Irish Abroad: Natalie Portman presents Patrick’s Day star Moe Dunford with prestigious Shooting Star Award

Hollywood star Natalie Portman presented Patrick’s Day’s Moe Dunford with his prestigious EFP Shooting Star award at the Berlin International Film Festival last night. Moe was one of ten young actors to receive the award, which recognizes up and coming European performers whom the jury believe will become stars of the future.

The young Dungarvan actor now joins a long list of famous names who have picked up the award including Daniel Craig, Carey Mulligan, and fellow Irish actors Domhnall Gleeson, Andrew Scott, and Ruth Negga. The EFP jury praised Dunford’s  “physicality and sly charm” stating that he has “the ingredients of a modern-day Hollywood hero”,  and they  singled out his work in Patrick’s Day for special attention saying, “he shows compassion and subtlety, always putting the character first, never letting Patrick’s issues overwhelm the performance”.

Speaking about receiving the award, Moe said:

[quote]I am immensely honoured to receive such a prestigious award.  I am very passionate about and proud of Patrick’s Day which I know has played no small part in winning me this accolade.  I have been blown away by the positive response the film has been getting and how it’s really resonating with audiences.  I want to especially thank Terry McMahon, the writer and director of the film, for taking a chance on me as a young actor and giving me one of the most rewarding acting experiences of my life.   [/quote]

Dunford is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting and has worked extensively on stage and television, including Game of Thrones, The Tudors, and a recurring role on the Irish-Canadian co-production Vikings, but his part in Patrick’s Day represents his first starring film role. Critics have been unanimous in their praise for his performance in Terry McMahon’s film, with the Irish Examiner saying “the film belongs to Dunford, who is superb as the irascible, tender young man who is prone to violent outbursts and black fits of despair.”

The award caps a memorable week for the Dungarvan-born actor, which saw a hometown preview of Patrick’s Day that sold out three screens simultaneously, the star-studded Dublin premiere at the Light House Cinema, and the film opening around the country on Friday.

Patrick’s Day is now in cinemas nationwide. We gave it the full 5 stars.