After rocking the audience personally at the Toronto Film Festival, writer-director Kenneth Branagh broke down in tears after watching his loose lolly autobiographical film “Belfast”.
Following what was the easiest response to entering a festival at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto this year, Branagh went through a Q&A session that illustrated the inspiration behind the film.
“I started writing this on March 23rd, but it took a long time. Lockdown teaches you, whether you like it or not it was valuable, which was easy … “
The audience cheered and some shed a few tears with him before Branagh continued, saying that quarantine had taken him to a test of his entire life. He described the project and his own experience as a 9-year-old boy who had a “love for his family and film”.
“Belfast” follows a short-sighted friend (the adorable Jude Hill in a remarkable introductory role), whose family is going through turbulent political and religious conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. Starring her parents, Dornan and “Outlander” star Kaitriona Balfe, they will face tough picks in the future due to rising tensions in the city.
Branagh admitted that he showed the film to director Christopher Nolan last week.
“I think you’ve been writing this since 1972,” Nolan told Branagh.
“Belfast” became the best film at the Oscars after bowing at the Telluride Film Festival earlier this month. In his opening remarks, Branagh recalled Shakespeare’s early days on stage in Toronto, many times as an actor and filmmaker before coming to the festival.