The 2018 Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Film and Drama Awards were held in Dublin earlier tonight, celebrating the last year in Irish film and scripted drama. Big winner on the night was Frank Berry’s Michael Inside which won Best Film.

Aisling Walsh’s Maudie picked up three award, including Best Director, International Actor for Ethan Hawke, and Production Design of John Hand. Walsh was the only woman nominated in the category and acknowledged the fact that she’d been successfully making films for the last 30 years. She also graciously the work of the men nominated in her category.

Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri also picked up three awards, Best Writer for McDonagh, International Film, and International Actress for lead Frances McDormand. McDonagh is currently in L.A. promoting the film ahead of Oscar season.

Similarily Saoirse Ronan, who won Best Actress – Film for Lady Bird, was absent as she is also in the depths of Oscar season.

Best Actor – Film went to John Connors who gave a memorable speech about making Cardboard Gangsters and the problems he faces in the industry as a Traveller.

First of all I want to thank the Academy, you’ve been brilliant. I want to thank Mark O’Connor, my brother-in-arms, who gave me my first shot at acting. Richie Bolger, our producer, who it could not have been made without. All cast and crew…too many to name. My family, the best family in the world. Our funders Egg Post Production, Filmbase, TV3, BAI, and the FilmBoard. Oh wait the Film Board didn’t fund us. They turned us down. They didn’t understand our approach. Will I suppose we just won awards all across the world and were the biggest box-office hit of the year. Not that that matters to me. But it matters to you and you can’t take that. As yo can see self-sabotage is my greatest quality.

Despite the fact that I can’t get an agent to represent me, and no filmmakers or casting directors will look past the fact that I am a Traveller, this is still a huge moment for me. Because 7 and a half years ago I was sitting in my house in Darndale, in a box bedroom in the darkness, contemplating suicide. That’s no messing. I thought that there was no way out. Until my brother Joe reached out to me and we talked for hours. He said that I needed something. I needed something to latch on to. Somewhere I could put this energy. And he suggested acting. And I don’t know why but it was just a light-bulb moment. I remember coming out of my first class at the Abbey, and walking down Abbey Street, and it was like walking on a cloud. I’d just discovered something. This world that I never knew existed called creativity and it saved my life. It really did. Our government is never going to do anything about the mental health crisis. Our reptilian, psychopathic government. Creativity can definitely be the mode to heal people. I’d like to dedicate this award to my father, who passed away 20 years ago this year through suicide. This is for you daddy!
John Connors – Best Actor (Film) – Cardboard Gangsters

Barry Keoghan was on hand to accept his award for Best Supporting Actor for The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Obviously a bit taken aback by the award his speech was short and exuberant. Victoria Smurfit was likewise taken aback by her win of Best Supporting Actress for The Lears. An emotional Smurfit gave an eloquent speech on her first IFTA win.

Emer Reynolds’ sublime documentary The Farthest was recipient of the George Morrison Award for Feature Documentary and also picked up Best Sound for Steve Fanagan and Kieran Horgan’s work on the film. Other technical awards went to Seamus McGarvey for his Cinematography on The Greatest Showman, the Oscar-nominated Consolata Boyle for Costume Design on Victoria and Abdul, Uná Ní Dhonghaíle for Editing Three Girls,  Clare Lambe and Sevlene Roddy for their Make-up and Hair on Into the Badlands, Stephen McKeon for the Original Music in Pilgrimage, and to Tailored Films and Bowsie Workshop for the VFX work in The Lodgers.

On the Drama side a strong night for women continued with Dearbhla Walsh winning Best Director for her work on US drama FargoGame of Thrones won Best Drama, while  Conor McPherson won Scriptwriter for Paula.

Acting awards went to Peaky Blinders stars Cillian Murphy for Actor in a leading role and Charlie Murphy for Actress in a supporting role. Caitriona Balfe took home Actress in a leading role for Outlander, with Game of Thrones‘ star Liam Cunningham winning Actor in a supporting role.

FILM NOMINATIONS

Feature film

Michael Inside

Director

Aisling Walsh for Maudie

Scriptwriter

Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actor in a leading role

John Connors in Cardboard Gangsters

Actress in a leading role

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

Actor in a supporting role

Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Actress in a supporting role

Victoria Smurfit in The Lears

George Morrison feature documentary

The Farthest

Live-action short

Wave

Animated short

Late Afternoon

International Film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

International Actor

Ethan Hawke for Maudie

International Actress

Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

DRAMA NOMINATIONS

Drama

Game of Thrones

Director

Dearbhla Walsh for Fargo

Scriptwriter

Conor McPherson for Paula

Actor in a leading role

Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

Actress in a leading role

Caitriona Balfe in Outlander

Actor in a supporting role

Liam Cunningham in Game of Thrones

Actress in a supporting role

Charlie Murphy in Peaky Blinders

CRAFT AND TECHNICAL NOMINATIONS

Cinematography

Seamus McGarvey for The Greatest Showman

Costume design

Consolata Boyle for Victoria and Abdul

Editing

Uná Ní Dhonghaíle for Three Girls

Make-up and hair

Clare Lambe and Sevlene Roddy for Into the Badlands

Original music

Stephen McKeon for Pilgrimage

Production design

John Hand for Maudie

Sound

Steve Fanagan and Kieran Horgan for The Farthest

VFX

Tailored Films and Bowsie Workshop for The Lodgers

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