Derry-set raucous, sassy comedy A Bump Along the Way was among the big winners at the 2019 Irish Film Festival London Awards.
The awards ceremony, held on Tuesday 12 November, in the grand Ballroom of the Irish Embassy in London, attracted a host of Irish creative talent including Laura Whitmore, Diarmaid Murtagh and Ros Hubbard.
The ceremony, hosted by the Irish Ambassador Adrian O’Neill, is a key part of the annual Irish Film Festival London (IFFL), the largest international festival of Irish film in the world.
A Bump Along the Way, a tenacious, heart-warming comedy about a middle-aged single mother who finds herself pregnant again, picked up the Best Feature Film Award, in association with HUNCH Poitin.
The film is directed by Shelley Love, produced by Louise Gallagher, and stars Derry born star Bronagh Gallagher (The Commitments, Pulp Fiction, The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Lola Petticrew (Here Are the Young Men and The Return of The Yuletide Kid).
The Suil Eile Award, in association with Corrigan’s of Mayfair, is the festival’s ‘wildcard’ award, presented every year to a film or a filmmaker that it is felt deserves recognition outside of the regular awards.
The award this year went to Extra Ordinary, directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. Extra Ordinary is a highly original comedic horror film about a small-town driving instructor with psychic powers.
The Best Documentary Award, in association with Tourism Ireland, was won by Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody.
This feature length film is an elegant and beautifully captured visual love poem to the city and its artistic legacy, and features contributions from Tommy Tiernan, Mike McCormack, Rita Ann Higgins, Róisín Seoighe, Noeline Kavanagh, Pádraic Reaney, Máirtín O’Connor. It is directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin and produced by Paddy Hayes.
The Best Short Film Award, run in association with Cara Personnel and CKO, was won by Cynthia, a drama set across one fraught evening among friends, which stars Moe Dunford, one of the rising names of Irish film and recently announced as a new patron for the IFFL.
Cynthia is directed by Jack Hickey and produced by Lara Hickey, who attended to receive their award on awards night.
For the second year running, the festival has teamed up with The Irish Jam team for the Best Irish Music Video Award, which this year went to the video for The Young People from the band Lankum and directed by Bob Gallagher.
The final award of the night was the Ros Hubbard Award for Acting.
This award is chosen and presented by the legendary casting director Ros Hubbard, who is a huge supporter of the IFFL and its original patron. She is responsible for the discovery of such acting talents as Colin Farrell, Jonathon Reese Meyers and Keira Knightley, and has cast films such as The Commitments, The Bourne Supremacy, Evita, Bloody Sunday and The Lord of the Rings.
Ros flew in from her home in Dingle to present the award personally to this year’s recipient, Laura Whitmore, who in turn flew from New York to receive it.
Wicklow born Laura is best known as a broadcaster who has worked for MTV Europe and ITV. She makes her acting debut in Sadhbh, an extraordinary short film, which she also wrote, about a young mother struggling to keep things together under challenging personal circumstances.
The Ros Hubbard award is becoming known for identifying new talent. Previous winners of the Acting award include The Young Offenders stars Chris Walley and Alex Murphy, Jacob McCarthy (The Drummer and the Keeper, AP Bio) and Sarah Greene (Rosie is a contemporary drama directed by Paddy Breathnach from a script by Roddy Doyle, and starring Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford., Dublin Murders).
The judges this year had a really tough time deciding on their final choices, just because of the sheer quality of the films. We are proud to once again be the showcase for such a brilliant and unique display of Irish screen talent here in the UK.”Kelly O’Connor, Founder and Director – IFFL,
All of the award-winning films feature in the line-up for the 2019 Irish Film London runs events through the year, including the film section of the St. Patrick's Day Festival with the Mayor of London and the annual Irish Film ... More Festival.
The festival, now in its ninth year, returns to its established home, the Regent Street Cinema, and runs from Wednesday 20 November to Sunday 24 November.
The opening night will be the UK premiere of Heyday, The Mic Christopher Story. Mic Christopher was a uniquely talented songwriter-singer who died, just as he was on the brink of a brilliant career. The opening night screening of the film will be followed by a short performance of Mic Christopher songs by Irish musician Gemma Hayes and friends.
For more details on the festival go to: www.irishfilmlondon.com