5 Irish movies make it to Toronto

The Toronto International Film Festival, think Cannes in Canada, will be screening 5 movies financed by the Irish Film Board. That’s a pretty big deal I think you’ll agree.

While the number is down on last years 7 it is still a pretty impressive achievement considering the star-studded line-up at the festival. The 5 films set to feature are documentary The Pipe, war drama As If I Am Not There, dark comedy Sensation, romantic comedy Lapland Odyssey (co-produced with Sweden and Finland) and drama Essential Killing (co-produced by Element Pictures and Polish,Norwegian and Hungarian production companies).

The following summaries of the films is courtesy of the Irish Film Board website, which has more information on this great pictures here.

The Pipe, is a feature documentary directed by Risteard O’Domhnall.  This emotional documentary chronicles local farmers and fishermen who rise up in protest, fearing explosions and environmental hazards, when Shell Oil decide to build a giant high-pressure pipe to transport raw gas through the town of Rossport to an inland refinery. Produced by Rachel Lysaght for Scannaín Inbhear and will screen in the Real to Reel programme of the festival.

As If I’m Not There is the début feature film by Juanita Wilson who previously wrote and directed the Oscar nominated short The Door.

The Bosnian war drama, adapted from a book by Slavenka Drakulic, follows the story of Samira, a young teacher who finds her life turned on its head the day a young soldier walks uninvited into her kitchen and she is sent to a concentration camp. The film is produced by James Flynn and Nathalie Lichtenthaler for Octagon Films (Ondine) and Wide Eye Films.

Sensation, a darkly comedic story of prostitution, money, love and sensation stars Domhnall Gleeson and was written and directed by Tom Hall.  The film details the relationship between Tipperary farmer Donal Duggan and a veteran Kiwi escort. They begin as client and call girl, evolve into something like lovers, then business partners and finally co-defendants.

Produced by Katie Holly and Kieron J. Walsh for Blinder Films (One Hundred Mornings), it will have its international première at Toronto.

Lapland Odyssey, is a co-production between Ireland’s Ripple World Pictures (Dominic Wright and Jacqueline Kerrin), Finland’s Helsinki Filmi Oy and Sweden’s Anagram Produktion Company.   Directed by Dome Karukoski and written by Pekko Pesonen, it is a comedic and romantic road movie about three unemployed young men who set off on a desperate journey to locate a digital conversion box across Lapland.  This screening will be the world première of the film.

Essential Killing, is about a Taliban fighter who is captured, interrogated, tortured and then transported to an unnamed snowy destination in Europe. He manages to escape and must use his wits to evade his pursuers whilst battling bitter winter cold and lack of food.

Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, it is an Irish/Polish/Norwegian/Hungarian co-production between Element Pictures (Garage, The Wind That Shakes The Barley), Skopia Film Production, Cylinder Productions and Mythberg Films with Andrew Lowe the executive producer for Element.

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival will take place from 9th – 19th September.