Film about young female Irish traveller boxer wins major award at Toronto International Film Festival
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Film about young female Irish traveller boxer wins major award at Toronto International Film Festival

AN Irish film about a young traveller girl who dreams of becoming a boxer has won an award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

Float Like A Butterfly, directed by Carmel Winters and set in 1960’s/70’s Ireland, won the International Federation of Film Critics Prize for the Discovery Programme at last night’s ceremony.

The film centres around a young girl played by Hazel Doupe, who desperately fights to pursue her passion of boxing in order to make her idol Muhammad Ali proud, as well as her father who has just been released from prison.

The film was shot on location in West Cork and was funded by Screen Ireland.

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According to the movie’s blurb: “For Frances losing is not an option.”

“This is a fight she has been training for all her life. At stake is her own freedom, her mother’s honour and her father’s faith. She knows the only way she can end this war is to win it.”

During her acceptance speech, Carmel Winters said: "We couldn’t have wished for an audience more open to opening their hearts and witnessing our film.

"I can’t believe the jury choose to see our film in such a loving way as to give us this recognition today. I am so grateful to you all.

"To the travelling women of Ireland, the travelling people of Ireland, thanks for trusting me with your story."

The jury described the film as "a pastoral and traditional bucolic film, capturing the familiar angst and anxiety a young adult woman undergoes in order to have her say in the scheme of things in a predominately male-driven patriarchal society."

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