International audiences at the A-list Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will have the opportunity to discover the new Irish film from Pat Collins’ Henry Glassie: Fieldwork, the latest Irish film to be added to the TIFF line-up. The renowned Cork filmmaker’s film explores the work of folklorist Henry Glassie and will receive its World Premiere in Toronto this September as part of the Contemporary World Cinema strand.

Following on the success of Pat Collin’s ‘Song of Granite’, Henry Glassie: Field Work is a magisterial portrait of the most renowned American folklorist and ethnologist Henry Glassie now in his seventies. This film is a beautifully intricate exposition of Glassie’s life’s work which displays this director’s trademark deft touch and remarkable eye for details of the deepest significance. The film was produced by Tina O’Reilly for South Wind Blows with funding from Screen Ireland and The Arts Council.

The film celebrates Glassie’s work, the people with whom he stands and their artwork.  Glassie’s long professional life encompasses the people and folklore of his native southern states; from the sublime vocal purity of Ola Belle Reed whom he befriended and recorded in the sixties, to the potters, sculptors, metal workers, gilders and painters of sacred art in Brazil, the ceramic masters and the women rug makers and weavers of Turkey, the story tellers and singers of Ballymenone on the Northern Irish border to mention just a few. Pat Collin’s sensitive positioning of Glassie’s own archive photographs, film and exquisite hand drawn maps deepen the understanding both of Glassie and the folklore he has so tenderly honoured in his work over decades of study, scholarship, love and friendship.

The documentary was filmed in Brazil, Ireland and the US.

I am delighted that ‘Henry Glassie: Field Work’will be premiering at such a prestigious festival as Toronto.   Screening in the Contemporary World Cinema section at TIFF is an ideal launch for our film and it’s a testament to the work and ideas of Folklorist Henry Glassie.  Glassie is an inspiring advocate for art and artists and to the spirit of folk art. A special thanks to Fís Eireann/Screen Ireland and to An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council for their generous support.

Pat Collins

Pat Collins is one of Ireland’s leading auteur filmmakers with a unique vision and a keen fascination for telling stories steeped in culture. Screen Ireland is delighted to have supported him throughout his career and we very much look forward to sharing this film with audiences at TIFF and beyond.

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive – Fís Eireann/ Screen Ireland

Henry Glassie: Fieldwork joins four other Screen Ireland-supported films announced for Toronto to date which include Neasa Hardiman’s Sea Fever, Nick Rowland’s Calm With Horses, Zeresenay Mehari’s Sweetness in the Belly and Malgorzata Szumowska’s The Other Lamb. Two films backed by Northern Ireland Screen, Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Ordinary Love and Shelley Love’s A Bump Along the Way.

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