The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has announced the Screen Ireland Rising Star Nominees for the IFTA Awards 2020, which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One this Sunday, October 18th at 10:00 pm.
Selected by a special jury, the Screen Ireland 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 have also excelled in their respective fields.
Previous winners of the Rising Star Award include Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Tomm Moore, Domhnall Gleeson, John Michael McDonagh, Gerard Barrett, Jamie Dornan, Patrick Gibson, Jacob McCarthy, and Sarah Greene; all of whom have gone on to garner recognition and accolades both in Ireland and internationally.
Niamh Algar (Actress) - Niamh is a Screen Star of Tomorrow and a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit. It has been a breakout year for Niamh with leading roles in critically acclaimed projects across Channel 4 and the BBC. In addition to her standout performance as Ursula in Calm With Horses opposite Cosmo Jarvis and Barry Keoghan, Niamh also starred in TV mini-series The Virtues for Channel 4, from the multi-award-winning director Shane Meadows (This is England) and Pure with Charley Clive, Joe Cole, and Anthony Welsh, both for Channel 4. Niamh can currently be seen in Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi series Raised by Wolves on HBO Max.
Lee Cronin (Writer - Director) - Lee Cronin’s debut feature film The Hole in the Ground (2019) had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2019 where it was celebrated as one of the best horror films this decade. Starring Seána Kerslake, The Hole in the Ground earned rave reviews and was picked up by A24 for distribution in North America. He is previously well-known for his short film work including the award-winning Ghost Train (2013), which won the Méliès d'Argent for Best European Fantastic Short film. It has been confirmed that he will be behind the lens for the latest in the celebrated Evil Dead series of horror films.
Aisling Franciosi (Actress) - Aisling Franciosi won great acclaim for her lead role in The Nightingale, a period film set in Tasmania and directed by Jennifer Kent. The Nightingale premiered to a rapturous reception at the Venice International Film Festival where it was awarded the Special Jury Prize. Franciosi won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Award 2019 for Breakthrough Performance. She is known for playing the part of Katie Benedetto in the crime drama television series The Fall and for her role in the HBO series Game of Thrones as Lyanna Stark . She will next be seen in the BBC/FX Series Black Narcissus.
Andy & Ryan Tohill (Directors) - The Tohill brothers’ first feature film, The Dig premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2018, winning best Irish feature. It was accepted to the Toronto International Film Festival and scored a nomination at the British Independent Film Awards in 2018. The duo has also directed shorts, which won awards in the festival circuit and were named best newcomer directors at the Cornwall Film Festival for Eye Line. In 2015, they directed the short Insulin, based within the world of the BAFTA-nominated and IFTA-winning film The Survivalist.
On the 2020 Rising Stars Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of the Irish Film and Television Academy said:
“This important Award showcases four superb Irish talents who have proved themselves to be world class professionals in their fields, and shining examples of the high standards of Irish craft and expertise on the world stage. The Academy is proud to showcase Ireland’s Rising Stars and acknowledges the partnership with Screen Ireland across this Award supporting new Irish industry talent.”
Dr. Annie Doona, Chair Fis Eireann/Screen Ireland said:
“I would like to congratulate all of the IFTA nominees and in particular the impressive list of Rising Star nominees announced today. The nominated work across all of the film and television award categories is a testament to the enduring strength and creativity of our thriving creative screen industry. Developing and investing in creative screen talent is at the heart of what Screen Ireland does and we are very proud of the work being recognised by the Irish Film and Television Academy. I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all of today’s Rising Star nominees the best of luck as they build their careers into the future.”
Deirdre O’Kane will host the 2020 IFTA Film & Drama Awards, which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One, at 10pm on Sunday October 18th.
Sunday night’s IFTA Awards will be a Star-studded affair with high-profile international Guest Presenters taking the time to participate and say hello to Ireland and to present a key award on the night.
Heading up the lineup is one of the most influential and renowned Hollywood Directors, Martin Scorsese, who will present Best Irish Film. He will be joined on the Awards Show by a host of guest presenters that include Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Ruth Negga, Ciatriona Balfe, Chris O’Dowd, Star Wars leading lady Daisy Ridley, Normal People’s young Stars, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones and the fun-loving Derry Girls among many others, who will be taking part in the Virtual Awards.
The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, will also give of his time to support the Academy and Ireland’s community of filmmakers and crafts people. The President will highlight the enormous importance of art, creativity and storytelling and commend the extraordinary work these Nominees are contributing to society and to audiences worldwide.
The IFTA Film & Drama Awards is funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, and also supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Virgin Media Television.
Other Nominees in the running across other key Award categories this year include Andrew Scott, Jessie Buckley, Barry Keoghan, Saoirse Ronan, Brendan Gleeson, Niamh Algar, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, Sarah Green, Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga, Moe Dunford, Caitriona Balfe, Adrian Dunbar, Bronagh Gallagher, Chris O’Dowd, Fiona Shaw, Stephen Rea, Seana Kerslake, Mark O’Halloran, Ruth Bradley, Dara Devaney, Charlie Murphy, Dónall Ó Héalaí, Catherine Walker, Liam Neeson, Emily Taaffe, Lorcan Cranitch, Ann Skelly, Owen McDonnell, Ingrid Craigie, Cillian O’ Gairbhí, Helen Behan among many others.
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Interview requests with nominees (which will be facilitated where possible).