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Award-winning, inspirational and important Irish film, SANCTUARY,

Opens in cinemas on Friday 7th July 2017.

Set in the world of people with intellectual disabilities, the multi award-winning SANCTUARY opens in cinemas across Ireland on Friday 7th July.  Garnering universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike, Sanctuary is a touching and funny love story about Larry and Sophie, two people who long to be together in a world that does everything to keep them apart.

Larry has Down syndrome, Sophie has severe epilepsy.  The two are attracted to each other and, through a care worker Tom, they sneak away to a hotel room during a supervised trip to the cinema.  What do they do once they are there?  How do they express a love that dare not speak its name?  Are they aware that in Ireland they are about to break the law?

While these questions are posed the rest of their colleagues seek out their own challenges: an impromptu shopping trip, pints in the pub and a surreptitious cuddle in front of a movie screen.  Dave Allen once said “the secret of comedy is small victories” and these mini triumphs offset the dramatic challenges that take place in a Galway hotel room between two lovers who refuse to be defined by their disabilities.

How often can it truly be said that a film has the impact to change lives?   Never before has such a strong cast of intellectually disabled actors been drawn together for a feature film.  The cast have worked together for many years and are experienced actors and performers, all members of the award-winning Blue Teapot Theatre Company based in Galway.  Sanctuary writer Christian and director Len, have worked with this troupe of actors for many years.  The script has been tailored to their specific talents and abilities – this is a unique and very special project and is important that it reaches as wide an audience as possible.

In 1996 Pascal Duquenne who has Down syndrome, shared the Best Actor Award at Cannes Film Festival with his Le huitième jour co-star Daniel Auteuil.  We believe Sanctuary has several such stars in its cast – audiences to date empathise with the characters and leave the cinema feeling that they have been introduced to a world most of us know very little about.

Disability is a worldwide issue that affects hundreds of millions of families – currently around 10% of the world’s total population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability, of which 1-3% have an intellectual disability

Directed by Len Collin

Starring Kieran Coppinger, Charlene Kelly, Patrick Becker, Valerie Egan, Robert Doherty, Jennifer Cox, Paul Connolly, Frank Butcher, Emer Macken, Michael Hayes, Karen Murphy

Screenplay by Christian O’Reilly

Produced by Edwina Forkin, Zanzibar Films

In association with Blue Teapot Theatre Company

Cert: 15a

Running Time: 90 mins

Release date: 7 July 2017

Sanctuary opens at the following cinemas and will tour regionally nationwide:

7th July

Eye Galway; IMC Dun Laoghaire; IMC Galway; Irish Film Institute; Light House; Movies @ Dundrum

21st July

Gate Cork

8th August

Birr Theatre and Arts Centre