic, but there wasn't really anything to see - you had that sort of gantry of Harland and Wolff, but when you had seen that ... that was sort of it," Lord Fellowes told UTV.

"Now you can get the whole Titanic story.

"You can really experience it and see what it was like and have a feeling for what those men went through when they were making it. I think it has become a Titanic destination in a way that it never was before."

The films are a tremendously high standard actually and very moving because, in film after film, it is absolutely clear that these children feel that the story of the Titanic is to do with them - it is their story.

Lord Julian Fellowes

The winners in the under-15 category were pupils from Limavady High with Titanic: The Children's Story, while the age 15-17 category was won by pupils from St Malachy's in Belfast for The Untold Story.

The winner of the 18-25 category was Joel Somerville from Malone College, who will now receive a one-week scholarship to a New York Film Academy programme.

"I think what Cinemagic is doing bringing all these kids in from different backgrounds and religions and different areas and over the border, making a kind of community out of them, is very good," Lord Fellowes said.

"But also I love the idea of helping people to dream beyond their own natural horizons."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Mark Jamison in Lisburn wrote (1,039 days ago):
Lord Fellows has a brass talking on tonight's news programme about how Belfast has a great Titanic story, when he saw fit to exclude the city and the building of the largest passenger vessel at the time from his drama series currently showing on ITV. I know it is a drama, but with Lord Fellow's influence, the series will be shown far beyond our shores, and it is important for tourism within our country that Belfast's shipbuilding past is told. Thomas Andrews died a hero - working continuously to get passengers into lifeboats, and spent most of the journey carrying a notebook making notes of imperfections in the ship so that they could be used to make improved ships. According to Lord Fellow's drama, he speaks with an English accent (something the people of Comber will no doubt have noted) and spent most of the journey lording it up with the first class passengers and hiding in a cabin whilst the ship is evacuated. If Mr Andrews had been from England or even Dublin or if Titanic had been built in England or Dublin, these facts would not be been overlooked and excluded. These points should be put to Lord Fellow, although they probably won't.
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