Ireland | 2017 | 96 minutes | Colin McIvor

As the Blitzkrieg hits Belfast in 1941, young teenager Tom Hall and a misfit crew daringly break into their local zoo to protect a baby elephant named Buster from being killed. Based on the remarkable true story.

Tom Hall (Art Parkinson) is a young teen living in Belfast circa 1941. His father George works as a veterinarian at the Bellevue Zoo, and Tom visits often to help him with the animals, much to the light-hearted chagrin of the zoo's owner and the ornery security guard (Toby Jones). The zoo's newest attraction? A baby elephant, who Tom takes a liking to and names Buster. But as World War II picks up, George enlists in the armed forces and leaves his job behind. Now, Tom has no access to his old stomping grounds, nor can he care for Buster. Worse, the Germans have started to bomb Belfast, and the Ministry of Public Service is forced to make an awful decree: all the zoo animals must be destroyed in case they escape during a bombing raid. Tom will not have this, and so with the help of his misfit friends—including kind Jane, reformed bully Pete, and Pete's little person brother Mickey—they kidnap Buster away and hide him in the courtyard of local eccentric Mrs. Austin (Penelope Wilton). But how long can they keep a growing elephant hidden, especially in time of war? Based on a remarkable true story, ZOO is an inspiring tale of perseverance and doing the right thing against all odds.

Director Biography
Holding a day job as a television commercial director in Ireland, Colin McIvor spends his leisure time developing films. He graduated with a degree in Visual Communications from the University of Ulster in Belfast and incorporates historical elements in his films to add layers of complexity.

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  • Director: Colin McIvor
  • Principal Cast: Toby Jones, Ian McElhinney, Art Parkinson, Penelope Wilton, Amy Huberman
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Ireland
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 96 minutes
  • Producer: Katy Jackson, Jacqueline Kerrin, John Leslie, Thomas Vencelides, Dominic Wright
  • Screenplay: Colin McIvor
  • Cinematographers: Damien Elliott
  • Editors: Brian Philip Davis, Chris Gill
  • Music: Mark Thomas
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Cup Cake (2010); Stainless Steal (2000)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn
  • International Sales: Metro International