The winners of the IFTA awards, hosted by the Irish Film & Television Academy, were announced last week. I was delighted to be among the winners for my editing on ‘An Cailin Ciúin’. It’s a huge honour for me and I’m thrilled that my peers in the editing branch of the Academy chose to recognise me.
Groundbreaking Win for the Irish Language
Hollywood Leading Man Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman) presented the Best Film Award on the night, which went to An Cailín Ciúin, written and directed by Colm Bairéad. A historic milestone for the IFTA Awards, when an Irish language feature film has won Best Film. In her emotional acceptance speech, the film’s producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, who is married to the director, said “I think this is a watershed moment for Irish Language Cinema and we’re just so proud to be part of this.”
Chris Pine acknowledged the power of Irish storytelling: “I’ve long been a fan of Irish Storytelling, and I’ve had the pleasure of performing in Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore. I love your countryside, and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in Galway, the Aran Islands, and Dublin, and just recently I had the good fortune to do some filming in Antrim.”
He also praised the standard of Irish screencraft saying: “Throughout tonight, you have seen first-hand the incredible films and filmmakers you have in Ireland….I salute and congratulate all of you! “
Bairéad also took home the award for Best Director Film, which was presented by Irish acting Legend Gabriel Byrne. Accepting the award Bairéad said: “Oh my God! Wow! That’s amazing! Thank you IFTA for this extraordinary honour. Thanks to the Cine4 Scheme, which made our film possible, Screen Ireland, and the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland). Thank you guys for believing in our quiet little film that has a big heart.”
An Cailín Ciúin’s success continued when young debutante Catherine Clinchreceived the Best Lead Actress Film award from Marvel’s Daredevil and lead of Kin, Charlie Cox. An emotional Clinch, shocked by the win, was joined by her mother who said: “Catherine said there was absolutely no way she would win so she didn’t prepare anything as that would look cocky and there was no way. So thank you so much!”