Moe Dunford in Nightride
Moe Dunford in Nightride Credit: The Belfast Stills Department

Netflix acquires Stephen Fingleton’s Nightride for March 4th release

Netflix has announced that Stephen Fingleton’s dark humoured thriller Nightride, which will be screened at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival Gala on 1 March, will be released on Netflix in the UK and Ireland from 4 March 2022.

Nightride is a real-time, one shot, thriller set in one single night, on the midnight streets of Belfast.  The film places us in the driver’s seat with small-time dealer Budge (Moe Dunford) as he tries to pull off one last deal with cash borrowed from a dangerous loan shark (Stephen Rea). When the handover goes catastrophically wrong, Budge finds himself in a race against time to find his missing product and get a new buyer before the loan shark tracks him down.

Directed by BAFTA-nominated Stephen Fingleton and written by Ben Conway, Nightridei stars Moe Dunford (Budge), Joana Ribeiro (Sofia), Gerard Jordan (Troy), Ciaran Flynn (Scholar) Stephen Rea (Joe), Andrew Simpson (Felix), John Travers (Lefty), Paul Kennedy (Graham), Ellie O’Hanlon (Cuz) and Desmond Eastwoty (Magic Shop)  Aaron McCusker (Ringo) and Stephen Fingleton (Beaker)

To make matters technically interesting, the film was shot in real-time , with Moe actually driving on the streets, as he performed, in a single take.  We rehearsed as a crew for one week for eleven hours a day. We went through the film in chronological order, breaking the script down into scenes; practiced the bridge between scenes, then rehearsed chunks of the film.  We did a dress rehearsal, took a day off and then shot the film in six takes over six nights. The shoot was fast and we filmed in empty streets during lockdown. We would gather on set around 21:00, turnover by 22:30, and wrap just after midnight.

I had modest expectations going into the making of Nightride. There is a myth that the outcome of a film is entirely down to the force of will of the creative team. In fact, there is a strong stochastic element. You can create the conditions for being lucky, but you cannot command its presence.  On this film, there were so many instances of true luck, and its counterpart – misfortune averted – I feel I have a lifetime’s luck bundled into one production. 

Stephen FIngleton, Director

Nightride was produced by Paul Kennedy for Village Films, Jon Silk for Silk Mass and Céline Dornier for Logical Pictures.