BY Shelley Marsden
The winners of this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards were revealed tonight at a star-studded Awards Ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton venue in Dublin 4 hosted by the Irish Film and Television Academy.
Commenting on the night, Chief Executive of IFTA Áine Moriarty said: “This is a wonderful night of celebration for the Irish film and television industry which continues to punch above its weight in terms of production values, creativity and entertainment. Tonight we honour the outstanding achievements of Irish directors, writers, actors, television and filmmakers which has been showcased here this evening. Many congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees.”
Co-Hosted by Simon Delaney and Laura Whitmore, the Ceremony was broadcast on primetime Irish television on RTÉ One. The Annual Irish Film & Television Awards are the highlight of Ireland’s entertainment and cultural calendar celebrating the very best of Irish screen talent across film and television.
Guests who walked the red carpet this evening included Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, Steve Coogan, Will Forte, Jeremy Irons, Fionnula Flanagan, Brendan Gleeson, Neil Jordan, Amy Huberman, Colm Meaney, Jack Reynor, Killian Scott, Eva Birthistle, Victoria Smurfit and Outstanding Contribution Honorary Award Winner President Michael D Higgins.
The biggest winners on the night were the films Calvary, Byzantium and Philomena which all picked up three awards each. Calvary took the highest accolade, Best Film, along with Best Actor for Brendan Gleeson and Best Script for its writer-director John Michael McDonagh.
Touching true story Philomena won the award for Best International Film and Actress (for Judi Dench) along with Costume Design for Consolata Boyle. Philomena Lee, whose true-life story inspired the film was in attendance at the Ceremony. Vampire horror Byzantium’s awards included the prestigious Best Director for Neil Jordan, Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan and Makeup & Hair.
Michael Fassbender was also a winner, taking the award for Best Film Supporting Actor for his recently Oscar-nominated role in 12 Years A Slave. Legendary actress Sinead Cusack took home the Best Supporting Actress accolade for her performance in the adaptation of John Banville’s The Sea.
The big Television Drama winner on the night was Northern Irish crime series The Fall, which collected the award for Best Drama, Best Actor for Jamie Dornan’s role as serial killer Paul Spector and David Holmes for music. It was a double celebration for actor Dornan, as he also collected the Irish Film Board Rising Star Award.
Crime Drama Love/Hate took home two IFTA’s on the night including Best Supporting Actor for Peter Coonan and Stuart Carolan who won for Best TV Script. Sky series Moone Boy was also a big winner, winning Best Entertainment Programme and Best Director Drama/Comedy for Ian Fitzgibbon. Eva Birthistle won the IFTA for Best Actress TV for her role as the grieved mother in missing child-drama Amber. Actress Support TV went to Michelle Fairley for her tragic finale season on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
President Michael D. Higgins received his Honorary IFTA Award for his Outstanding Contribution to the film & television industry. The President has shown unwavering support in the film and television sector, helping to transform the industry over the last thirty years through a range of initiatives from tax incentives to training and the re-establishment of the Irish Film Board, ultimately encouraging investment and creating thousands of jobs.
Cinematographer PJ Dillon won the Director of Photography Film/TV Drama award for the Victorian-era period drama Ripper Street, while Emer Reynolds won the Editing Film/TV Drama award for the feature documentary Here Was Cuba, whih she also co-directed. Ronan Hill won the IFTA for Sound Film/Drama for his work on the internationally successful series Game of Thrones.
Anna Rodgers won the TV Director IFTA for her sensitive portrayal of relationships and disability in Somebody to Love, while Ray Roantree won the Editing Television for the political documentary Looking After No.1. The Sound TV Award went to John Sheahan: A Dubliner.
In the factual categories, The George Morrison Feature Documentary Award was presented to The Summit; TV Documentary was won by The Disappeared; Best Factual Programme went to Seamus Heaney – Postscript and Breach of Trust received the IFTA for Current Affairs.
The IFTA for Best Sport was awarded to Paidi O Sé – Ri an Pharóiste and other popular winners on the night included self-improvement series Operation Transformation (Reality), 1916: Seachtar Dearmadta (Irish Language), The Octonauts (Children’s/Youth), The Last Days of Peter Bergmann (Short Film) and Tilly and Friends (Animation).