Awarded Partner Festival status with Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, The Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) was founded in April 2009 by Michael Barry and John Galway who have over 45 years’ collective experience in the Canadian film and television industry.
Now in it’s 9th year, 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 from 2010 to 2018, TIRFF has quickly assumed the role of leading promoter of Irish film within Canada.
Reaching a potential audience of 250,000 Torontonians of Irish descent, as well as millions of Toronto-based 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.
Michael Barry: a native of Belfast city, Michael immigrated to Canada in 1992 with a degree in Computer Science. Michael’s 20 years of experience started in the Canadian film and television industry at Astral Media (pay and ppv services). Since then, Michael has held senior roles at Canada’s largest communications, theatrical exhibition and film festival organisations including Cineplex Entertainment, Telus Communications, Bell Media and Hot Docs International Film Festival. Currently, Michael works for the Town of Ajax, Ontario in Marketing & Comms. When not “TIRFF-ing”, Michael composes music for film – you can sample his work HERE. Michael’s first film, a short doc on one of Toronto’s oldest diners , THE WEXFORD, won the Audience Choice Award at the 2017 Scarborough Worldwide Film Festival. You can view it HERE.
John Galway: a MBA graduate with 25 years of experience in film and television, John’s career ranges from film festivals, to production and financing. After staring his career at TIFF, he then moved into financing, with positions at the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Canadian Media Fund and at Telefilm Canada where he served as a Regional Director and the Television Sector Head. In 2005, he joined The Harold Greenberg Fund as President and Board Member. At the Fund, he has overseen investments of more than $30 Million and has helped develop over 1000 feature film and television projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, John has overseen partnerships and funding support for film festivals, script writing labs, film promotion initiatives and awards, documentaries and short film projects.