Running from February 28, 2014 to March 2, 2014, the Toronto Irish Film Festival showcases some fantastic Irish films and filmmakers. On Saturday, March 1, 2014, the Irish Shorts Program brings audiences a few short slices of Irish life. Animation, documentary, comedy, and even a touch of horror fill the program, with highlights including Two Wheels Good, Breakfast Wine, and The Boys From County Hell.
Two Wheels Good – 9 minutes
This documentary short looks at four senior citizens who have spent their lives traveling the roads of Ireland on their bikes. It keeps them young, but also shows how much freedom can come from two wheels beneath you. Combining scenes of animation with live action, audiences begin to understand just how important a simple bike can be to some people.
Breakfast Wine – 11 minutes
There’s a saying that three alcoholics can keep a small country bar running, but this little Irish bar only has two. Comedy, and a touch of drama, are on tap in this short film, starring Ruth Bradley, Dylan Moran, Pat Shortt and David Pearse. Two dedicated drunks, who wait patiently for the bar to open each morning, have their usual routine altered when a beautiful woman enters their bar. Some good laughs will entertain audiences here.
The Boys From County Hell – 17 minutes
Horror fans will find plenty to enjoy with this short film. Two men have been sent out to repair a fence along an isolated road. One of the men plans on leaving for Australia, and isn’t too happy about working near the hills that his father has warned him about all his life. His father also happens to be his boss, and when he demands the men finish the fence properly, just as night is about to fall, the three workers face bigger problems than a busted fence. A few good scares, and a very simple horror story, make this short horror comedy a true highlight of the program.
Other shorts in the program include Fear of Flying, an animated tale about a bird who is afraid to fly south for the winter, The End of the Counter, a documentary short about the changes occurring when the grocery store arrived in Ireland in 1965, and The Tree, a short about two strangers who find themselves at odds over an apple tree.
Is Irish Shorts Program essential festival viewing?
A wide range of styles provides something for everybody. Whether you need a good laugh, a moment to let your imagination soar, or are looking for a few chills, this program has it all. A definite must see.