Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The 9th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards

The most glamorous night of the year hit the Convention Centre in Dublin last night, the 9th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards.

 I had the fantastic opportunity of covering the awards again this year and was thrilled to speak to the best and brightest in both the Irish and International Film Industry.  I caught up with Liam Cunningham, Dana Delany, Michael Fassbender, Fionnula Flanagan, Ruth Negga, Bressie, Ryan Tubridy, Charlene Mc Kenna and many more star’s who were enjoying the lavish ceremony. Sponsorship by Moet and Chandon champagne meant the stars were eager to dish out all their news, views and big aspirations for the future.

IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty gushed: “In what has been a wonderful night of celebration for the Irish film and television industry, IFTA is delighted to announce the winners of the 9th Irish Film & Television Awards. Ireland’s film and television industry continues to punch above its weight in terms of production values, creativity and entertainment and the outstanding achievements of Irish directors, writers, actors, television and film makers has been showcased here this evening. Many congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees”, she said.

I spoke to the legendary Fionnula Flanagan about her passionate romance of thirty years, her outstanding career, lifetime achievement award and the fact that even though she starred in American TV drama LOST she doesn’t have a clue if they were dead the entire time! In addition, the actress won a second IFTA for her supporting role as Brendan Gleeson’s mam in ‘The Guard’.
Flanagan explained that her husband has been so supportive throughout her entire career and winning the IFTA for ‘Life time achievement’ has in no way slowed her down, she is busier than ever working with Pat Shortt on a new project.

Click here to hear the full interview: http://soundcloud.com/lauramullett/interview-fionnula-flanagan

Desperate Housewives actress Dana Delany flew in for the IFTAs and arrived in style in her black trailing Prada gown. Delany was originally asked to play the part of Bree Van De Camp which she turned down three times. She admits she did regret this afterwards but was enthusiastic about playing Katherine Mayfair, a versatile complex character. Her gripping performance earned her an Emmy nomination. Delany assured me that her and Katherine are polar opposites.

Love/Hate picked up a staggering number of awards on the night. The RTE crime drama scooped a total of seven statues. Love/Hate actors Aidan Gillen, Denise McCormack and Tom Vaughan Lawlor received IFTAs for Actor Lead TV Drama, Actress Support TV Drama and Actor Support TV Drama respectively, with the series’ seventh IFTA going to editor Isobel Stephenson.
I spoke to dynamic Love/Hate actress Ruth Negga who was wearing a stunning Joanne Hynes gown. The talented young lady who scooped up Best Actress told us working with Robert Sheehan previously on Misfits and now on Love/Hate is very “funny” and that “he brings a fantastic energy to the set”. Negga recently starred as Shirley Bassey in a biographical depiction of her life and as she strutted down the red carpet she certainly mirrored her idol.

Irish talent working on international projects fared well at this year’s Awards Ceremony with friends Michael Fassbender on hand to accept the IFTA for Actor Lead Film for his outstanding performance in Steve McQueen’s Shame and his good friend Bridesmaids star Chris O’Dowd was presented with the award for Best Supporting Actor Film. Fassbender has great faith in the Irish Film Industry and homegrown talent. I questioned him about the fantastic fight scene in Haywire, filmed in The Shelbourne Hotel, and what kind of training and preparation was involved. The actor described said his training from the film 300 really stood to him and that he really enjoyed that racy violent scene with co star Gina Carano.

Bressie was only too keen to quash speculation that he is ‘in a relationship’ as he brought his sister along to the ceremony. He admits that he has high hopes for all his acts on The Voice and even though it seems like he and Kian Egan are at at eachother’s throats on the Irish talent show it’s mostly banter. He hopes they will be “grabbing a few pints soon”.
Bressie denied that Kian is his secret Valentine and says he is very much on the market. He seemed genuinely taken aback by all the female attention he has received since The Voice hit our screens. “There are times when I have turned my chair around on the voice and I am surprised by the sexuality of the contestant! There are also times where I have wished my chair could do a 360 spin around”, Bressie divulged.

After a fantastic night at the IFTAs I’m holding my breath until 2013. I have no doubt we should all be very excited for this year’s Irish film and television releases.

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