A Night for Irish Film and Television

The Cast of Moone Boy, with star and co-writer Chris O'Dowd, at the 2013 IFTAs.
The Cast of Moone Boy, with star and co-writer Chris O'Dowd, at the 2013 IFTAs.

By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
February 11, 2013

The 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards.

This past weekend, the Irish Film and Television Awards brought well-deserved recognition to many of Ireland’s top television programs and films, many of which are largely unknown outside of the island.

The ceremony, held at Dublin’s Convention Center, was hosted by actor and director Simon Delaney. Its primetime broadcast on RTÉ 1 received record ratings, with 40% of the night’s total viewership – 1.2 million total viewers, averaging out to almost 600,000 viewers throughout the two hour show.

There were two big winners at the awards, the film What Richard Did and the TV series Love/Hate, nearly sweeping the film and Television Drama categories respectively.

What Richard Did, a movie about the elite and wealthy children of the Celtic Tiger living in Dublin, won five IFTAs, including Best Film, Best Director for Lenny Abrahamson (who also directed the previous IFTA winner Garage), Best Actor in Film Jack Reynor, and Best Script, penned by Malcom Campbell.

The RTÉ television drama Love/Hate also featured prominently as envelopes were opened, ending the evening with six IFTAs.  Winning Best TV Drama over popular shows like Game of Thrones and The Borgias, Love/Hate is a relatively new series about the criminal underground of modern Dublin. Additionally, the show also garnered awards for David Caffrey for Direction, Stuart Carolan for Script, Tom Vaughn Lawlor for Best Actor in a TV Drama, Charlie Murphy for Best Actress in a TV Drama, and Susan Loughnane for Best Supporting Actress.

There were of course other notable winners perhaps more familiar to American audiences.

In the category for Best Irish Language Film, Lón sa Spéir came out on top. The film, in English titled “Men at Lunch,” documents the story of Matty O’Shaughnessy and Patrick (Sonny) Glynn, two Irish immigrants who were among the construction workers photographed eating lunch on a steel beam during the construction of the GE Building in Charles C. Ebbets’s iconic 1932 photograph “Lunch atop a Skyscraper.”

Dublin native Andrew Scott won the award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama for his role as Moriarty in the highly-acclaimed BBC series Sherlock.

Domhnall Gleeson also left happily with an IFTA for Best Supporting Actor in a Film for his work in Anna Karenina. Gleeson is the son of actor Brendan Gleeson and is well-known for his role as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter series, and as an outlaw in the Coen Brothers’ remake of True Grit. Anna Karenina also brought IFTA recognition to Seamus McGarvey, who won the award for Director of Photography for the film.

Not surprisingly, Wexford resident Daniel Day-Lewis won Best International Actor for his role as the titular Lincoln, but Boston’s own Ben Affleck was there to see his movie Argo win for best International Film. Marion Cotillard also took home an IFTA for Best International Actress for her portrayal of an orca whale trainer in the French-Belgian film De Rouille et d’Os (US title: Rust and Bone).

Finally, the Irish television program When Ali Came to Ireland won the award for best Sports program. The documentary covers the visit of Muhammad Ali to Dublin to fight Al “Blue” Lewis at Croke Park. Incedentally, Ali’s Irish boxing connection is currently part of a renound exhibition titled “The Fighting Irishmen: Celebrating Celtic Prizefighters 1820 to Present,” on display at the McClelland Irish Library in downtown Phoenix through March.

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