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The Quiet Girl wins big at this year’s Irish Film & Television Awards


- Colm Bairéad’s coming-of-age drama scooped eight prizes in total, closely followed by Ciaran Donnelly and Peter McKenna’s drama series KIN, in receipt of six accolades

The Quiet Girl wins big at this year’s Irish Film & Television Awards
Comedian Deirdre O'Kane hosting the awards (© Virgin Media Television)

The winners of this year’s Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA) were revealed at a virtual ceremony broadcast by Virgin Media One and hosted by comedian Deirdre O’Kane on Saturday 12 March. The event saw the participation of prominent guests, such as Chris Pine, Colin Farrell, Michael Moore, Roma Downey and Fionnula Flanagan, as they presented awards to the likes of Ciarán Hinds, Jessie Buckley, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Moe Dunford.

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Without a doubt, it was a very good night for the cast and crew of Colm Bairéad’s touching coming-of-age drama The Quiet Girl [+see also:
film review
interview: Colm Bairéad
film profile
(Ireland), which scooped eight prizes in total after winning the Generation Kplus International Jury’s Grand Prize at the Berlinale last month. US actor Chris Pine handed out the Award for Best Film. In her emotional acceptance speech, the film’s producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, said: “I think this is a watershed moment for Irish-language cinema, and we're just so proud to be part of this.” Bairéad also took home the Award for Best Film Director, which was presented by Gabriel Byrne. Accepting the prize, Bairéad said: “Thank you, IFTA, for this extraordinary honour. Thanks to the Cine4 Scheme, which made our film possible, and to Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Thank you, guys, for believing in our quiet, little film that has a big heart.” Other accolades included Best Lead Actress for young newcomer Catherine Clinch, Best Cinematography for DoP Kate McCullough and Best Original Song for Stephen Rennicks.

Meanwhile, the drama series KIN (Ireland/Canada/UK) scooped six prizes, including Best Drama, Best Actress in a Drama for Clare Dunne, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for Ciarán Hinds and Best Drama Script.

The Award for Best Film Screenplay went to Kenneth Branagh for his work on his latest effort, Belfast [+see also:
film review
film profile
. Branagh gave an acceptance speech through his editor, Úna Ní Dhonghaíle: “My homeland gave me one hell of a story to tell and has been very patient in waiting for 50 years until I could tell it. People from up and down the island have responded with such deep-hearted appreciation to a story that it seems many of us share through our very own family experiences. I am deeply grateful for this recognition, and would also like to salute my fellow nominees and their incredible work. What an honour to have been in their company. Thank you, cinema-goers of Ireland, and thank you, IFTA.”

Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore presented the Award for Best Feature Documentary, which went to Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin’s Young Plato (UK/Ireland/France/Belgium) and was accepted by co-director McGrath. The feature charts the dream of headmaster Kevin McArevey and his dedicated, visionary team, illustrating how philosophy, critical thinking and pastoral care can empower and encourage children to see beyond the boundaries and limitations of their own community.

Commenting on the event, IFTA’s CEO, Áine Moriarty, stated: “Last night was a magical night of celebration for the Irish screen industry, with the wonderful Deirdre O’Kane welcoming our guests virtually from all around the world. Congratulations to all of our nominees and winners for your achievements in what has been a record-breaking year for the industry in Ireland.”

The IFTA Awards are backed by Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), Tourism Ireland and Virgin Media Television.

Here is the full list of this year’s winners:

Best Film
The Quiet Girl [+see also:
film review
interview: Colm Bairéad
film profile
- Colm Bairéad (Ireland)

Best Film Director
Colm Bairéad – The Quiet Girl

Best Film Script
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast [+see also:
film review
film profile

Best Lead Actor (Film)
Moe Dunford – Nightride (UK/France/USA)

Best Lead Actress (Film)
Catherine Clinch – The Quiet Girl

Best Supporting Actor (Film)
Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

Best Supporting Actress (Film)
Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter [+see also:
film review
film profile

Best Feature Documentary
Young Plato – Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin (UK/Ireland/France/Belgium)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
Nothing to Declare – Garret Daly (Ireland)

Best Short Film (Animation)
Fall of the Ibis King – Josh O’Caoimh and Mikai Geronimo (Ireland)

Rising Star
Colm Bairéad

Best Drama
KIN – Ciaran Donnelly and Peter McKenna (Ireland/Canada/UK)

Best Drama Director
Hannah Quinn – Vikings: Valhalla (Canada/Ireland/USA)

Best Drama Script
Peter McKenna – KIN

Best Lead Actor (Drama)
Sam Keeley – KIN

Best Lead Actress (Drama)
Clare Dunne – KIN

Best Supporting Actor (Drama)
Ciarán Hinds – KIN

Best Supporting Actress (Drama)
Maria Doyle Kennedy – KIN

Best Cinematography
Kate McCullough – The Quiet Girl

Best Costume Design
Kathy Strachan – Deadly Cuts (Ireland)

Best Hair and Make-up
Eileen Buggy, Audrey Doyle and Barrie Gower – The Green Knight [+see also:
film profile

Best Editing
John Murphy – The Quiet Girl

Best Production Design
Emma Lowney – The Quiet Girl

Best Sound
Steve Fanagan – Swan Song (USA)

Best Original Song
Stephen Rennicks – The Quiet Girl

Best VFX
Kevin Cahill and Eric Saindon – The Green Knight

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