Director Ridley Scott to produce Northern Ireland films
One of the world's most famous movie directors, Ridley Scott, is to help to produce a series of low-budget feature films in Northern Ireland.
The director is best known for films such as Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator and Thelma and Louise.
The six films will be shot mainly in Northern Ireland using local actors, film crew, and facilities.
Mr Scott is to be the executive producer of the series, in association with Northern Ireland Screen.
The films are to be shot over a three-year period and will be "focused primarily on horror, thriller and science fiction".
The details were released in a joint statement issued on behalf of Northern Ireland Screen and the director's film company, Scott Free Productions.
Mr Scott said: "Our target is to create a structure that enables filmmakers to push boundaries and to excite audiences.
"Our proposed model of filmmaking allows us to give directors the opportunity to really innovate through narrative, production techniques and distribution strategies."
The series is titled Ridley Scott Presents and is funded through the Northern Ireland Screen Fund, supported by Invest NI.
It has also secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
The deal was brokered by Orchard Media, an organisation that raises capital for media companies and which has been involved in the production and financing of more than 125 feature films, including Twilight and The Iron Lady.
Northern Ireland Screen's head of production, Andrew Reid, said: "We have been looking for a model which would allow us to forecast future production in Northern Ireland over the next few years.
"Orchard and Scott Free brought us a compelling proposition to complement our other large incoming productions, such as Game of Thrones.
"It also potentially provides an outlet for developing Northern Ireland creative talent."
The sales of the six movies are to be handled by the global film studio and leading sales agent, Focus Features International (FFI).
Alison Thompson from FFI said: "There's an appetite and market for high-concept, low budget films - that combined with Ridley Scott's pedigree will be very attractive to international buyers."