#FIRSTLOOK: TORONTO IRISH FILM FESTIVAL
By Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
St. Patrick’s Day is almost here so that means the Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) is ready to take over the TIFF Bell Lightbox. From March 4th through 6th, the 6th annual installment of the Festival will boast an array Features, Documentaries and Shorts sure to thrill Film Lovers. This year, TIRFF will also be introducing a great new family-friendly addition to the lineup with the Best of Irish Animation.
Here are some day-by-day highlights to guide you through this busy weekend of Irish Film.
The festival kicks off Friday night with Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too. Will (Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen) has just been released from prison on compassionate grounds so that he can care for his recently orphaned niece, Stacey (Lauren Kinsella). In order to rebuild a lost sense of family, the two head to the Irish Midlands and a caravan park where they are confronted with problems neither could have anticipated. On top of all that, Stacey’s very defined sense of right and wrong compels her to unravel the mystery behind her uncle’s incarceration before she can fully accept him into her life. This beautifully shot film will have the audience aching for the characters on screen to find the missing pieces of themselves in each other.
Friday, March 4, 2016 7:00 p.m.
Director Mark Noonan will be in attendance for a Q&A.
On Saturday, tune in for some Canadian history with the documentary, Forgotten. In the early part of the 20th century, over 100,000 children were brought to Canada and forced into indentured servitude. What happened to these children once they arrived in Canada and how their current families have come to terms with the past are just some of the issues sensitively addressed in this touching film.
Saturday, March 5, 2016 4:00 p.m.
Director Eleanor McGrath will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Sunday, before you bid slán a bhaile to TIRFF, make sure you see the fantastic Deoch An Dorais (Name Your Poison). This Gaelic language documentary (with English subtitles) tells the unbelievable tale of Mike Malloy, an Irish immigrant in New York City, who proved to be very difficult to kill. After a group of men took out two life insurance policies on the Irishman, the seemingly indestructible Malloy survived multiple assassination attempts ranging from simple poison to vehicular manslaughter. Deoch An Dorais is an incredible tale that will leave audiences agog and haunted by the story of “the man who wouldn’t die.”
Sunday, March 6, 2016 4:00 p.m.
Director Paddy Hayes will be in attendance for a Q&A.
The Toronto Irish Film Festival runs from March 4-6 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
For more information, check out TIRFF’s website http://toirishfilmfest.com.