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TIFF 2016 kicks off today with 8 Irish titles
08 Sep 2016 : Katie McNeice
Chloë Grace Moretz in 'Brain on Fire'
The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off today featuring a strong Irish line-up across the Special Presentations, TIFF Docs, Gala Presentations, Short Cuts and Vanguard streams.

New and established Irish talent features in the programme, from Lorcan Finnegan’s debut feature ‘Without Name’ to veteran Jim Sheridan’s latest project ‘Secret Scripture’.

‘Brain on Fire’

Gerard Barrett’s ‘Brain on Fire’ stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Susannah Cahalan, a New York Post journalist, whose battle with a rare autoimmune disorder was captured in her memoir, ‘Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness’. Barrett’s adaptation is produced by the Oscar-winning Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road).

‘Without Name’

Lorcan Finnegan’s debut feature was recently acquired by M-Appeal and was written for the screen by Garret Shanley. Shanley and Finnegan previously collaborated on short film ‘Foxes’ (2012) which earned the title of Best Short Film at the 2012 IFTA Film & Drama Awards and was also nominated for awards at Tribeca Film Festival and SXSW.

‘Secret Scripture’

The latest project from ‘In the Name of the Father’ director Jim Sheridan features Irish talents Jack Reynor (Sing Street) and Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Hobbit). ‘Carol’ star Roony Mara also stars as the younger Roseanne McNulty, who documents her time at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital. The project is produced by Noel Pearson and Rob Quigley, and was filmed in counties Sligo, Kilkenny and Wicklow in Ireland.


Written and directed by Alan Gilsenan, ‘Unless’ is an Irish-Canadian co-production from Subotica Entertainment and Sienna Films, adapted from the novel by Carol Shields. The project is also edited by Emer Reynolds, who is known for her work on ‘My Name is Emily’, ‘One Million Dubliners’ and ‘Patrick’s Day’.

‘Second to None’

Vincent Gallagher’s animated short is produced by Damien Farrell and enjoyed its premiere at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh, where it received the award for Best Animated Short and the Don Quijote Award for Best Animation.

‘Handsome Devil’

John Butler wrote and directed this feature project, which pokes fun at Ireland’s rugby culture. Starring Andrew Scott and also featuring Moe Dunford (Vikings) and Ardal O’Hanlon (Twice Shy), it is also produced by Rob Walpole and Rebecca O’ Flanagan (The Stag).

‘Forever Pure’

Maya Zinshtein embeds herself inside the Jerusalem’s Beitar football club. ‘Forever Pure’ engages with the 2012 racially informed controversy which saw negative reactions from fans when two Muslim players were signed to the club.


Aisling Walsh’s drama starring Sally Hawkins is set in Nova Scotia, Canada, and explores the true story of an iconic female artist Maud Lewis, whose painting flourished despite living with crippling arthritis.

TIFF Industry Conference Lineup

Commenting on the 2016 conference line-up, Kathleen Drumm, Director, TIFF Industry stated: “The programme will feature creative insights from outstanding filmmaking talent, while major industry leaders will debate topical subjects, including diversity and gender inclusion.”

Irish Film Board CEO James Hickey features in the Dialogue Series line-up, speaking on a panel discussion entitled Evolving borders: Co-Productions & Europe. This session explores how the continent’s evolving borders and changing financial landscape impacts co-productions and international access.

Additional Projects

The programme also features Irish talent across a variety of other titles including ‘The Journey’ directed by Nick Hamm and Colin Bateman, a fictional story exploring real political figures from The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) leads the cast of Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ alongside Sam Riley (Maleficent) and Michael Smiley (My Name is Emily). Producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly will also see her debut feature project ‘Lady MacBeth’ screened.

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Four Mid-West Producers selected for Film in Limerick EFM Berlinale Delegation
Herself and Street Leagues among nominees for annual ICCL Human Rights in Film Award

Daniel O'Hara, director of Netflix's The Stranger, speaks with IFTN
ASC Award winner John Conroy ISC speaks with IFTN
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