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Three Irish Films Selected for Renowned Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

Mattress Men 230 x 240

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board funded documentaries

Three Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board funded documentaries Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Mattress Men and The Land of the Enlightened have been officially selected for the prestigious Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days and Mattress Men will have their world premiere at the festival which is the largest documentary film festival in North America, taking place this year from April 28th – May 8th. Irish co-production The Land of the Enlightened, which had its world premiere at Sundance, will also screen at the festival.

Screening in the ‘Future Cult Classics’ programme at Hot Docs, Mattress Men is directed by Colm Quinn, produced by Ciaran Deeney and David Clarke and is the first feature length film from Dublin based independent production companies El Zorrero Films and Faction Films. Unfolding against the backdrop of crippling economic austerity, Mattress Men tells the story of Paul, a serially unemployed father of three, as he tries to reinvent himself by creating the internet star ‘Mattress Mick’ out of a mattress salesman. The film is due for release in Irish cinemas in Autumn 2016.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days, directed by Brendan J Byrne, is a cinematic portrait of the Irish Republican’s 66-day hunger strike. At seventeen, Bobby Sands was interested in girls, soccer and music. Ten years later he led a prison protest against the conditions in Northern Ireland’s infamous H-Blocks that grabbed the attention of the whole world. On his death on May 5th 1981, parliaments across the world stopped for a minute’s silence in his memory. Bobby Sands: 66 Days is the story of his hunger strike in what became the epicentre of one of the most tense and defining moments of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Produced by Trevor Birney and Brendan J Byrne for Fine Point Films / Cyprus Avenue Films, the film funded by the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC NI, BBC Storyville, SVT and DR will be released in Irish cinemas this summer by Wildcard Distribution.

Directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue, The Land of the Enlightened was co-produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films. In the shadow of Bagram Airfield – the bastion of U.S. military might in Afghanistan – exists a wartime economy that is run and controlled entirely by children. Nomadic Kuchi youngsters dig out anti-personnel mines and sell them to the child workers of the lapis lazuli mines. They in turn blast the precious blue stones free from their ancient resting place, to be smuggled by child soldiers, who control their passage to China and Tajikistan. There, the stones are bartered for arms and opium, the very lifeblood of the Taliban in their war against the U.S. occupation. The film scooped the World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary at Sundance in January.

North America’s largest documentary festival, each year Hot Docs offers an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000

Three Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board funded documentaries Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Mattress Men and The Land of the Enlightened have been officially selected for the prestigious Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto. Bobby Sands: 66 Days and Mattress Men will have their world premiere at the festival which is the largest documentary film festival in North America, taking place this year from April 28th – May 8th. Irish co-production The Land of the Enlightened, which had its world premiere at Sundance, will also screen at the festival.

Screening in the ‘Future Cult Classics’ programme at Hot Docs, Mattress Men is directed by Colm Quinn, produced by Ciaran Deeney and David Clarke and is the first feature length film from Dublin based independent production companies El Zorrero Films and Faction Films. Unfolding against the backdrop of crippling economic austerity, Mattress Men tells the story of Paul, a serially unemployed father of three, as he tries to reinvent himself by creating the internet star ‘Mattress Mick’ out of a mattress salesman. The film is due for release in Irish cinemas in Autumn 2016.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days, directed by Brendan J Byrne, is a cinematic portrait of the Irish Republican’s 66-day hunger strike. At seventeen, Bobby Sands was interested in girls, soccer and music. Ten years later he led a prison protest against the conditions in Northern Ireland’s infamous H-Blocks that grabbed the attention of the whole world. On his death on May 5th 1981, parliaments across the world stopped for a minute’s silence in his memory. Bobby Sands: 66 Days is the story of his hunger strike in what became the epicentre of one of the most tense and defining moments of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Produced by Trevor Birney and Brendan J Byrne for Fine Point Films / Cyprus Avenue Films, the film funded by the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC NI, BBC Storyville, SVT and DR will be released in Irish cinemas this summer by Wildcard Distribution.

Directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue, The Land of the Enlightened was co-produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films. In the shadow of Bagram Airfield – the bastion of U.S. military might in Afghanistan – exists a wartime economy that is run and controlled entirely by children. Nomadic Kuchi youngsters dig out anti-personnel mines and sell them to the child workers of the lapis lazuli mines. They in turn blast the precious blue stones free from their ancient resting place, to be smuggled by child soldiers, who control their passage to China and Tajikistan. There, the stones are bartered for arms and opium, the very lifeblood of the Taliban in their war against the U.S. occupation. The film scooped the World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary at Sundance in January.

North America’s largest documentary festival, each year Hot Docs offers an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000