As you may remember, Irish cinema will be represented at the Toronto International Film Festival by The Secret Scripture, Unless, Maudie and Without Name, Northern Irish Film The Journey and the Irish co-production Forever Pure. Handsome Devil directed by John Butler (The Stag) and Gerard Barrett’s Brain on Fire (Glassland) have just been announced as additions to the line-up. That brings the total of Irish productions being recognised at the festival to a whopping eight.
Handsome Devil comments on the pressure rugby culture places on young men by forcing together two vastly different young men in a private school. Ned (played by Fionn O’Shea) is a sensitive musician, the polar opposite of macho jock Ned (Nicholas Galitzine) who is the star of the rugby team. The pair form an unlikely friendship after they are assigned the same dorm room. Two teachers fight over the boys but both are hiding their true motivations. The film reunites Butler and Andrew Scott, who starred in the director’s debut The Stag. Look out for cameos from Ardal O’Fallon, Amy Huber man, Norma Sheahan, Mark Doherty and Hugh O’Conor.
Brain on Fire came out in 2012 as the autobiography of New York Post writer Susannah Cahalan. It returns this year as a film adaptation starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Cahalan. The film depicts a young woman’s rapidly declining mental health.
The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from the 8-18th September 2016.