The Irish Film and Television Awards on April 5th is set to be a star-studded affair as the Academy has announced that Irish directors Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan will be in attendance, as well as local hero Colm Meaney, British actors Steve Coogan, Jeremy Irons, and Jack Huston, and Hollywood star Will Forte.
This years nominees are also a heady cast of Irish cinema icons with Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Dornan, Eva Birthistle, Colin Farrell, Andrew Scott, Amy Huberman, Liam Cunningham, Fionnula Flanagan, Brendan Gleeson, Victoria Smurfit, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Domhnall Gleeson and Deirdre O’Kane all up for awards.
Former Minister for Arts, and currrent President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is set to receive an honorary award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Irish film and television industry.
Higgins was responsible for the implementation of a wide range of initiatives from tax incentives to training, and the re-establishment of the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., which led to an injection of investment and the creation of thousands of jobs. He is also well recognised as a patron of the Arts, and acts as a spokesperson for the industry in his Presendential role.
The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) is an all-Ireland organisation with a Membership of 1,240 individuals across 14 Chapters of Discipline. president Aine Moriarty stated: [quote]The academy is proud to pay tribute to President Higgins, who has shown the Irish industry unwavering support over many years as a creative artist in his own right, as the Minister for Arts, a dynamic leader, and as President of Ireland.[/quote]
The Awards ceremony, which is presented by Simon Delaney and Laura Whitmore, will take place in The Doubletree by Hilton, Burlington Road, Dublin 4 on Saturday April 5th. The full list of nominations can be found here.