The Dublin Film Critics’ Circle announced their annual list of awards over the weekend, naming Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake as the Best Film of 2016. There were plenty of Irish film and creative talent included in what is a diverse and interesting collection of films from 2016.

I, Daniel Blake’s win makes the first British film to triumph since the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle began awarding prizes in 2006 (unless you stretch the definition to include Gravity). It was a tight competition. Only a few votes separated the Loach film from Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. The positions were reversed in the best director race where Villeneuve beat Loach by just one point. Amy Adams easily won best actress for Arrival. Dave Johns took best actor for I, Daniel Blake. Villeneuve’s film also triumphed in the best screenplay race.

On the domestic front Darren Thornton’s brilliant A Date For Mad Mary, managed to beat John Carney’s Sing Street (nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this month) and Lenny Abrahamson’s Room (a multiple Oscar nominee) to the DFCC prize for best Irish film. Séana Kerslake, who plays the titular tearaway in Thornton’s film, blew away the competition in the best breakthrough category. She also tied for fourth in the Best Actress race with Kate Beckinsale, who shone in Whit Stillman’s Irish co-production Love & Friendship. Northern Irish DoP Seamus McGarvey was awarded Best Cinematography, for his work on Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. Colm Quinn’s Mattress Men, the emotional and uplifting story of two Dublin natives struggling to make a living, tied with the much celebrated Weiner for best documentary.

2016 proved to be a remarkable one for Irish film, as there have never been as many included in the list as this year. The lists encompass all films released in Irish cinemas in the calendar year 2016. Unfortunately Scannain did not have a representative on the Dublin Film Critics Circle this year, which is made up of the professional critics in the capital, but we have to say they made some fine choices.

Dublin Film Critics’ Circle Annual Poll 2016

Best Film

  1. I, Daniel Blake 
  2. Arrival 
  3. Hell or High Water
  4. Spotlight
  5. Anomalisa
  6. Son of Saul/Paterson/Captain Fantastic/Train to Busan/Room/The Witch/The Revenant

Best Director 

  1. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival 
  2. Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant
  3. Ken Loach, I, Daniel Blake
  4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  5. Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals/ Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Evolution

Best Irish Film

  1. A Date for Mad Mary 
  2. Sing Street
  3. Room
  4. Viva/The Young Offenders
  5. The Survivalist/Mammal

Best Documentary

  1. Weiner/ Mattress Men
  2. 66 Days: Bobby Sands
  3. Life, Animated
  4. Magnus/Beatles Eight Days a Week/ Atlantic
  5. Crash and Burn

Best Actor 

  1. Dave Johns, I, Daniel Blake 
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  3. Adam Driver, Paterson/ Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  4. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight/ Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul
  5. Vincent Lindon, The Measure of a Man/Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Best Actress

  1. Amy Adams, Arrival
  2. Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake 
  3. Brie Larson, Room
  4. Seana Kerslake, A Date for Mad Mary/ Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship
  5. Isabelle Huppert, Things to Come

Best Screenplay

  1. Eric Heisserer, Arrival
  2. Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  3. Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
  4. Whit Stillman, Love & Friendship
  5. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk/ Emma Donoghue, Room/ Matt Ross, Captain Fantastic

Best Cinematography

  1. Seamus McGarvey, Nocturnal Animals
  2. Emmanuel Lubeszki, The Revenant
  3. Bradford Young, Arrival
  4. Jarin Blaschke, The Witch
  5. Natasha Brier, The Neon Demon/ Mátyás Erdély, Son of Saul

Breakthrough Performance

IrishSeana Kerslake 

International – Hayley Squires

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