Stars Gather to Celebrate Irish Talent at 2017 IFTA Awards Ceremony

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Stars Gather to Celebrate Irish Talent at 2017 IFTA Awards Ceremony

It has been a year of major Irish production activity, box office records, and this Saturday, April 8th, leading Irish talent will arrive home for the much-anticipated 2017 IFTA - Film & Drama Awards, when the unprecedented volume of high quality Irish productions have made every category tightly contested for the coveted Irish Academy Awards this year. 

IFTA-winning actress and comedienne Deirdre O'Kane takes the reins again as host of the Ceremony for the second year in a row, with the prestigious Awards Ceremony taking place at the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin, with the Lord Mayor in attendance.

Deirdre will be joined by a host of Irish stars and Guest Presenters at the glitzy Awards Ceremony, in association with the Irish Film Board and broadcast on RTÉ One.  This weekend the glamorous Red Carpet will see Irish stars grace the carpet in the most glorious Irish weather expected this year.

Guest Presenters taking to the stage on the night will be; Fionnula Flanagan, Ciarán Hinds, Stephen Rea, Amy Huberman, Jimmy Nesbitt, Colm Meaney, Patrick Bergin, Katheryn Winnick, David Hayman, Miriam O'Callaghan, Peter Coonan, Denise McCormack, Alexander Ludwig, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Owen McDonnell among others.

Up for key Awards on the night are IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Sir Michael Gambon, in recognition of his 50 years of superb film and television performances.

The Academy will honour the finest work from Ireland's top actors, directors, writers and filmmakers, with Nominees for this year's ceremony including; Jamie Dornan & Jason O'Mara (The Siege of Jadotville),  Ruth Negga (Loving, Preacher), Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans), Amy Huberman (Striking Out), Colm Meaney (The Journey), Tom Vaughan Lawlor (Trial of the Century),  Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Simone Kirby (Notes on Blindness), Mark O'Halloran (History's Future),  Brendan Gleeson (Trespass Against Us), Fiona Shaw (Out of Innocence), Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Moe Dunford (Vikings), Liam Aidan Turner (Poldark), Catherine Walker (A Dark Song), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Hilary Rose (The Young Offendersand newcomers Alex Murphy & Chris Walley (The Young Offenders) and Seána Kerslake & Charleigh Bailey (A Date for Mad Mary).

From the established to emerging talent, the line-up of creative leaders this year also sees six-time Oscar nominated writer/director Jim Sheridan (The Secret Scripture) share the category of Best Director Film with an exciting new wave of debut feature filmmakers; Rising Star Nominee Peter Foott (The Young Offenders), Darren Thornton (A Date for Mad Mary) and Richie Smyth (The Siege of Jadotville). Joining this esteemed group are Best Directors and Writer Nominees including Juanita Wilson (Tomato Red) and Gerard Barrett (Smalltown), Dathaí Keane (An Klondike), Anthony Byrne (Ripper Street), Ciaran Donnelly (Vikings) and last year's recipient Neasa Hardiman (Z: The Beginning of Everything).

Also attending will be the four IFTA Rising Star nominees. Selected by a special jury and sponsored by the Irish Film Board, the Rising Star Award is a unique IFTA Award in that it puts an international spotlight on Irish professionals who have not only honed their crafts in the formative years of their career - but who have also excelled in their respective fields. This year's nominees are The Young Offenders writer/director Peter Foott, Seána Kerslake, the young actress who has blossomed this year with her roles in A Date for Mad Mary (Darren Thornton) and Can't Cope, Won't Cope, Barry Keoghan who has grown from his early days in Love/Hate to Rebecca Daly's Mammal, the upcoming Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan) and The Light Thereafter (Konstantin Bojanov) and finally Patrick Gibson, who broke into the international acting scene with force on cult Netflix series The OA, with a second season, leading role in new sci-fi project The Darkest Minds and Property of the State yet to come.

The IFTA Film & Drama Awards will take place at the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin on Saturday, April 8th. The ceremony will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Tuesday, April 11th at 10:15pm.