IFTA 2021: Nominations Announced for the Irish Academy Awards
The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTAThe Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) is an all-Ireland organisation with a Membership of 1,240 individuals across 14 Chapters of Discipline. More) has announced the 2021 IFTA Nominations for the Irish Academy Awards across 25 categories in Film and Drama.
The 2021 virtual IFTA Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday July 4th. Further details about the show and international guest presenters will be announced shortly. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no physical IFTA Awards Ceremony until March 2022, in keeping with Covid guidelines and best international practice.
Over the past few months during lockdown, the Irish Academy Members have been busy viewing, deliberating, and shortlisting the very best work from across great Irish films, performances, and achievements.
Nominations have been shortlisted by Irish Academy Members alongside a specialist Jury panel of industry experts from around the world.
This year’s Nominations are an incredible reflection of the high-calibre talent of Irish filmmakers, who are producing world-class standards of production and storytelling on screen. The Irish Academy is proud to showcase and acknowledge their great achievements. This past year and a half has been difficult for everyone across the globe, and it’s heartening now to see things opening back up, including our Cinemas nationwide, and we urge everyone to go see this incredible array of movies on the big screen near you.
Cinema is above all a communal experience and we are looking forward to bringing Ireland’s world class screen community together with audiences to engage and to celebrate the very best in Irish Film & Television excellence.
Aine Moriarty, IFTA CEO
The Best Film Nominees 2021
The Best Film 2021Nominees are: Paddy Slattery’s debut feature Broken Law, an electrifying thriller focusing on two brothers on opposite sides of the law that crackles with energy; Dating Amber, David Freyne’s uncompromising yet hilarious LGBTQ coming-of-age tale set in 90’s Ireland, led by the irresistible chemistry of its leads; Herselfin which Phyllida Lloyd directs lead actress Clare Dunne’s script, balancing female grit and steel with warmth and tenderness to deliver an inspiring and hopeful tale; Vivarium Lorcan Finnegan’s ingenious and relentless sci-fi horror, that delivers thrills and scares and keen social commentary with equal aplomb; Cathy Brady’s debutWildfire,a powerful and occasionally shocking exploration of a unique sisterly bond, deftly explored through the incredible chemistry and performances of Nora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan, in what would tragically be her final performance; and Wolfwalkers,Cartoon Saloon’s gorgeous and profound animated Celtic fable, executed with a uniquely Irish style to convey a universal and timeless message of empathy and friendship.
The Best Drama Nominees 2021
The Best Drama Nominees are: Blood whose second season is a beautifully shot thriller, perfectly engineered to once again hook viewers with its array of twists, shocks and cliff-hangers; Dead Still about the Victorian tradition of photographing the dead that ably mixes period crime thriller with brilliant Irish comedy sensibilities; Line of Duty continues to deliver the plot twists, fast-paced intrigue and top-notch performances at the high-standard that has enthralled mystery-loving audiences the world over; Normal People, the heart-breakingly authentic adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel that explored love, sex, and class in Ireland through a pair of lead performances that resonated around the world; Smother a uniquely Irish whodunnit that expertly deals out red herrings and clues while effortlessly balancing a large cast of memorable characters: and Vikings whose final season delivered a fitting conclusion to an epic, complicated, and emotional saga, that drew legions of fans the world over.
Lead Acting Categories
Across the Acting categories Irish Actresses have excelled in film and drama both at home and abroad. The Best Actress Film nominees are Clare Dunne for Herself which she co-wrote and stars in, Jessie Buckley in celebrated director Charlie Kaufman’s surreal I’m Thinking of Ending Things,Lola Petticrew for her iconic performance as the title character in Dating Amber, and both Nora-Jane Noone and the late Nika McGuigan for their electrifying performances in Wildfire.
The Best Actress Drama category, meanwhile, sees last year’s IFTA Screen IrelandFís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. Rising Star winner Aisling Franciosi nominated for her role in recent update of Black Narcissus, as is Catherine Walker for her brilliant performance as Roisín in Lisa McGee’s The Deceived (Derry Girls creator), Dervla Kirwin for her role as Val, devoted matriarch of the Ahern family in the thrilling Smother, Eve Hewson for her standout performance as the troubled Adele in Netflix’s hit, twist-filled series Behind Her Eyes, and last year’s double IFTA-winning NiamhAlgar for her role in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi hit Raised by Wolves.
