A Date for Mad Mary winning Best Film at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards
A Date for Mad Mary winning Best Film at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards

#IFTA17: The winners have been announced for the IFTA Film & Drama Awards 2017

The 2017 Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Film and Drama Awards were held in Dublin earlier tonight, celebrating the last year in Irish film and scripted drama. The big winner on the night was Darren Thornton’s sublime A Date for Mad Mary, which won Best Film, with Charleigh Bailey taking the prize for Best Supporting Actress Film.

Richie Smyth’s Netflix war-drama The Siege of Jadotville took home three awards, including Best Director Film for Smyth, Best Supporting Actor Film for Jason O’Mara, and Best VFX. Writer/director Peter Foott won Best Script Film for his smash-hit comedy The Young Offenders, while Irish legend Colm Meaney won Best Actor for his portrayal of Martin McGuinness in The Journey, and Limerick native Ruth Negga won Best Actress for her portrayal of Mildred Loving in Jeff Nichol’s Loving. The George Morrison Feature Documentary award went to the hilarious and moving documentary Mattress Men. Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture won two technical awards, for Derek Wallace’s Production Design and Brian Byrne’s Original Score. Other technical awards went to Tomato Red for VFX, Seamus McGarvey for his Cinematography on Nocturnal Animals, and Nick Emerson for Editing I am Not Serial Killer.

In short films, the awards went to Dave Tynan’s Heartbreak for Live-Action and Vincent Gallagher’s Second to None for Animation.

One of the surprises of the night was Patrick Gibson, star of Netflix’s The OA and Property of the State, beating out Peter Foott, Seána Kerslake, and Barry Keoghan, to take the Rising Star Award, which was presented in association with the Irish Film Board.

Last year’s best winner on the Drama side, Irish language western An Klondike, won well again with Daithi Keane winning Best Director Drama, and Ned Dennehy winning Best Supporting Actor Drama. The History Channel’s Vikings, an Irish co-production, filmed in Wicklow, won Best Drama and Best Make-Up and Hair. In the other Drama acting categories there were wins for Cillian Murphy for Actor in a Lead Role in Drama in Peaky Blinders, Amy Huberman for Actress in a Lead Role in Striking Out, and Charlie Murphy for Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama for Happy Valley. The award for Best Script Drama went to James Phelan for Wrecking the Rising.

On the International front, the awards followed their Oscar contemporaries, as Best International Film went to Moonlight, with Best International Actor went to Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea, and Best International Actress going to Emma Stone for La La Land.

Speaking about the win for A Date for Mad Mary, director Darren Thornton commented:

Making ‘Mad Mary’ was a fantastic experience from start to finish. I was blessed to be working with an incredible cast and crew and with element pictures, the finest production company in the country. I’m hugely indebted to our producers Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Juliette Bonass and Emma Norton for their wisdom and support all the way through making the film. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and I’m excited to see how the journey continues as the film starts to open in other territories around the world.

In a joint statement, Element Pictures Producers Ed Guiney & Andrew Lowe commented:

All of us at Element Pictures are so proud and delighted that A Date for Mad Mary has been honoured with the wins for Best Film and Best Supporting Actress. It has been amazing collaborating with Darren, Colin and Juliette and the brilliant cast and crew. And it’s a wonderful testament to their talent and artistry.

Sir Michael Gambon was to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, but due to illness was unable to attend and will be presented with the award at a later date.

The annual IFTA Television and Drama Awards Ceremony took place at the Round Room of the Mansion House.   The Ceremony and Red Carpet will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Tuesday, April 11th at 10.15pm.

All the winners:

Best Film

A Date for Mad Mary
A Date for Mad Mary
  • A Date for Mad Mary

Actor in a Lead Role Film

  • Colm MeaneyThe Journey

Actress in a Lead Role Film

  • Ruth NeggaLoving

Actor in a Supporting Role Film

  • Jason O’Mara The Siege of Jadotville

Actress in a Supporting Role Film

  • Charleigh Bailey A Date for Mad Mary

Director Film

  • Richie SmythThe Siege of Jadotville

Script Film

  • Peter Foott The Young Offenders

George Morrison Feature Documentary

  • Mattress Men – Dave Clarke & Ciarán Deeney

Short Film

  • Heartbreak


  • Second to None Vincent Gallagher


  • Vikings

Actor in a Lead Role in Drama

  • Cillian Murphy Peaky Blinders

Actress in a Lead Role in Drama

  • Amy Huberman Striking Out

Actor in a Supporting Role in Drama

  • Ned DennehyAn Klondike

Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama

  • Charlie Murphy Happy Valley

Director Drama

  • Dathai Keane An Klondike

Script Drama

  • James Phelan – Wrecking the Rising


  • Seamus McGarvey Nocturnal Animals


  • Nick Emerson I am Not Serial Killer

Production Design

  • Derek WallaceThe Secret Scripture

Costume Design

  • Consolata Boyle Florence Foster Jenkins

Make-Up & Hair

  • Vikings

Original Music

  • Brian Byrne The Secret Scripture


  • Tomato Red


  • The Siege of Jadotville