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IFTA Releases Awards Highlights Online
22 Oct 2020 : News Desk
Deirdre O'Kane and Martin Scorsese at the Virtual IFTA Ceremony
The Virtual IFTA Awards was hosted by Deirdre O'Kane and Broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday October 18th.

Watch the IFTA Awards in full here 

Legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, announced the Best Irish Film Award for both 2019 & 2020: Winner of 2019 was Black ‘47, and Winner of 2020 was Ordinary Love.

Scorsese told the audience, “Little did we know what strange times lay ahead that we are witnessing now, and it appears to me that we are all having to reinvent cinema now, and that’s a good thing, it is.  Because now, more than ever, we need the moving image. We need vision, creativity and storytelling, that takes us on a journey and opens us, enlightens us, opens our hearts and our minds.... and there's something about Ireland and Irish storytelling that is universal, that connects with everyone in the world.  John Ford knew that, and I know that”.  

Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) spoke in Irish saying "Go mbeigh an fórsa libh" (May the Force be with you).  She presented the Best Actor in Film award to Tom Vaughan-Lawlor for his performance in Rialto who accepted the award from his living room couch with his wife and children. He gave a moving speech (punctuated by some lovely cameos from his son’s feet and his daughters’ typing skills). "Thank you to IFTA  for all the work they've done for the industry during the Lockdown. I'm very proud to be a member". "We all know how special Mark O’Halloran is, and he entrusting this part with me was a huge honour and ….I want to thank you for giving me one of the best gifts I've ever received as an actor.

Liam Neeson shared a very inspiring message just before Ireland enters LOCKDOWN again saying  “I'm thinking of you all back home right now and I know we are going through hard times, cruel times.  Many industries have been hurt, especially the film industry, but we will get through it; we must get through it. As a famous politician once said, ‘when you're going through hell, keep going’. To all our film-makers, young actors and actresses try and stay strong, stay creative. The work will come back again, and tonight we are going to celebrate how cool and how great a film industry we have in Ireland"

Neeson announced the winner of Best Actress - Film Award which went to Kerry native Jessie Buckey for Wild Rose Thank you so much, this is completely unexpected. I literally have just come in the front door, jumped in the shower andthrew a dress on myself…this is all so overwhelming.  Fiona Shaw! What the hell! You were my idol in RADA, you amazing, amazing woman.”  Buckley also won Best Supporting Actress - Drama for Chernobyl (presented to her by Robert Sheehan (Umbrella Academy) when she took time to thank Adi Roche for her tireless work with the children of Chernobyl. 

Caitriona Balfe star of Outlander announced the Award for Best Actor in a Drama and said, “I know we all miss the chance of being together on a night like this when the Irish Academy acknowledges and celebrates truly spectacular work that Irish filmmakers are achieving in front and behind the camera". 

Andrew Scott won Best Actor in a Drama for his role in Black Mirror: Smithereensjoining live from Dubrovnik where he's filming  “Oh, WOW thank you so much, everybody, that's incredible. Hello, Ireland. I miss you an incredible amount.  I feel bereft for not having been home for such a long time. This really makes me feel connected.”   He went on to make an impassioned plea for the Irish Arts saying “let's keep the arts going in whatever way we can and try and support it whenever we feel it's safe enough to do so. Because the arts are the most wonderful thing about our lives. And I'm so proud to be an Irish artist. So thank you and have a great night, people, wherever you are.”


Pierce Brosnan said "These are indeed strange times, and I am honoured to be part of this great Irish filmmaking community of storytellers, and people I so greatly admire. Hope you all continue to stay safe and well".  Pierce announced Niamh Algar as the winner of Best Supporting Actress - Film for Calm with Horses and the actress praised the increased representation of women on screen saying: “I got into acting because I wanted to bring representation to women on screen. And every female actress here tonight is doing that. And it makes me incredibly proud to be an Irish actress so thank you very much IFTA”. Ruth Negga presented the Best Supporting Actor Film award to David Wilmot for his performance in Ordinary Love. 