Irish Actors too have reached audiences the world over with their roles in film and television. The Best Actor Film Category sees legendary actor Ciarán Hinds nominated for his brilliant performance in the whimsical and playful The Man in the Hat, Fionn O’Shea for his layered and endearing performance in Dating Amber (he is also nominated for his supporting role in Normal People for his role as one of the great Irish villains), Gabriel Byrne is nominated for his outstanding lead performance as an aging, womanising professor who starts hallucinating Leonard Cohen musical numbers in Death of a Ladies Man, Moe Dunford’s literal powerhouse performance as a rogue cage fighter in Knuckledust sees him nominated, while Tristan Heanue’s debut lead performance as a guard torn between duty and family in Broken Law earns him his first acting nomination.
The Lead Actor Drama category is similarly wall-to-wall with talent as Adrian Dunbar sees his celebrated turn as DI Alex Ridley in Line of Duty earn him another nomination, Brendan Gleeson’ s unlikely but resounding performance as Donald Trump sees him nominated for his role in The Comey Rule, James Nesbitt’s powerful turn as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Brannick in the Neo-Noir Bloodlands earns him a Lead Actor nomination, as does Michael Smiley’s performance as the macabrely funny Brock Blennerhasset in Dead Still; and Normal People’s Paul Mescalearns his first nomination for the performance as Connell who’s emotional journey (not to mention chain and GAA shorts combo) captured and broke hearts around the world.’
Supporting Acting Categories
The Supporting Actress Film Category sees Ally Ni Chiarain nominated for her role as mother to the estranged brothers in Broken Law, Derry Girls’ Kathy Kiera Clarke for her role as Katie in A Bend in the River, 12-year-old Molly McCannfor her role in Herself, Saoirse Ronan for her role as Kate Winslett’s love interest in Francis Lee’s Ammonite, and Sharon Horgan for her turn as Eddie’s mum in Dating Amber.
In Supporting Actress Drama Category Fiona Shaw is nominated for her performance as an MI6 agent in Killing Eve, Derry Girl Nicola Coughlan for her role in the Netflix smash Bridgerton, Sarah Greene for her star turn in Normal People and both Seána Kerslake andGemma-Leah Devereux for their roles as Grace and Anna Ahern in Smother.
In the Supporting Actor FilmCategoryBarry Ward is nominated for his role as Eddie’s armyman dad in Dating Amber, Briain Gleeson for his role as Gabriel Byrne’s character’s father in Death of a Ladies Man, Colm Meanie for his turn as a likable Sligo crime boss in Pixie, Conleth Hill for his role as helpful handyman Aido in Herself, and Ned Dennehy for his performance as the sociopathic Harry in sci-fi film Undergods.
The Supporting Actor Drama Category sees Andrew Scott nominated for his role in BBC’s hit adaptation of His Dark Materials, Colm Meaney as the gangland patriarch in Gangs of London, Éanna Hardwicke for his breakout role in Smother, and both Desmond Eastwood for his breakout role as Connell’s friend and flatmate Niall and . Fionn O’Shea as the bitter and sadistic Jamie in in Normal People
George Morrison Feature Documentary Award
The nominees for the George Morrison Feature Documentary Award are: Breaking Out,Michael McCormack’s emotionally powerful and intimate portrait of late Irish musician Fergus O’Farrell (Interference); Gabriel Clarke& Pete Thomas’ Finding Jack Charltonan incredibly moving documentary about the Englishman who became an Irish Legend, with obvious love for the man, his life and his enduring legacy; Henry Glassie: Field Workin which celebrated director Pat Collins follows the titular legendary folklorist as he takes a considered look at the working methods of the folk artists he reveres; Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away,Emer Reynalds’ poignant, poetic and loving portrait of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott and his incredible legacy; The 8thAideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy & Maeve O’Boyle’s passionate, skilfully executed and deeply moving documentary on the seminal campaign to repeal the 8th amendment; and Gillian Marsh & Gretta Ohle’sTomorrow is Saturday, a disarming yet intimate portrait of the life and work of Irish collage artist Sean Hillen, as he sets out to declutter and make sense of his life.
See also the Best Short film and Best Short Animation Nominees below:
Across all Film Categories and including craft and technical, Dating Amber has 8 nominations, Herself has 6 nominations. Wildfire, Vivarium, and Broken Law all have 5 nominations each while animated Feature Wolfwalkers has 3, as does Here are the Young Men and Gretel & Hansel.
In Drama Normal People has received 15 nominations, while Smother has 11, and Dead Still has 6.
In Acting categories, Colm Meaney has 2 nominations for Gangs of London and Pixie, as does Fionn O’Shea for Dating Amber and Normal People, while Clare Dunne has 2 nominations, nominated both for Leading Actress Film and Script Film for her work on Herself. Wildfire has 2 lead actress nominations for both Nika McGuigan and Norah Jane Noone, while Normal People and Smother have 4 acting nominations each.
