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Five Irish Feature Films to Screen at the Toronto International Film Festival

25th Aug 2010

Five films funded by the Irish Film Board have been officially selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival which kicks off this week.

The feature documentary The Pipe directed by Risteard O'Domhnall, Juanita Wilson's war drama As If I Am Not There, Tom Hall's dark comedy Sensation and the Irish co-productions Lapland Odyssey and Essential Killing, have all be included in the line-up of the festival which takes place 9th - 19th September.

These selections come just a year after a record seven Irish films were selected for last years festival which included Neil Jordan's Ondine, Triage starring Colin Farrell and the critically acclaimed Irish documentary Colony.

Commenting on the wide range of Irish films selected for the festival this year Simon Perry, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said "The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the industry's most highly regarded festivals. For the Irish industry to have so many films selected is a testament to the health, diversity and quality of Irish filmmaking.  We're delighted that Irish film continues to garner recognition on the international stage."

Risteard O'Domhnall's emotional documentary THE PIPE chronicles local farmers and fishermen who rise up in protest, fearing explosions and environmental hazards, when Shell Oil decide to build a giant high-pressure pipe to transport raw gas through the town of Rossport, Mayo to an inland refinery. Produced by Rachel Lysaght for Scannaín Inbhear it has been selected for the Real to Reel section of the festival.

AS IF I AM NOT THERE is the debut feature film by Juanita Wilson who previously wrote and directed the Oscar nominated short The Door.  

The Bosnian war drama follows a young woman from Sarajevo whose life is shattered the day a young soldier walks into her apartment and tells her to pack her things. Rounded up with the other women from the village and imprisoned in a warehouse in a remote region of Bosnia, she quickly learns the rules of camp life. The day she is picked out to ‘entertain' the soldiers, the real nightmare begins. It will screen in the Discovery section of the festival.  It was produced by James Flynn for Octagon Films and Nathalie Lichtenthaler for Wide Eye Films.

SENSATION, a darkly comedic story of prostitution, money, love and sensation stars Domhnall Gleeson and was written and directed by Tom Hall.  The film details the relationship between Tipperary farmer Donal Duggan and a veteran Kiwi escort. They begin as client and call girl, evolve into something like lovers, then business partners and finally co-defendants.

Produced by Katie Holly and Kieron J. Walsh for Blinder Films (One Hundred Mornings), it will have its international premiere at Toronto as one of the 45 films selected for the Contemporary World Cinema programme.

Another film also screening in the Contemporary World Cinema programme is LAPLAND ODYSSEY, a co-production between Ireland's Ripple World Pictures (Dominic Wright and Jacqueline Kerrin), Finland's Helsinki Filmi Oy and Sweden's Anagram Produktion Company.   Directed by Dome Karukoski and written by Pekko Pesonen, it is a comedic and romantic road movie about three unemployed young men who set off on a desperate journey to locate a digital conversion box across Lapland.  This screening will be the world premiere of the film.

ESSENTIAL KILLING directed by Jerzy Skolimowski will screen with 12 other films in the Masters section of the festival.  The film is about a Taliban fighter who is captured, interrogated, tortured and then transported to an unnamed snowy destination in Europe. He manages to escape and must use his wits to evade his pursuers whilst battling bitter winter cold and lack of food.

It is an Irish/Polish/Norwegian/Hungarian co-production between Element Pictures (Garage, The Wind That Shakes The Barley), Skopia Film Production, Cylinder Productions and Mythberg Films with Andrew Lowe the executive producer for Element.

The Toronto International Film Festival has become one of the most successful cinematic events in the world, universally regarded as an ideal platform to premiere films and is considered the main film festival in North America. It has previously showcased successful independent films such as Juno, Slumdog Millionaire and Little Miss Sunshine. 

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival will take place from 9th - 19th September.

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