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Two NI Films Selected For Toronto International Film Festival

Two feature films which received funding from Government-backed Northern Ireland Screen and which were both shot exclusively in the Province have been selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.
Toronto - which runs 4-13 September - is on a par with other premier world film festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Berlin, has a highly competitive selection process and is considered a great launch pad for the North American market.
'Hunger' an evocative and impressionistic interpretation of the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands, during the 1981 IRA hunger strike at the Maze prison will compete in the 'Discovery' section for Best First Film.
A showcase for new and emerging filmmakers, 'Discovery' is an introduction to gifted and innovative directors who are certain to become household names.
Directed by Turner prize-winning artist Steve McQueen, the movie has already won the prestigious Camera d’Or and the Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival as well as Best Film at both the Sydney and Jerusalem festivals.
The film was produced by Laura Hastings-Smith from Blast! Films and executive produced by Robin Gutch and will be released in the UK and Ireland on 31st October.
Meanwhile, 'Fifty Dead Men Walking' will have a gala screening at the Toronto event. 'Gala' is a programme in the Festival's high-profile showcase of Canadian and international films with major impact.
The film was directed by Kari Skogland and produced by Peter La Terriere for Future Films Ltd.
'Fifty Dead Men Walking' is set in the 1980s when Ireland was at its most treacherous. In the story, nineteen year-old Marty McGartland was recruited by the British police to spy on the IRA.
He lived his life under constant threat of exposure and subsequent guaranteed torture and death, but his information saved many lives and he enjoyed the buzz… Until one day he was discovered and forced to go into hiding.
NI Screen has also taken the opportunity to point out that a major big-screen movie in mainstream cinemas now was also filmed in Northern Ireland.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive said: "The film and television sector has strong support in Northern Ireland – not least through the substantial investment from Invest NI.
"It is excellent to see the wealth of stunning locations we can offer on the big screen in such a well renowned action fantasy movie as Hellboy," he concluded.
Cinemagoers at the new 'Hellboy' epic can enjoy some familiar landscapes as the remains of an ancient map tells the 'devilish' character that the Golden Army he must find in order to save the world is located in Northern Ireland.
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