Congratulations to the Irish Award Winners at Newport Beach Film Festival

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Congratulations to the Irish Award Winners at Newport Beach Film Festival

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) congratulates the Irish award winners at the 18th annual Newport Beach Film Festival.  With Irish film taking centrestage at the festival thanks to its Irish Spotlight event, major IFB-funded award winners included Irish/Scottish co-production Moon Dogs, Sanctuary, Second to None and A Date for Mad Mary.

Directed by Philip John, Moon Dogs was the recipient of Best Film in the 2017 Jury Awards with film’s star Jack Parey Jones taking home the accolade for Best Actor. The film, which centres on two teenage step-brothers who are joined by a free-spirited Irish girl (Tara Lee) on a wild road trip that will change their lives forever, was produced by Ripple World Pictures and Up Helly Aa. Len Collin was awarded Best Director in the Jury Awards for Sanctuary; a film set in a world of people with intellectual disabilities. A touching and funny love story about Larry and Sophie who long to be together in a world that does everything to keep them apart, Sanctuary is produced by Edwina Forkin at Zanzibar Films.

Following its highly acclaimed screening the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, Vincent Gallagher’s Second to None scooped the Best Animated Short Film. A black comedy in stop motion about world’s second oldest man, the animated short was produced by Damian Farrell at Caboom.

Seána Kerslake was named in the 2017 Festival Honors for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking for her performance in Darren Thornton’s A Date for Mad Mary. The film tells the story of 'Mad’ Mary McArdle returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison—for something she’d rather forget.  Back home, everything and everyone has changed.  Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honour.  When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn't find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong.  Her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone … until she meets Jess and everything changes. A Date for Mad Mary was produced by Ed Guiney and Juliette Bonass for Element Pictures.

Overall, the Newport Beach Film Festival celebrated outstanding contribution to global cinema, reviewing more than 2,500 films, screening over 350 films and representing 50 countries.