Oscar buzz grows for Branagh's 'Belfast'

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh takes audiences back to his childhood with "Belfast” – a semi-autobiographical film that is already generating Oscar buzz.

Set in 1969 and shot mostly in black and white, the comedic drama centers around nine-year-old Buddy and his family, who live in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood of North Belfast where Protestants and Catholics live side by side.

Buddy's carefree childhood days come to an abrupt end as tensions between the two factions turn into riots on his doorstep.

It's a scenario Branagh lived through when he himself was nine. He went back to Belfast recently for the film’s premiere.

“I felt as though many ghosts were laid by being back there with that particular picture and seeing how, how many people came up to me afterwards saying, ‘That's my story, that's my story.’ It was very, very, very, very moving, very meaningful to me."

It was also a special night for the actor who plays Buddy’s dad, Jamie Dornan, another Belfast native.

“It was like one of the most magical nights of my life actually - showing it to those people and the response they had."

Ten-year-old Jude Hill, who makes his acting debut as Buddy – alongside a cast that includes Dame Judi Dench as his grandmother - said his friends are excited about his new fame.

“Before, like the trailer came out, they were like, ‘Oh yeah, it's just a tiny little film.’ But when the trailer came out, they saw how popular it was and they were all just crazy for a few days. But they're still just my friends and we still play our games, and nothing's really changed about my personal life."

‘Belfast’ opens in U.S. theaters on Friday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting