The Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) is a unique Canadian Irish film festival. TIRFF was founded in April 2009 by Michael Barry and John Galway who have over 30 years’ collective experience in the Canadian film and television industry.
The Toronto Irish Film Festival celebrates the very best of Irish cinema and promotes the work of Irish filmmakers to the Greater Toronto Irish community and the Toronto film festival public. With sold-out screenings in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, TIRFF has quickly assumed the role of primary promoter of Irish film within Canada.
Reaching a potential audience of 250k Torontonians of Irish descent, as well as millions of movie lovers, TIRFF provides a unique cultural destination for Toronto and Ontario based ex-patriots, from the very old and the very new, to connect with the culture of home through the magic of cinema.
In September 2013, TIRFF partnered with several organizations for a networking event during the Toronto International Film Festival. Working with NI Bureau, Northern Ireland Connections, Tourism Ireland and Invest NI, the event brought together Canadian producers and distributors to network with Northern Irish funding agencies and filmmakers.
In March 2013, the festival featured over 20 Irish films, with 15 Canadian premieres including Gerard Barrett’s Pilgrim Hill and Kirsten Sheridan’s Dollhouse.
In May 2012, TIRFF partnered with HOT DOCS for the Canadian Premiere Dreams of a Life by director Carol Morley. The sold-out screening told the tragic tale of Joyce Vincent whose death went unnoticed for three years.
In March 2012, The Toronto Irish Film Festival returned to TIFF Bell Lightbox for its second year. With a little change in set up, TIRFF delivered a diverse Irish film program, bringing to Toronto 11 Canadian premieres of pure Irish gold. 2012 boasted an Opening Night Gala with Dreaming The Quiet Man, a Music Program, Short Film Showcase, and an Emerging Filmmaker Spotlight in addition to premiere feature films. The festival rounded off with an amazing performance by Colm Meaney in Parked.
In May 2011, TIRFF co-presented Ian Palmer’s acclaimed documentary, Knuckle, at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary film festival, conference and market.
In March 2011, the inaugural year of The Toronto Irish Film Festival was held at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The programme featured the critically acclaimed documentary His and Hers, as well as the Oscar nominated films The Secret of Kells, Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and Give Up Yer Aul Sins.
In June 2010, the Toronto Irish Film Festival presented the Canadian premiere of The Yellow Bittern: The Life & Times of Liam Clancy at Innis Town Hall. The screening was sold out and helped launch TIRFF from a concept to a reality. TIRFF thanks producer Anna Rodgers for the opportunity to present this fantastic documentary to the Toronto Irish community.