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Leading Lights of Irish Film Industry Descend on Toronto for International Film Festival Where Seven Irish Films Are Included on Line-Up

7th Sep 2012
Some of the leading lights of the Irish film industry including Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) and award-winning directors Neil Jordan (Ondine, The Brave One) and Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, Garage) will be in Toronto this week as seven films produced with the support from Bord Scannán na hEireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB) are due to screen at the renowned Toronto International Film Festival which kicked off last night. 

Neil Jordan's BYZANTIUM which stars Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton and Lenny Abrahamson's eagerly awaited feature film WHAT RICHARD DID will both have their world premieres at the festival.  Together with Kieron J Walsh's modern urban fairytale JUMP and the political thriller CALL GIRL and the feature documentaries MEN AT LUNCH directed by Sean O'Cualáin which features the voice of Fionnula Flanag an, THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY directed by Sophie Fiennes and MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GODS directed by Alex Gibney, these films will ensure that the spotlight will be firmly on Irish film at the festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in the world and has become a launching pad for the best in international and Hollywood cinema into the North American market. The illustrious festival which was founded in 1976 is also the premier film festival in North America from which the Oscar race begins.

Commenting on the Irish line-up at the renowned festival, James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) said: "The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the industry's most prestigious and respected festivals. To have seven Irish films included in the line-up is a testament to the quality and the internat ional appeal of Irish filmmaking today."

Irish producer Macdara Kelleher of Fastnet Films (Kisses, The Runway) will be attending the festival as he has been chosen as one of the 12 European and 12 Canadian producers to participate in the Producers Lab Toronto.  The programme which runs during the festival offers a platform to combine creative, technical and financial energy and provides an opportunity to gain knowledge about international markets and film projects and identify the potential for concrete Canadian-European co-productions.

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place 6th - 16th September.

More about BYZANTIUM
Neil Jordan's latest feature film BYZANTIUM stars Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones) and Gemma Arterton (St. Trinian's) as Eleanor and Clara, two mysterious and penniless young women who flee the scene of a violent crime and arrive in a run-down coastal resort. They try to find money and refuge along the tawdry seafront and in the dilapidated hotels.

Clara, ever-practical, sells her body. She soon meets shy and lonely Noel, who provides a roof over their heads in his seedy guesthouse, Byzantium. Clara, always looking towards the future, turns it into a ‘pop-up' brothel. Meanwhile Eleanor, the eternal schoolgirl, meets Frank, a kindred spirit who unwittingly prompts her to tell the truth about her life. She tells him that Clara is her mother; yet Clara is only a few years older. She says that she was born in 1804; yet she is just sixteen. She confesses that she must drink human blood to stay alive - and so must her mother. In the small, quiet town, people start to die.

And the past that the girls have been running from for so long, finally catches up with them - with astonishing consequences.

Dublin's Parallel Films co-produced with Number9 Films in the UK with funding from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Bord (IFB), Demarest Films, StudioCanal and Lipsync.

WHAT RICHARD DID follows a group of gilded Dublin teenagers over the course of the summer following their Leaving Certificate exams, in particular, Richard, a young sports star with great prospects who finds his life irreparably changed in the wake of a senseless act of violence.

Written by Malcolm Campbell who worked on the popular UK TV series Skins and Shameless, it stars young acting talent Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy and Sam Keeley (The Other Side of Sleep) along with established actors Lars Mikkelsen (The Killing, Headhunter), Padraic Delaney (Raw, The Wind That Shakes The Barley) and Lorraine Pilkington (Rough Diamond, Human Traffic).

WHAT RICHARD DID was produced by Ed Guiney for Element Pictures with Andrew Lowe executive producing and was funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) and Screen Scene.  WH AT RICHARD DID will be released in Irish cinemas in October 2012.

More About JUMP
The UK/Irish co-production JUMPis a modern urban fairytale set in Derry which follows the lives of four twenty-something's whose lives collide one fateful New Year's Eve in a night of fast talk, accidents and intrigue. The film which was written by Kieron J. Walsh and Steve Brookes is based on a stage play of the same name by Lisa McGee.

The talented cast includes Nichola Burley (Wuthering Heights, Street Dance 3D), Martin McCann (Killing Bono, Shadow Dancer), Valene Kane (At The End of the Day), Richard Dormer (Good Vibrations) and Charlene McKenna (Raw). It previously screened at the Belfast Film Festival and Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year.

The project is an official UK/Irish co-production and was produced by Brendan J Byrne for Hotshot Films together with Katie Holly of Blinder Films. It was funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC and Limelight.

More about MEN AT LUNCH
Sean O'Cualáin's documentary MEN AT LUNCH (LÓN SA SPÉIR) features the narrative talents of Fionnula Flanagan and tells the story behind the famous photograph Lunch Atop a Skyscraper which depicts 11 construction workers eating their lunch while balancing on a beam of a skyscraper on the 69th floor, 850ft above Manhattan. The image, taken in 1932 during construction of the Rockerfeller Centre, is said to feature two emigrants from Shanaglish, near Gort, Co Galway.

The film was produced by Éamonn Ó Cualáin for Sónta with finance from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, BAI and TG4.

THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY directed by Sophie Fiennes is the sequel to The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006) and sees the reunion of provocative philosopher Slavaj Zizek with filmmaker Fiennes, now using their inventive interpretation of moving pictures to examine ideology - the collective fantasies that shape our beliefs and practices

The British Film Institute and Film4 present, in association with Rooks Nest Entertainment and with the participation of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY, a documentary produced by James Wilson, Martin Rosenbaum, Katie Holly, Sophie Fiennes for P Guide Productions and Blinder Films.

More about CALL GIRL
The Irish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish co-production CALL GIRL has been selected for the Discovery section of the festival and is the feature debut of Mikael M arcimain, one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed directors in Sweden.

CALL GIRL is produced by Mimmi Spång for Garagefilm International AB, in co-production with Friland Produksjon A/S, Newgrange Pictures ltd, Yellow Film & TV oy, Film i Väst, Sveriges Television AB, Nouvago Capital AB, The Chimney Pot AB and Dagsljus AB and with the support of the Swedish Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board, the Norwegian Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond and in co-operation with YLE and Windmill Lane VFX - Dublin.

Academy Award®-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all way to the Vatican.  Irish US co-production with Jigsaw Productions in the US and Below The Radar in Ireland.  Supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board


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