Congratulations to The Hollywood Reporter’s Ten Irish Rising Stars to Watch

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Congratulations to The Hollywood Reporter’s Ten Irish Rising Stars to Watch

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board congratulates The Hollywood Reporter’s Ten Irish Rising Stars to Watch as the industry bible celebrates some of the brightest and most creative names in Irish filmmaking. From directors and actors to producers and cinematographers, the list is a bravura display of talent and a testament to the strength and acclaimed reputation of Ireland’s film, television and animation industry.

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The Hollywood Reporter’s Ten Irish Rising Stars to Watch are:

Peter Foott
Director-writer, The Young Offenders


The Young Offenders — Foott’s low-budget debut feature about a couple of hapless Cork teens chasing a lost bale of cocaine washed up on the coast — was a smash hit last year, becoming 2016’s biggest local film at the box office (and the fastest ever to pass 1 million euros). It was snatched up by Netflix and spawned a BBC TV adaptation, which the 41-year-old is currently shooting. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Aoife McArdle
Director-writer, Kissing Candice

Already a highly respected name in commercials and music videos — most notably the critically acclaimed 13-minute short for U2’s "Every Breaking Wave" and Bryan Ferry’s "Loop Di Li" — Omagh-born McArdle made the leap to feature films with her TIFF-debuting Kissing Candice, an unconventional love story and coming-of-age drama — which she also wrote — set in a seaside town along Ireland’s north/south border. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

David Freyne
Director-writer, The Cured

After a number of award-winning shorts, Freyne, 35, landed Ellen Page and Sam Keeley for his directorial debut The Cured, a zombie horror-thriller that unfolds in the aftermath of a devastating virus where the infected can be cured and reintegrated into society. The film bowed as a special presentation in Toronto, earning solid reviews and picking up in a North American distributor in IFC. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Nora Twomey
Director, The Breadwinner

After working on Oscar-nominated animated features Song of the Sea and Secret of Kells with Cartoon Saloon (which she co-founded), Twomey’s directorial debut The Breadwinner — about a headstrong young Afghan girl and based on a beloved novel — looks likely to follow a similar path to the Academy Awards. Coming with A-list support from executive producer Angelina Jolie, the film was a critical hit after premiering in Toronto. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Emer Reynolds
Director, The Farthest

The Grierson Awards-nominated feature documentary director and multi-award-winning editor saw her doc debut Here Was Cuba — described by The Hollywood Reporter as a "real-life end of the world thriller" — screen at festivals worldwide. And Reynolds' latest film, The Farthest, telling the ongoing story of the Voyager space mission, scooped three awards — including the audience award — at the Dublin Film Festival, screened at Tribeca and was picked up for broadcast by PBS. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Andrew Freedman
Producer, Kissing Candice, His & Hers

After half a decade producing shorts, Freedman, 36, broke into the feature world with the acclaimed and imaginative doc His & Hers, a 90-year-old love story told through the collective voices of 70 ladies at different stages of their lives. His latest feature, the searing and atmospheric coming-of-age drama Kissing Candice, directed by fellow rising name Aoife McArdle and produced via Freedman's own Dublin-based Venom Films banner, debuted in Toronto's Discovery section in September. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Piers McGrail
Cinematographer, The Cured

After several years shooting shorts, music videos and commercials, McGrail, 31, filmed his first feature Kelly + Victor in 2011. The drama would go on to earn a BAFTA for outstanding debut. Since then, McGrail has been behind the lens for features such as Glassland, starring Toni Collette and Will Poulter, and, more recently, the PBS/BBC TV miniseries Little Women. His latest film, the Toronto-bowing post-apocalyptic zombie drama The Cured, starred Ellen Page and was acquired by IFC. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Alan Maher
Producer, Song of Granite

In producing SXSW-bowing doc/feature hybrid Song of Granite, Maher, 44, helped bring the dramatic life of legendary Irish sean nós (old style) folk singer Joe Heaney to the big screen. The film has since been selected as Ireland’s submission for the  foreign-language Oscar race. Maher also exec-produced this year’s doc Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor
Actor, The Cured, MAZE, Avengers: Infinity War

Although Vaughan-Lawlor received positive reactions for his turn in zombie horror flick The Cured, has the real-life prison escape thriller Maze coming up. This year also sees him star in acclaimed Brit indie Daphne, and the future for this 39-year-old already seems secure: He’s set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)

Kate McCullough
Cinematographer, The Farthest

A Sundance winner in 2010 for her cinematography on the documentary His & Hers, and with awards already under her belt for Mummy’s Little HelperOut of the Blue and Hibernation, McCullough, 36, recently earned high praise for The Farthest — recounting the story of NASA’s ongoing Voyager space mission. (Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter)