#IrishAbroad: Brain on Fire and Handsome Devil added to Toronto International Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival has added a number of new titles to its lineup for 2016, including two Irish films Gerard Barrett’s Canadian co-production Brain on Fire and John Butler’s Handsome Devil. The lineup also includes Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake, which had Irishman Robbie Ryan as cinematographer.
Irish co-production Brain on Fire sees Kerry native Gerard Barrett move away from Ireland to film Canada with an international crew of Hollywood stars. Barrett adapted the screenplay for the film from the titular memoir by Susannah Cahalan. The plot follows a rising journalist who mysteriously starts having seizures and hearing voices. As weeks go by, she moves inexplicably from violence to catatonia — but a last-minute intervention by one doctor finally gives her a diagnosis and hope to rebuild her life. Chloë Grace Moretz plays the lead, with The Hobbit‘s Richard Armitage and The Matrix‘s Carrie-Anne Moss as her parents, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s Thomas Mann as her boyfriend, and Gone Girl‘s Tyler Perry as her boss. Filming took place in Vancouver last July and August, with Sing Street cinematographer Yaron Orbach as DoP. Big Eyes editor JC Bond and Barrett are overseeing the post-production process, and The Maze Runner‘s John Paesano is providing the score. Brain On Fire is produced by Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, and A.J. Dix for Denver & Delilah Films, Rob Merilees and Lindsay Macadam for Foundation Features, and Gabriel and Daniel Hammond for Broad Green Pictures. Barrett is a co-producer through Blank Page Production. Funding came from the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireannFís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., Mister Smith, Broad Green Pictures, and Screen Scene.
In Handsome Devil, two very different boys are forced to share a room together at their rugby-mad boarding school. Ned’s an effete, sensitive musician and Conor the star outhalf on the rugby team. Over the course of the school year, the boundaries between them are eroded as they become friends. Two teachers fight for the souls of the boys, Moe Dunford playing the rugby coach Pascal and Andrew Scott playing Mr Sherry, an inspirational English teacher. Each has their own agenda. The project reunites Butler and Scott, who starred in Butler’s debut feature film The Stag, with lead roles for Dunford (Vikings,Patrick’s Day) and Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones). The young cast is led by Fionn O’Shea and Nick Galitzine (one of the Screen Stars of Tommorrow in 2015), with support from Ruairi O’Connor, Jay Duffy, Mark Lavery, and Jamie Hallahan. The film also features cameo performances from Ardal O’Hanlon, Amy Huberman, Norma Sheahan, Mark Doherty, and Hugh O’Conor. Post-production took at Windmill LaneWindmill Lane is world renowned for its recording studio, music video production & commercials, VFX work and audio for Film, TV and Animation. More Pictures with The Stag editor John O’Connor. Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole of Treasure Entertainment produce, with cinematography from Cathal Watters (Viva), production design from Ferdia Murphy, costume design from Kathy Strachan, and sound recording from Hugh Fox, all of whom worked with Butler on The Stag. Casting was by Louise KielyLouise Kiely Casting is one of Ireland's premier casting agencies. The company is lead by casting director Louise Kiely, who formed it in 2005. More. Funding came from the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann.
Commenting on the selection director John Butler said:
Leaving TIFF after my 1st film premiered there in 2013, a silent wish was made to get back someday with Handsome Devil. I’m ecstatic to be presenting this tender coming-of-age story to a passionate audience that always turns their cellphones off and never leaves for toilet breaks. Toronto is the best.
Producers Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole added:
We are thrilled to be heading back to Toronto with Handsome Devil. We are very proud of the film and we LOVE working with John. We had a wonderful time with The Stag at TIFF and we are really looking forward to our return next month.
These two join 7 previously announced Irish titles: The Journey,The Secret Scripture, Maudie,Unless, Without Name, Forever Pure, and animated short Second to None. The TIFF Talent Campus participants for 2016 were announced a few weeks ago and includes Mark Noonan (You’re Ugly Too).
The 2016 Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8th to 18th.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer – Joseph Cedar, USA/Israel, International Premiere The Promise – Terry George, USA/Spain, World Premiere
(Re)Assignment – Walter Hill, Canada, World Premiere 150 Milligrams (La Fille de Brest) – Emmanuelle Bercot, France, World Premiere The Bleeder – Philippe Falardeau, USA, North American Premiere Brain on Fire – Gerard Barrett, Ireland/Canada, World Premiere Burn Your Maps – Jordan Roberts, USA/Mongolia, World Premiere Christine – Antonio Campos, USA, Canadian Premiere The Duelist – Alexey Mizgirev, Russia, World Premiere The Exception – David Leveaux, United Kingdom, World Premiere I, Daniel Blake – Ken Loach, United Kingdom/France/Belgium, North American Premiere In Dubious Battle – James Franco, USA, North American Premiere The Long Excuse (Nagai Iiwake) – Miwa Nishikawa, Japan, World Premiere Rage – Sang-il Lee, Japan, World Premiere Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey – Terrence Malick, Germany, North American Premiere Wakefield – Robin Swicord, USA, International Premiere
Contemporary World Cinema
A Decent Woman (Los Decentes) – Lukas Valenta Rinner, Austria/South Korea/Argentina, North American Premiere After Love (L’économie du couple) – Joachim Lafosse, France/Belgium, North American Premiere The Animal’s Wife (La Mujer del Animal) – Víctor Gaviria, Colombia, International Premiere Apprentice – Boo Junfeng, Singapore/Germany/France/Hong Kong/Qatar, North American Premiere Aquarius – Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil/France, North American Premiere Ayiti Mon Amour – Guetty Felin, Haiti/USA, International Premiere Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces (Al Ma’ wal Khodra wal Wajh al Hassan) – Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt, North American Premiere Clair Obscur (Tereddüt) – Ye?im Ustao?lu, Turkey/Germany/Poland/France, World Premiere Death in Sarajevo (Smrt u Sarajevu) – Danis Tanovi?, Bosnia and Herzegovina/France, North American Premiere Ember (Kor) – Zeki Demirkubuz, Turkey/Germany, International Premiere The Fixer (Fixeur) – Adrian Sitaru, Romania/France, World Premiere Handsome Devil – John Butler, Ireland, World Premiere Heaven Will Wait (Le ciel attender) – Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, France, North American Premiere In Between (Bar Bahr) – Maysaloun Hamoud, Israel/France, World Premiere Indivisible (Indivisibili) – Edoardo de Angelis, Italy, International Premiere Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge – Marie Noëlle, Germany/France/Poland, World Premiere Mister Universo – Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy, North American Premiere Past Life – Avi Nesher, Israel, World Premiere The Patriarch (Mahana) – Lee Tamahori, New Zealand, North American Premiere Pyromaniac (Pyromanen) – Erik Skjoldbjærg, Norway, International Premiere The Rehearsal – Alison Maclean, New Zealand, North American Premiere The Road to Mandalay – Midi Z, Taiwan/Myanmar/France/Germany, North American Premiere Santa & Andres (Santa y Andrés) – Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/Colombia/France, World Premiere Soul on a String – Zhang Yang, China, International Premiere Tamara and the Ladybug (Tamara y la Catarina) – Lucía Carreras, Mexico/Spain, World Premiere Tramps – Adam Leon, USA, World Premiere Vaya Akin – Omotoso, South Africa, World Premiere We Are Never Alone (Nikdy nejsme sami) – Petr Vaclav, Czech Republic/France, North American Premiere The Wedding Ring (Zin’naariyâ!) – Rahmatou Keïta, Niger/Burkina Faso/France, World Premiere White Sun (Seto Surya) – Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA/Qatar/Netherlands, North American Premiere The Women’s Balcony (Ismach Hatani) – Emil Ben Shimon, Israel, World Premiere Za?ma: Blindness – Ryszard Bugajski, Poland, World Premiere Zoology (Zoologiya) – Ivan I. Tverdovsky, Russia/France/Germany, North American Premiere
After the Storm – Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, North American Premiere Afterimage (Powidoki) – Andrzej Wajda, Poland, World Premiere The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez (Les Beaux Jours d’Aranjuez) – Wim Wenders, France/Germany, North American Premiere Certain Women – Kelly Reichardt, USA, Canadian Premiere Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) – Gianfranco Rosi, Italy/France, Canadian Premiere Graduation (Bacalaureat) – Cristian Mungiu, Romania, Canadian Premiere Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy – Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France/Chad, North American Premiere J: Beyond Flamenco (JOTA) – Carlos Saura, Spain, World Premiere Julieta – Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, North American Premiere Land of the Gods (Dev Bhoomi) – Goran Paskaljevi?, India/Serbia, World Premiere Ma’ Rosa – Brillante Ma Mendoza, Philippines, North American Premiere The Net (Geumul) – Kim Ki-duk, South Korea, North American Premiere Never Ever (À jamais) – Benoît Jacquot, France/Portugal, North American Premiere Once Again (Pinneyum) – Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India, International Premiere Personal Shopper – Olivier Assayas, France, North American Premiere A Quiet Passion – Terence Davies, United Kingdom/Belgium, North American Premiere Safari – Ulrich Seidl, Austria, American Premiere Sieranevada – Cristi Puiu, Romania, North American Sweet Dreams (Fai bei sogni) – Marco Bellocchio, Italy, North American Premiere The Unknown Girl (La Fille inconnue) – Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium/France, North American Premiere Yourself and Yours (Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot) – Hong Sang-soo, South Korea. World Premiere
City to City
76 – Izu Ojukwu, Nigeria, World Premiere 93 Days – Steve Gukas, Nigeria, World Premiere The Arbitration – Niyi Akinmolayan, Nigeria, International Premiere Green White Green – Abba Makama, Nigeria, World Premiere Just Not Married – Uduak-Obong Patrick, Nigeria, International Premiere Okafor’s Law – Omoni Oboli, Nigeria, World Premiere Oko Ashewo (Taxi Driver) – Daniel Emeke Oriahi, Nigeria, North American Premiere The Wedding Party – Kemi Adetiba, Nigeria, World Premiere, City to City Opening Night Film