Middletown girl appears in new movie

A local girl appeared in several scenes in a new movie that debuted Sept. 7 at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival.

However, because of the dark nature of the film “Donnybrook,” she did not get to view it due to language and some nudity said Betsy Hanavan, the mother of Rhyan Hanavan, 9. Rhyan is one of two children in the movie whose father is being played by Jamie Bell.

The movie was filmed at various locations in greater Cincinnati and Butler County, including downtown Middletown last fall.

The film, which has not been rated, received good reviews from film critics. According to Variety, the weekly American entertainment trade magazine, IFC Films has purchased the North American distribution rights for “Donnybrook” and the movie should be in theaters in 2019.

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“Toronto was awesome,” said Betsy Hanavan. “All of her scenes made the movie.”

Betsy Hanavan said her daughter, a fourth-grader at St. John XXIII Elementary School in Middletown, was in six different scenes in the movie.

“You can’t miss her,” she said. “You will definitely hear and see her in the movie.”

She said, “it was really surreal to see it on the big screen… It was exciting… We were over the moon.”

Although her daughter did not see the movie’s world premiere, Betsy Hanavan said Rhyan took it in stride and attended the after party with other cast members where she thanked the director and producers.

“She was the only child at the party and she wanted to go and have some pizza,” Betsy Hanavan said.

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The Hanavan family almost didn’t make it to the Toronto film festival as they did not have U.S. passports to enter Canada. They drove to the U.S. Passport Office in Detroit, Mich. on Sept. 5 to get passports. She said they arrived at the passport office with all of their documentation and travel plans at 8 a.m. Sept. 6. Hanavan said after they explained the situation to officials there, the family had their passports and were able to travel to Toronto for the film’s premiere on Sept. 7.

“I burst into tears when we got the passports in four hours,” she said. “We appreciated the State Department for their help getting the passports.”

“Donnybrook” is writer-director Tim Sutton’s fourth feature film and stars Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley, James Badge Dale and Jamie Bell, according to the Toronto International Film Festival.

The hard-hitting drama tells the story of two men — an ex-Marine who struggles to provide for his family and a violent drug dealer with an undefeated fighting record — who are determined to compete in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle cage fight with a cash prize of $100,000, according to the Toronto International Film Festival website.

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