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11/01/2008

IFTA Announce Nominees For Fifth Annual Irish Film & Television Awards

The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) has announced the shortlist of nominees in 33 strongly contested categories for the fifth Annual Irish Film and Television Awards, taking place on Sunday February 17 at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.
The number of submissions rose again this year, reflecting the growing expertise of Irish people working in the film and television industry – at home and abroad.
Tom Collins’ Irish language feature film 'Kings' has received a royal reception with a total of 14 nominations from the Academy leading the shortlist, followed closely by Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage with 11.
Both features will compete for the top Film Award alongside the Jane Austen biopic 'Becoming Jane', Richard Attenborough’s Northern Irish shot 'Closing the Ring' and Paddy Breathnach’s horror hit 'Shrooms'.
'Kings' and 'Garage' are also nominated in the Director, Script, Costume and Production Design categories amongst others with the films’ stars Colm Meaney and Pat Shortt both named among the Lead Actor nominees. Also up for the Lead Actor award are Cillian Murphy (Sunshine), Gabriel Byrne (Jindabyne) and Hugh O’Conor (Speed Dating).
In the hotly contested Television categories TG4’s Irish language series 'The Running Mate' has received eight nominees, as has TV3’s prime time period drama The Tudors. Both titles also have strong acting nominations from the Academy including Denis Conway and Don Wycherley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers for the prestigious for Lead Actor Award.
'Garage' director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Mark O’Halloran prove their skills across the film and television divide with a second nomination each in the Director TV and Script for Television categories respectively for the gritty RTE drama Prosperity, which garnered a total of five nominations.
Also picking up dual nominations are actors Don Wycherley, with nominations for Supporting Actor Film & Lead Actor Television, and last year’s Best Actress winner Fionnula Flanagan, who is shortlisted for her lead role in Brotherhood and supporting role in 'Paddywhackery'. 'The Clinic' actresses Amy Huberman and Dawn Bradfield and 'The Tudors' actress Maria Doyle Kennedy also made the cut for Supporting Actress.
In the Supporting Actress Film category, newcomer Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) and Strength & Honour actress Gail Fitzpatrick both receive their first IFTA nominations this year alongside previous IFTA winner Anne Marie Duff (Garage) and previous IFTA nominee Elaine Cassidy (And When Did you Last See Your Father). Other first time IFTA nominees include the young cast members of Prosperity Siobhan Shanahan and Leroy Harris, veteran actor Michael Gambon (Celebration) and actor turned writer/director Stuart Townsend (Battle in Seattle).
Entertainment is packed with season comedy favourites with Dan & Becs, Killinaskully and The Podge and Rodge Show, looking to take home gold this year. However, they’ll face tough competition from the Naked Camera crew, who will hope to make it two for two having scooped the top award in February 2007. Single Documentary titles include the much talked about 'At Home with the Cleary’s' and 'Ireland’s Nazis', along with Cathal Blacks’ 'The Undertaking', 'Bloody Sunday – A Derry Diary', 'Get Collins' and 'Joe Strummer: The Future in Unwritten'.
Aine Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA), which organises the event said: "It has been another strong year for Irish talent with world-class Irish production and IFTA Academy Members have selected titles across a very interesting mix of genres and styles with the Irish language a strong feature coming through this year across both film & television. I would like to wish all Nominees the very best of luck and look forward to a great industry celebration at this our 5th IFTA Awards Ceremony."
The ceremony on February 17 will be broadcast primetime ‘as live’ on RTÉ One at 9.30pm.
Further details are available from the Irish Film & Television Awards website www.ifta.ie
(SP)
VMI.TV Ltd

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