|Irish Film Fest goes beyond stereotypes||| Print ||
|Written by Sarah Horwath|
|Friday, 09 March 2012 09:27|
This year's Toronto Irish Film Festival will showcase the best in cinema from the Emerald Isle March 9 and 10.
The festival's executive director, Michael Barry told thedailyplanet.com that the festival hopes to show off a side of Ireland that contrasts the hackneyed portrayal people see every March.
“There’s a lot of stereotypes that exist about the Irish, particularly around St. Patrick’s Day and we wanted to show movies that are reflective of what we believe to be the true Ireland.”
“There is a lot of negative press that has come out of Ireland in recent years, and it’s mostly related to the economy and the fallout from that with respect to unemployment, which has driven a huge wave of Irish youth leaving the island over the last two years and settling in Toronto and Canada,” he said.
Barry said that he felt there was a void in Toronto when it came to showing films about the Irish community.
“There are over 90 [film festivals in Toronto] catered to every ethnic demographic, they cater to every cause and interest.”
“The Irish community doesn’t have one, so why not create it?” he said.
The theme of this year’s festival is to take a look at Ireland’s past, present and future, and the opening night movie begins by looking at Ireland’s past.
“It is a documentary called Dreaming the Quiet Man on Ireland’s most iconic movie of all time, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and directed by Hollywood legend, John Ford who was actually born in Ireland as John Feeney,” said Barry.
The Quiet Man, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, was the first time that Ireland had ever been seen in colour on the big screen around the world and it’s credited for having launched Ireland’s tourism industry, said Barry.
He said that the festival strives to show films that are of a certain high quality.
“If you keep the Irish accents out of our movies, at the end of the day they’re fantastically made movies by very talented directors and that’s really important in a city like Toronto that has such a vibrant film loving community,” he said.
The Toronto Irish Film Festival screenings take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and will feature documentaries, comedies, dramas and shorts in Gaelic, which is Ireland’s official language.
Tickets are $20 on opening night, and $15 on the final night.
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