Game of Thrones Star Liam Cunningham announced Aisling Franciosi as the winner of the Screen Ireland Rising Star Award for her standout performance in The Nightingale.  She said, “this is actually a huge surprise and I'm honoured to be next to Niamh, Lee, Andy and Ryan. I'm always really proud of the work and the talent coming out of Ireland, and to get this award from home is really, really lovely”.

Chris O'Dowd had the home audience in stitches when he brought everyone on his quirky Guided Tour of Los Angeles, with little snippitts throughout the show when he visits Julia Roberts' house and Steven Spielberg's old appartment and others. He also presented the Award for Best Drama which went to Blood

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said:  "We in Ireland are now more than a location for international films.  Long renowned for our photogenic landscape, we are now also recognised as valuable and highly skilled partners. This evening, I salute and the Irish Film & Television Academy, an industry and a community to provide a platform for inventive, inspiring, artistically courageous creative development and collaboration across the entire industry on the whole island".

Paul Mescal of 'Normal People' fame & Daisy Edgar-Jones presented the awards for Best Short Film and Best Animated Short. The on-screen couple, who captured and broke the hearts of audiences around the world, pointed to the strength of Ireland’s Short Filmmakers with Edgar-Jones noting that Ireland has an incredible record with Short films with many IFTA nominees having gone on to Oscar Glory in the past. Mescal announced Welcome to a Bright White Limbo as this year’s winner. The award for Best Animated Short went to The Dream Report.

Dearbhla Walsh won best Director Drama for the Handmaids Tale which was presented by Amy Huberman who said "It’s exciting to see so many Irish women and men at the helm of hit international dramas and they have all brought their vision to bear for audiences across the globe

Paddy Breathnach won best Director Film for Rosie, a poignant film about the Housing crisis in Ireland.

IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty said:  “We are delighted with the success of the Virtual IFTA Awards and that we could deliver such an incredible showcase of work and creative talent coming out of Ireland.  This virtual format was unprecedented territory for Ireland so we've been overwhelmed with the positive response to what we have achieved, and just before lockdown in Ireland too. We are so grateful to Martin Scorsese and all of the other international actors and filmmakers who helped us to showcase this great talent ".

Winners of the IFTA Film & Drama Awards 2020

BEST FILM 2020        BEST FILM 2019
Ordinary Love              Black ‘47

DIRECTOR FILM 
Paddy Breathnach - Rosie 

SCRIPTWRITER FILM
Mark O’Halloran - Rialto

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - FILM
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor - Rialto

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - FILM
Jessie Buckley - Wild Rose 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - FILM
David Wilmot - Ordinary Love

ACTRESS SUPPORTING ROLE - FILM
Niamh Algar - Calm with Horses

GEORGE MORRISON FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid

SCREEN IRELAND RISING STAR
Aisling Franciosi

SHORT FILM – LIVE ACTION
Welcome to a Bright White Limbo

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The Dream Report

DRAMA
Blood

DIRECTOR – DRAMA
Dearbhla Walsh - The Handmaid’s Tale

SCRIPTWRITER – DRAMA
Mark O’Rowe - Temple

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - DRAMA
Andrew Scott - Black Mirror: Smithereens

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - DRAMA
Niamh Algar - The Virtues

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - DRAMA
Mark O’Halloran - The Virtues

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - DRAMA
Jessie Buckley - Chernobyl

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Piers McGrail - Never Grow Old

COSTUME DESIGN
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh - The Rhythm Section

EDITING
Mick Mahon - Gaza 

MAKEUP & HAIR
Liz Byrne & Linda Gannon - Black ‘47

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Kíla - Arracht

PRODUCTION DESIGN
John Leslie - Never Grow Old

SOUND
Brendan Rehill, Alan Scully & Peter Blayney  - Arracht

VFX
Ed Bruce & Nicholas Murphy - We Have Always Lived in the Castle

The IFTA Awards is funded by Screen Ireland, and also supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Virgin Media Television.





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