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Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ To Receive World Premiere At Toronto International Film Festival
24 Jul 2012 : By Eva Hall
Irish director Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ is to receive its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The vampire feature, which was shot in Ireland at Ardmore Studios, is among a number of Irish-related titles set to screen at the festival.

‘Byzantium’, starring Carlow-native Saoirse Ronan and ‘St. Trinian’s’ actress Gemma Arterton, explores the supernatural with female vampires wreaking havoc on an English seaside town in the upcoming thriller. Dublin’s Parallel Films co-produced with Demarest Films in the US and Number9 Films in the UK.

The latest work from Irish actor Chris O’Dowd and Irish cinematographer Seamus McGarvey also screen at the Canadian festival.

Chris O’Dowd’s comedy ‘The Sapphires’, an Australian production about four Aboriginal women who are plucked from obscurity by talent scout O’Dowd, has been chosen as a Special Presentation film. Set in 1968 during the Vietnam War, the newly formed girlband The Sapphires are being dubbed as Australia’s answer to The Supremes.

Australia’s Goalpost Pictures produced, with Deborah Mailman and Jessica Mauboy starring alongside O’Dowd. Since the Roscommon-native shot to fame as Officer Rhodes in hit comedy ‘Bridesmaids’, he has been enjoying a number of successes, including having a second series of his Sky One show ‘Moone Boy’ being picked up despite a first series yet to air.

The third Irish link to this year’s Toronto Film Festival is with ‘Atonement’ director Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’, of which Armagh-born Seamus McGarvey was the cinematographer. The period drama stars Keira Knightley as a society woman who is torn between her husband and her heart. McGarvey previously worked with Wright on ‘Atonement’ and ‘The Soloist’. ‘Anna Karenina’ will also screen as a Special Presentation at the festival.

Opening the festival on September 6 is ‘Looper’, starring ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis (Die Hard) and Emily Blunt (The Five Year Engagement), while Robert Redford’s ‘The Company You Keep’ is also screening, which stars ‘Transformers’ star Shia La Beouf, veteran actress Susan Sarandon and ‘Up in the Air’ actress Anna Kendrick.

The TIFF is held from September 6-16 2012 this year. For the full festival programme please click here.

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