Dublin’s star-studded weekend: Highlights from 2024 IFTA Awards


2024 IFTA Awards: Dublin's Star-Studded Weekend Ahead!, Concept art for illustrative purpose, tags: cillian awards - Monok

Cillian Murphy, renowned for his portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, gracefully concluded a seemingly interminable awards season by clinching the coveted title of best actor at the 21st anniversary Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) ceremony held on the 20th of April.

In a heartwarming display of humility and gratitude, Murphy graced the stage at the Dublin Royal Conference Centre adjacent to Dublin Castle, where he received his accolade from none other than recent Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone. “Thank you. Oh, go on. Sit down now. I’m still so brutal at this,” remarked the famously reserved actor as he took to the podium.

Expressing his profound appreciation for the moment and the esteemed company surrounding him, Murphy remarked, “You know, being in this room is very special—being at home. And there are so many people here that I love and admire amongst my fellow nominees. Some of my favourite people are here. Some of my best friends are here. I love you all. It made me think of being a young actor and getting so much encouragement from many people.”

Additionally, Murphy graciously accepted the IFTA for Best International Film on behalf of Oppenheimer, with director Christopher Nolan notably absent from the ceremony. Meanwhile, That They May Face the Rising, recently honoured as the Best Irish Film at the Dublin International Film Festival, features Barry Ward in a nuanced exploration of a year in the life of a rural community.

The highly esteemed award for Best Film was rightfully bestowed upon Pat Collins’s masterful adaptation of John McGahern’s poignant final novel, ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun.’

Mulcahy’s ‘Lies We Tell’ Dominates

Lisa Mulcahy’s Lies We Tell, a bold reinterpretation of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas, emerged as the frontrunner in the film category, securing three prestigious Ifta awards. Among its accolades was the coveted title of Best Actress, claimed by Agnes O’Casey, the great-granddaughter of Sean O’Casey. O’Casey triumphed over esteemed contenders such as Jessie Buckley, Eve Hewson, and Saoirse Ronan. “This is for my grandma,” she declared from the podium. “She brought me to the theatre. She’s at home with a broken leg.”

In a testament to his rising talent, Paul Mescal garnered the Best Supporting Actor award for his haunting portrayal in All of Us Strangers. However, Mescal was unable to attend the ceremony due to prior commitments. Meanwhile, Alison Oliver, another distinguished professional from Cork, clinched the Best Supporting Actress award for her compelling portrayal of a dissolute upper-class character in Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn.

Kneecap’s Presence, Rea’s Lifetime Achievement

The highly acclaimed Belfast rap ensemble Kneecap members made a splash on the carpet. Amidst the excitement, they eagerly discussed their upcoming self-titled film, which recently succeeded at the Sundance Film Festival. However, they also shared their experiences of facing attempts to silence discussions on the Gaza conflict during events.

The esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon the legendary Belfast-born actor Stephen Rea. Reflecting on the honor, Rea humorously remarked, “This is a most prestigious award. If it happened a little later, it could have been a posthumous award.” Speaking with The Irish Times, he reminisced about the profound transformations witnessed in the film industry across Ireland and Britain since the inception of his career.

Recalling his involvement in The Crying Game, Rea emphasized the challenges faced during production. “When we were doing The Crying Game, it was the only film in production in either Britain or Ireland,” he recounted. “It was a miracle we got it done. It would have been a tragedy if we hadn’t.”

The Iftas, known for their unique approach, continue to merge TV drama accolades with film prizes. Among the television winners, RTÉ’s crime drama Kim, recently introduced to Netflix, stole the spotlight, securing five impressive IFTA awards.

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