The top award of Best Film went to Darren Thornton’s debut feature starring Seána Kerslake in the leading role last Saturday, April 8th.
Deirdre O’Kane presented the award to the cast and crew on behalf of the Irish Academy to a roaring applause.
Charleigh Bailey also took home the award for Best Supporting Actress in Film, for her portrayal of bride Charlene. Her award was the first of the night as was presented by ‘The Secret’ actor James Nesbitt.
‘A Date for Mad Mary’ is written by Colin Thornton and Darren Thornton, and produced by Juliette Bonass and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures.
IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty:
"What a triumph for this great team of filmmakers, to win the Irish Academy’s Best Film Award, and especially from debut feature Director Darren Thornton, with a script co-written with his brother Colin and wonderful performances from IFTA Nominee Seána Kerslake and Supporting Actress Winner Charleigh Bailey - 'A Date for Mad Mary’ epitomises the vibrant new wave of young filmmakers in Ireland today.”
Best Supporting Actress IFTA Winner Charleigh Bailey:
“I’m delighted with the IFTA win and to be among such superb Irish talent and once again proves the abundance of talent we have in this country, it's just astounding. It was very overwhelming but such a wonderful night and so delighted 'A Date for Mad Mary' then won Best film. We've all become so close and hopefully lifelong friends. Charlene has been such an incredible character for me to portray and 'A Date for Mad Mary' has been such an amazing journey for us all and I'm so honoured to be part of such a special film.”
Colin Thornton, Scriptwriter:
“We're thrilled that 'A Date for Mad Mary' has been honoured with two IFTA wins for Best Film and Best Supporting Actress. We had an incredible experience working on the film and we're so proud of the work everyone did and what we've achieved together.”
Juliette Bonass, Producer & Emma Thornton, Executive Producer:
“We’re thrilled to pieces. It was such a tough night and there was so many great films we had no idea we were going to win, so we are beside ourselves!...Every single person worked so incredibly hard on the film and we are just really happy that everyone gets rewarded…For a first feature, a debut film to be recognised as the best film against people like Jim Sheridan is huge, its brilliant!”