Toronto Irish Film Festival Begins Today Friday, 3 March
The seventh annual Toronto Irish Film Festival begins today, 3 March and runs until Sunday, 5 March. The festival celebrates the best of Irish cinema and promotes the work of Irish filmmakers to Canadian audiences.
The weekend festival, which reaches over 250,000 Torontonians, will feature IFB-funded films such as Declan Recks’ The Flag, John Butler’s Handsome Devil and Peter Foott’s The Young Offenders. The line-up also includes an Irish Animation Showcase which features animated shorts from world-acclaimed Irish animation studios such as Cartoon Saloon and Brown Bag Films.
Written by Eugene O’Brien and produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole at Treasure Entertainment, The Flag tells the story of Harry Hambridge (Pat Shortt) who is a down-on-his-luck paddy living in London and features stellar line-up of Irish talent including Moe Dunford (Patrick’s Day, Vikings), Ruth Bradley (The Fall, Rebellion) and Brian Gleeson (Rebellion). The film will receive its Canadian premiere at the festival.
Also produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole at Treasure Entertainment and fresh from winning Best Irish Feature at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival is John Butler’s coming-of-age feature, Handsome Devil. The film follows the story of the unlikely friendship of boarding school roommates Ned and Conor Despite taking an instant dislike to each other, they are encouraged by their English teacher Dan Sherry (Scott) to find their own voices and defy the status quo of their rugby-obsessed school. As the two bond over music, an unlikely and inspiring friendship begins to blossom.
Following a wildly successful year which saw the film gross over €1.2 million at the Irish box office, Peter Foott’s hilarious comedy, The Young Offenders is also headed for Toronto this weekend. Inspired by Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure of €440 million off the coast of Cork in 2007, the laugh-out-loud comedy follows two Cork inner-city teenagers, Conor and Jock, as they embark on a 160km road trip on stolen bikes in the hopes of finding an unrecovered bale of cocaine. The film has already won a string of awards including Best Irish Feature Film at the Galway Film Fleadh and Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival.
The Toronto Irish Film Festival runs from 3-5 March and more info can be found here.