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Death or Canada · The Concept

The Concept

"It is funny how serendipity plays such a part in our lives. Tile Films first became involved in the project in the summer of 2005, when Dave Farrell and Rachel Towell were reurning from the Sunnyside of the Dock TV festival and were stuck in the airport in Marseilles. The flight was delayed, so we were sitting there, twiddling our thumbs when this Canadian chap turned up and we got chatting. The Canadian was Craig Thompson, Managing Director of Toronto-based TV production company Ballinran Productions. He was developing a docudrama about the massive influx of Irish famine refugees that almost overwhelmed Toronto in 1847, and was looking for an Irish co-production partner. lt was a fascinating project and from an Irish perspectivea great untold story.  It was also a famine story with a difference. The traditional perception of the Famine is that it only affected the Catholic population of Ireland. But that’s not the whole story. In fact, there was also a large Protestant population that was badly hit. Many Protestants were small farmers who were absolutely devastated by the crop failures. Many died and many more emigrated. Death or Canada centres around just one protestent family and their fatefull journey to Canada. It had the powerful human interest dynamic that was needed to drive the narrative and personalise the wider significance of what was taking place."

Dave Farrell