Official 2021 IFTA Nominees (below)
Cathy BradyCathy Brady is a two-time IFTA-winning director from Newry, Co. Down best known for her work on Can't Cope, Won't Cope and upcoming feature Wildfire. More – Wildfire
David Freyne – Dating Amber
Lorcan Finnegan – Vivarium
Paddy Slattery – Broken Law
Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart – Wolfwalkers
Cathy Brady – Wildfire
Clare Dunne & Malcolm Campbell – Herself
David Freyne – Dating Amber
Paddy Slattery – Broken Law
Will Collins – Wolfwalkers
LEAD ACTOR FILM
Ciarán Hinds – The Man In The Hat
Fionn O’Shea – Dating Amber
Gabriel Byrne – Death of a Ladies Man
Moe Dunford – Knuckledust
Tristan Heanue – Broken Law
LEAD ACTRESS FILM
Clare Dunne – Herself
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Lola Petticrew – Dating Amber
Nika McGuigan – Wildfire
Nora-Jane Noone – Wildfire
SUPPORTING ACTOR FILM
Barry Ward – Dating Amber
Brian Gleeson – Death of a Ladies Man
Colm Meaney – Pixie
Conleth Hill – Herself
Ned Dennehy – Undergods
SUPPORTING ACTRESS FILM
Ally Ni Chiarain – Broken Law
Kathy Kiera Clarke – A Bend in the River
Molly McCann – Herself
Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite
Sharon Horgan – Dating Amber
Blood Season 2
Line of Duty Season 6
Vikings Season 6
Dathaí Keane – Smother
Dearbhla Walsh – Fargo
Imogen Murphy – Dead Still
Lenny Abrahamson – Normal People
Steve St. Leger – Vikings Season 6
Declan Lawn & Adam Patterson – The Salisbury Poisonings
John Morton – Dead Still
Kate O’Riordan – Smother
Lisa McGee – The Deceived
Sally Rooney – Normal People
LEAD ACTOR DRAMA
Adrian Dunbar – Line of Duty Season 6
Brendan Gleeson – The Comey Rule
James Nesbitt – Bloodlands
Michael Smiley – Dead Still
Paul Mescal – Normal People
LEAD ACTRESS DRAMA
Aisling Franciosi – Black Narcissus
Catherine Walker – The Deceived
Dervla Kirwan – Smother
Eve Hewson – Behind Her Eyes
Niamh Algar – Raised By Wolves
SUPPORTING ACTOR DRAMA
Andrew Scott – His Dark Materials
Colm Meaney – Gangs of London
Desmond Eastwood – Normal People
Éanna Hardwicke – Smother
Fionn O’Shea – Normal People
SUPPORTING ACTRESS DRAMA
Fiona Shaw – Killing Eve
Gemma-Leah Devereux – Smother
Nicola Coughlan – Bridgerton
Sarah Greene – Normal People
Seána Kerslake – Smother
Documentary & Short Film Categories
Finding Jack Charlton
Henry Glassie: Field Work
Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away
Tomorrow is Saturday
Five Letters To The Stranger Who Will Dissect My Brain
Kathleen Was Here
My Other Suit Is Human
The Invisible Boy
Gunter Falls in Love
The Dead Hands of Dublin
Zog and the Flying Doctors
Cathal Watters – Smother
Ciaran Tanham – Dead Still
James Mather – Here are the Young Men
Kate McCullough – Normal People
Suzie Lavelle – Normal People
Aisling Wallace Byrne – Here are the Young Men
Joan O’Clery – Dating Amber
Leonie Prendergast – Gretel & Hansel
Lorna Marie Mugan – Normal People
Triona Lillis – Smother
Colin Campbell – Here are the Young Men
Gráinne Gavigan – Dead Still
Nathan Nugent – Normal People
Tony Cranstoun – Vivarium
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Misbehaviour
John Leslie – Son
Lucy van Lonkhuyzen – Normal People
Philip Murphy – Vivarium
Ray Ball – Sea Fever
Tamara Conboy – Herself
Aza Hand & Patrick Drummond – Son
Hugh Fox, Fionán Higgins & Mark Henry – Smother
Kieran Horgan & Brendan Rehill – Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away
Patrick Drummond, Aza Hand, Katie O’Mahony & Adrian Conway – Here are the Young Men
Steve Fanagan, Niall Brady, & Niall O Sullivan – Normal People
MAKE UP & HAIR
Jennie Readman & Niamh O’Loan – Vivarium
Linda Gannon Foster & Jennifer Hegarty – Dead Still