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Man City legend biopic 'Trautmann' begins filming in Belfast

German actor David Kross, Scottish actress Freya Mavor, English actor John Henshaw, Irish actress Dearbhla Kirwan on the Belfast film set of 'Trautmann'. Picture by Mal McCann

A NEW movie telling the story of a German World War II paratrooper who became a legend of English football has begun filming in Belfast.

Starring Ballykissangel actress Dervla Kirwan and English actor John Henshaw, the pair have been spotted out and about on the streets in the north of the city.

The film is one of just one of several big screen adaptations coming to Belfast this year, with a new Superman TV series to begin shooting in the new Belfast Harbour Studios next month.

'Trautmann' tells the true story of Bert Trautmann, who served with the Luftwaffe and was captured by British forces while fighting on the Western Front.

After earning a reputation for his excellent goalkeeping skills he was signed by the top-flight club Manchester City, prompting protests from British war veterans over the recruitment of a man they saw as 'the enemy'.

The outcry soon turned to cheers, however, when Trautmann won over fans with his talent between the goalposts.

The German famously broke several vertebrae in his neck when he collided with a Birmingham City player - but was unaware of the seriousness of the injury and played the rest of the match, which City won 3-1.

A vintage car and period sets were spotted off the Cliftonville Road in north Belfast yesterday, recreating the streets of 1950s England.

The film also stars German actor David Kross (The Reader) as the eponymous hero, while Scottish actress Freya Mavor (The Sense Of An Ending) has been cast as his love interest, Margaret.

A co-production between German producers Lieblingsfilm and The British Film Company, the movie is expected to be released next year.

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