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Irish Gang Thriller, Kissing Candice, To Receive World Premiere at TIFF

25th Aug 2017

Kissing Candice, the directorial debut feature film from Northern Irish director, Aoife McArdle, will receive its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Discovery Programme, bringing the total number of Irish films in this year’s line up to seven. The film was shot on location in Ireland, following McArdle’s multiple award winning short film Every Breaking Wave, commissioned by Bono, U2 and Jefferson Hack.

Seventeen-year-old Candice longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, only finding solace in her vivid imagination. Out of the stifling, isolated community she has grown up in comes a new breed of disillusionment finding its most frightening manifestation in the unhinged behaviour of a local gang. While the community is shaken by the death of a local boy, Candice finds escape in the nihilistic stranger who may be responsible for the crime.

Kissing Candice introduces stars Ann Skelly and Ryan Lincoln in the lead roles of Candice and Jacob.

The film was produced by Andrew Freedman of Venom Films and Sally Campbell, with the support of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

Film Constellation’s Fabien Westerhoff, will be representing the film’s acquisitions at TIFF. He says, “this is the breakout of an exciting new female genre voice. Aoife’s impressive visual style infuses a unique sense of pulp and danger that will leave people on the edge of their seat ”.

Aoife’s background spans music video, short film and commercial work winning multiple awards across the industries. Her break-through piece of work was the MVA-winning video ‘Open Eye Signal’ for Mercury Prize nominee Jon Hopkins, which she followed with an ambitious trilogy for the artist James Vincent McMorrow and work for Bryan Ferry. It was her powerful short film for U2’s ‘Every Breaking Wave’ that brought her eye back to Ireland, and prompted her thinking about writing ‘Kissing Candice.’

Aoife’s commercials are amongst the boldest in the industry, most recently her work for Audi and Absolute voiced their dedication to gender equality and LGBT rights respectively. Aoife was the only female director with a spot in the coveted Super Bowl ad break in 2017 and has won at leading industry awards shows including Cannes Lions, The British Arrows and D&AD.

Ann landed the lead role of Candice after a lengthy audition process, which saw her land the role ahead of actresses from the UK and beyond. KISSING CANDICE is Ann’s debut feature film and signals the start of an exciting film career.

Anne is currently appearing in the role of Rachel Reid in the IFTA award winning serialised Irish drama, RED ROCK on TV3, BBC & Amazon prime. She also recently appeared as Biddy Lambert in RTE Drama Rebellion.

21-year-old Dubliner Ryan is not only an accomplished actor but is also a member of the successful rap group 5th ELEMENT.  Ryan most recently appeared in the feature film CARDBOARD GANGSTERSdirected by Mark O Connor. However, his role as Jacob in KISSING CANDICE is Ryan’s first leading role. He is definitely one to watch in 2017, as he will also be appearing in Frank Berry’s MICHAEL INSIDE. 

Venom Films is a multi-award winning production company based in Dublin, working across drama and documentary. Established in 2006 by producer Andrew Freedman and director Ken Wardrop the company aims to nurture and develop distinctive filmmaking talents to help create compelling cinema.   

Their films have been highly acclaimed Internationally, screening at major film festivals including Cannes, Sundance and Toronto. Their films include Ken Wardrop’s His & Hers, Michael Madsen’s The Visit, Kieran Evan’s Kelly + Victor.

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film events of its kind in the world. TIME magazine noted that TIFF has "grown to become the most influential film publicly attended festival". This is partially the result of TIFF's ability and reputation for generating "Oscar buzz". 

The Toronto International Festival's Grolsch People's Choice Award—which is based on popular vote by Festival filmgoers — has emerged as a beacon of awards-season success. Past recipients of this audience accolade include RoomThe Imitation Game12 Years a SlaveThe King's SpeechSlumdog MillionaireSilver Linings PlaybookArgo, LionLa La Land and Dallas Buyers Club.

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