Belfast loses to Irish language film at the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards (Iftas)

Sir Kenneth Branagh’s multiple Oscar-nominated film was edged out by an Irish-language film at the Irish Academy of Film and Television (Ifta) awards at a ceremony this weekend.

n Cailin Ciuin (The Quiet Girl) won Best Picture and Best Director, while 12-year-old star Catherine Clinch won Best Actress for her performance in the adaptation of Claire’s Foster story Keegan.

Branagh’s film Belfast didn’t go home empty-handed, however, winning Best Screenplay.

Ciaran Hinds also picked up Best Supporting Actor for his role as young Buddy’s grandfather, as well as another award for his win for detective series Kin in the TV awards section. .

Belfast-born Hinds accepted his award virtually, from “a car through the back streets of London”, and singled out his Belfast manager for his praise.

“Even though the story was about Ken’s childhood, it was also the story of my childhood, the people I knew, the community and the wonderful, ironic and stoic people of Northern Ireland” , did he declare.

A thriller filmed in Belfast for the Netflix streaming platform also received an award, with Moe Dunford winning best actor for his role as a thug.

Directed by Bafta-nominated Stephen Fingleton, Nightride is also set in the city.

Dunford stars as Budge, a man trying to deal with a dangerous loan shark played by Stephen Rea.

An Cailin Ciuin producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, speaking alongside director Colm Bairead, described their award as “a watershed moment for Irish-language cinema”.

“We’re so proud to be a part of this,” she said.

The film also won for Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, and Original Score, and Bairead won the Rising Stars category.

Oscar nominee Jessie Buckley won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a young mother in The Lost Daughter, a film adapted from Elena Ferrante on Netflix.

The Ifta ceremony took place virtually and was hosted by comedian Deirdre O’Kane, while other stars presented prizes to the winners remotely. Chris Pine, who recently played Captain Kirk in Star Trek, was on screen to announce Best Picture.

“I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in Galway, the Aran Islands and Dublin, and just recently had the chance to shoot in Antrim,” he noted.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine was also recognized at the ceremony.

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