Based on an inspiring true story of a woman who rescued an elephant from the Belfast Zoo, Zoo showcases bravery in Belfast 1941.
Written and directed by by Colin McIvor, the Belfast-set film stars Art Parkinson, Penelope Wilton, Toby Jones, Ian O’Reilly, Ian McElhinney, Amy Huberman, and Damian O’Hare.
Tom (Parkinson) has to step it up when his zookeeper father, George (O’Hare) decides to enlist in World War 2. As George takes the fight overseas, his family is left to look after the zoo, which now features a young elephant, Buster. Tom takes it upon himself to rescue Buster after the German air raids threaten the zoo when a Government directive requires all dangerous animals to be put down. All in all, some 33 animals were shot dead. He does so with the aid of his friends and the eccentric Denise Austin (Wilton).
While both films are set during World War 2, the film should not be confused with the Jessica Chastain-starring film, The Zookeeper’s Wife. The latter film deals with rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.
Zoo will screen during the Chicago International Film Festival on October 14, 2017. Subsequent screenings will take place on October 15 and October 20. Expected to attend the screenings on Saturday and Sunday are writer/director Colin McIvor; producers Katy Jackson, John Leslie, and Tom Vencelides.