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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #92. Pat Mills’ Don’t Talk to Irene

Don’t Talk to Irene

Director: Pat Mills
Writer: Pat Mills

Writer/director Pat Mills was one of our favorite discoveries out of 2014 following the premiere of his debut Guidance at the Toronto International Film Festival (Strand distributed the film in late August of 2015 and it’s currently streaming on Netflix). The Toronto based filmmaker is already at work on his sophomore feature, Don’t Talk to Irene, a project which took home the Best Screenplay award at the 2013 Austin Film Festival. Returning once more to the developmental hell of high school, the film is a body positive teen dance movie about a 16 year old named Irene who dreams of becoming a cheerleader despite the cruelty of her peers. Just prior to production, the choreographer Mills had been circling to hire for the film, Nicole Arbour, ended up in a social media firestorm with an insensitive YouTube video titled “Dear Fat People” (if you didn’t catch Mills’ eloquent response, it’s worth looking up). Ironically, it lends an unexpected weight to the importance of Mills’ subject matter. The project has been in development for several years and we’re highly anticipating more endearing, acerbic comedy from the Canadian writer/director.

Cast: TBA.

Production Co./Producers: Lithium Studios, Alyson Richards Productions, Mike Macmillan.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic/international).

Release Date: Based on the response Guidance garnered at TIFF, we’re hoping to see Mills return to premiere there in 2016.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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