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#IFTNfestival: IFTN Special – Irish Productions Premiering at TIFF 2019
05 Sep 2019 : Nathan Griffin
With the 44th Toronto International Film Festival getting underway this Thursday, September 5th, IFTN brings you a comprehensive look at what Irish productions have been selected and who will be in attendance at the Canadian festival this year.

Seven Irish titles have been selected across Special Presentations, Discovery, and Contemporary World Cinema. See productions below.

Ordinary Love – Out of Orbit – World Premiere

Filmed entirely on location in Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, Ordinary Love will be presented at a gala screening on Sunday 8th September. Academy Award nominees Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) and Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) star as an everyday couple with an extraordinary love, who must find the humour and grace to face a year of adversity.

Joan (Manville) and Tom (Neeson) have been married for many years. There is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together and a depth of love which expresses itself through tenderness and humour in equal part. When Joan is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their relationship as they are faced with the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of what might happen if something were to happen to Joan. Ordinary Love is a story about love, survival and the epic questions life throws at each and every one of us.

Ordinary Love is the third feature from the directing duo, Lisa Barros D’Sa, and Glenn Leyburn, following the critically acclaimed Good Vibrations (2012) and Cherrybomb (2009).

The film was written by award-winning Irish playwright, Owen McCafferty. It is a Canderblinks Films and Out of Orbit production, produced by the BAFTA award-winner and BFI Vision Awardee, Brian J. Falconer for Out of Orbit, David Holmes for Canderblinks Films and Piers Tempest for Tempo Productions.

Speaking about its selection, directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn said:

“We are thrilled and honoured to be premiering Ordinary Love with a Gala Screening at TIFF. Our film is a celebration of love, its beauty and pain, its small moments and great challenges. We look forward so much to sharing it with an audience for the first time at this wonderful festival.”

A Bump Along The Way – Gallagher Films – International Premiere

Filmed in Derry, A Bump Along the Way is a heart-warming comedy led by an all-female team consisting of director Shelly Love, writer Tess McGowan, producer Louise Gallagher, and executive producer Roma Downey. 

Starring Bronagh Gallagher (Pulp Fiction, The Commitments) and Lola Petticrew (Come Home)A Bump Along the Way was developed through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme and was funded by Northern Ireland Screen and Yellowmoon. Earlier this year the film opened the Belfast Film Festival and screened to rave reviews at the Galway Film Fleadh where it took home the Best Irish First Feature Award and Lola Petticrew picked up the Bingham Ray New Talent Award.

Speaking about the film’s selection, director Shelly Love said:

"I couldn't be more delighted that A Bump Along The Way will have its International Premiere at TIFF. It is such an honour to have our first feature film screen at such a prestigious festival. Our film is a love story about a mother and daughter, I hope it charms the socks off audiences with its heartfelt moments and Derry wit."

Producer Louise Gallagher said:

“I am absolutely thrilled that A Bump Along the Way has been selected for TIFF 2019. I have been overwhelmed by the warm response the film has received to date, and to have our first feature selected for such a prestigious festival is a huge honour. I'm looking forward to my first trip to Canada and cannot wait to screen for the audiences in Toronto.”

 

Henry Glassie: Field Work – South Wind Blows – World Premiere (Contemporary World Cinema)

Following on the success of Pat Collin’s Song of GraniteHenry Glassie: Field Work is a magisterial portrait of the most renowned American folklorist and ethnologist Henry Glassie now in his seventies. This film is a beautifully intricate exposition of Glassie’s life’s work which displays this director’s trademark deft touch and remarkable eye for details of the deepest significance.

Speaking about the selection, director Pat Collins said:

“I am delighted that 'Henry Glassie: Field Work’ will be premiering at such a prestigious festival as Toronto.   Screening in the Contemporary World Cinema section at TIFF is an ideal launch for our film and it’s a testament to the work and ideas of Folklorist Henry Glassie.  Glassie is an inspiring advocate for art and artists and to the spirit of folk art. A special thanks to Fís Eireann/Screen Ireland and to An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council for their generous support.”

Henry Glassie: Field Work was produced by Tina O’Reilly for South Wind Blows with funding from Screen Ireland and The Arts Council.

Screening Times at TIFF:

Sat 07/09 – TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema – 13:15

Monday 09/09 – Scotiabank 5 – 17:00

Monday 09/09 – Scotiabank 10 – 19:15

Friday 13/09 – Scotiabank 6 – 12:00

Saturday 14/09 – Scotiabank 6– 09:15

 

Calm With Horses – Element Pictures – World Premiere (Discovery)

Shot on location in the west of Ireland, Calm With Horses is based on a novella from the acclaimed collection of short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett from Mayo. The film follows ex-boxer Douglas ’Arm’ Armstrong who has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm’s loyalties are truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.

