Irish director Paddy Breathnach's film Rosie, adapted from a story penned by BAFTA winning novelist and screenplay writer Roddy Doyle, shows a gripping tale of a family fighting homelessness in Ireland. Paddy's last film, Viva, was the first Irish film to get shortlisted for best foreign-language film at the Oscars. Rosie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford. In a chat with Suman Das and Sudipto Maity, Paddy and Roddy share different aspects of film-making and writing as they discuss Rosie and the experiences of working with the lead actors. Excerpts:
One of the more unique titles at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is the science-fiction epic ANIARA, co-directed by Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja. Made with modest means and a surplus of ingenuity, ANIARA is based on a 1956 epic poem by Swedish Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson and details what happens after we destroy our planet and seek refuge elsewhere. Harrowing and sobering in its portrait of what human beings are capable of, ANIARA constantly surprises. It’s part of a string of intelligent, off-genre pictures from Sweden — such as Ali Abbasi’s Cannes hit Border, also screening at this year’s Festival — which are built around issues and which ask probing, disturbing questions.
Blending social realism with touches of lyricism, Imogen Thomas’ engaging debut feature Emu Runner follows a nine-year-old girl growing up in the isolated community of Brewarrina, Australia. When Gem’s (Rhae-Kye Waites) young mother dies unexpectedly, she copes with the loss by bonding with a wild emu, while her father struggles to keep his family of three children together. As Gem connects with her ancestors’ totem animal — a male emu rearing its chicks — her behaviour attracts the attention of an over-eager social worker who may misinterpret grief for parental neglect.