Nick Rowland directs a screenplay adapted by Writer Joe Murtagh with Piers McGrail featuring as DoP. The film stars Barry Keoghan, Cosmo Jarvis, and Niamh Algar

DMC Film, the production company founded by Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan, and producer Daniel Emmerson developed the project with Film4, which is co-produced by Element Pictures. Calm With Horses was financed by Film4 and Screen Ireland alongside the Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund).

Screening Times at TIFF:

Sat 07/09 – Scotiabank 11 – 13:30

Sunday 08/09 – TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema – 20:45

Tuesday 10/09 – Scotiabank 5 – 12:00

Tuesday 10/09 – Scotiabank 13 – 18:45

Sunday 15/09 – Scotiabank 3– 18:15

 

Sea Fever – Fantastic Films – World Premiere (Discovery)

Starring Danish actor Connie Nielsen and Scottish actor Dougray Scott, Sea Fever centres on a ship’s captain (Nielsen), as she fights to save her crew from a mysterious parasite that infests their water supply.

Written and directed by Irish BAFTA Award winner Neasa Hardiman (‘Jessica Jones’, ‘Happy Valley’), Sea Fever’ is a rich, claustrophobic story of risk and responsibility, unfolding on the wild Atlantic seas off Ireland’s west coast.

The film is produced by Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell of Fantastic Films (‘Six Shooter’) and co-producers Belgian’s Frakas Productions, Sweden’s Bright Pictures, and Scotland's Makar Productions.

Screening Times at TIFF:

Thursday 05/09 – Scotiabank 4 – 21:15

Friday 06/09 – Scotiabank 11 – 21:45

Saturday 07/09 – Scotiabank 5 – 15:00

Friday 13/09 – Scotiabank 7 – 12:30

Saturday 14/09 – Scotiabank 7 – 19:15

 

Sweetness In The Belly – Parallel Film Productions – World Premiere (Discovery)

Filmed in Dublin and on location in Ethiopia, Sweetness in the Belly follows Lilly Abdal (Fanning), a woman caught between two worlds. Orphaned in Africa as a child, and raised as Muslim in Ethiopia, Lilly is forced to flee a looming civil war at the age of 17. Faced with the cold new world as a refugee in England, Lilly embraces the immigrant community in London, attempting to reunite people with their scattered families. Her motive isn’t just altruistic though, with a passionate lost love affair revealed between Abdal and an idealistic doctor.

Directed by Zeresenay Mehari, Laura Phillips adapted the script from Camilla Gibb’s novel of the same name.

The film is being produced by Alan Moloney and Susan Mullen of Parallel Films, with Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films who also developed the project. Executive producers include Adrian Sturges, Mehret Mandefro, Fiona Druckenmiller and Laura Bickford.

Screening Times at TIFF:

Friday 06/09 – Scotiabank 14 – 09:45

Saturday 07/09 – Scotiabank 1 – 18:00

Monday 09/09 – Scotiabank 2 – 16:15

Friday 13/09 – Scotiabank 14 – 09:45

 

The Other Lamb – Subotica Productions – World Premiere (Special Presentation)

A haunting and nightmarish tale, The Other Lamb centres on a young girl born into an alternative religion known as ‘the Flock’ that consists of an all-female congregation led by a charismatic preacher known only as ‘Shepherd’. The film follows its protagonist as she grows skeptical of the preacher’s leadership and challenges him following a supernatural event.

Supported by Screen Ireland, The Other Lamb is the English-language debut of critically acclaimed and Silver Bear-winning director Małgorzata Szumowska. Written by Australian screenwriter Catherine S McMullen, the film stars Raffey Cassidy (Vox Lux), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) and Denise Gough (Paula).

The film is produced by Aoife O’Sullivan and Tristan Orpen Lynch of Subotica Productions alongside Stephanie Wilcox and Academy Award-nominee David Lancanster of Rumble Films, in association with Zentropa and in co-production with Umedia.

Screening Times at TIFF:

Friday 06/09 – TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1 – 21:45

Saturday 07/09 – Scotiabank 10 – 08:45

Saturday 07/09 – Scotiabank 14 – 13:15

Tuesday 10/09 – Scotiabank 7 – 12:45

Sunday 15/09 – Scotiabank 10 – 21:45




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