Belfast stars honored at IFTAs as Irish Language film wins ‘historic’ award

An Irish language film has taken the top prize at the IFTA awards for the first time ever as the stars of Belfast also received honours.

Saturday Night’s Virtual IFTA Awards 2022 were a star studded affair with Chris Pine, Colin Farrell, Michael Moore, Roma Downey, Fionnula Flanagan among the stellar line-up of guests at the ceremony, presenting awards to the likes of Ciarán Hinds, Jessie Buckley, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Moe Dunford, Kin and An Cailín Ciúin.

Hosted by comedian Deirdre O’Kane, who paid tribute to Ukrainian president, and fellow comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskyy as part of the event, she was joined by an array of guest presenters which included Nicola Coughlan, Chris O’Dowd and Charlie Cox.

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In a historic milestone for the awards, the Best Film Award went to Irish language film An Cailín Ciúin, which was written and directed by Colm Bairéad. In her emotional acceptance speech from her, the film’s producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, who is married to the director, said “I think this is a watershed moment for Irish Language Cinema and we’re just so proud to be part of this.”

Chris Pine acknowledged the power of Irish storytelling: “I’ve long been a fan of Irish Storytelling, and I’ve had the pleasure of performing in Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore. I love your countryside, and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in Galway, the Aran Islands, and Dublin, and just recently I had the good fortune to do some filming in Antrim.”

Chris Pine joins the virtual 2022 IFTA Film & Drama Awards

Ciaran Hinds, who stars in the newly released Belfast, picked up two awards on the night, for both Best Supporting Actor Drama for Kin and also for Best Supporting Actor Film for his role as Pop in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast.

Hinds praised Kenneth Branagh’s script and film for reconnecting him to his roots: “This film Ken wrote touched me very deeply. As much as the story was of Ken’s childhood it was also the story of my childhood, and the people I knew, and the community and the wonderful, wry-humoured, stoic people of the north of Ireland.”

The screenplay that so touched Hinds won Branagh the award for Best Script Film. Brannagh, who is filming Christopher Nolan’s J. Robert Oppenheimer biopic in New Mexico at present, which stars Cillian Murphy in the lead role, gave an acceptance speech via his IFTA-winning editor Úna Ní Dhonghaíle who edited Belfast as well as Death on the Nile for Branagh.

Branagh said “My homeland gave me a hell of a story to tell and has been very patient in waiting for 50 years until I could tell it. People from up and down the island have responded with such deep-hearted appreciation to a story that it seems many of us share through our very own family experiences. I am deeply grateful for this recognition and would also like to salute my fellow nominees and their incredible work. What an honor to have been in their company. Thank you cinema-goers of Ireland and thank you IFTA.”

Deirdre O’Kanetalks to Actress Nicola Coughlan at the virtual 2022 IFTA Film & Drama Awards.

Bridgerton and Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan, presented the Screen Ireland IFTA Rising Star Award, having received the Award in 2021. Speaking of the award Coughlan said: “I am still so honored and so very proud to have won this Award last year, and I can tell you how much it means. Wherever your work takes you in the world, it really means so much to be rewarded at home, to receive this recognition from your peers, and the incredible people in this industry here in Ireland.” The award went to An Caiín Ciúin’s writer/director Colm Bairéad, capping off a successful evening for the Irish-Language feature.



BEST FILM An Cailín Ciúin

FILM DIRECTOR Colm Bairéad – An Cailín Ciúin

SCRIPT FILM Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

LEAD ACTOR FILM Moe Dunford – Nightride

LEAD ACTRESS FILM Catherine Clinch – An Cailín Ciúin

SUPPORTING ACTOR FILM Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

SUPPORTING ACTRESS FILM Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter


SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) Nothing to Declare

SHORT FILM (ANIMATION) Fall of the Ibis King



DRAMA DIRECTOR Hannah Quinn – Vikings: Valhalla

SCRIPT DRAMA Peter McKenna – Kin






RISING STAR Colm Bairéad


CINEMATOGRAPHY Kate McCullough – An Cailín Ciúin

COSTUME DESIGN Kathy Strachan – Deadly Cuts

HAIR & MAKEUP Eileen Buggy, Audrey Doyle, & Barrie Gower – The Green Knight

EDITING John Murphy – An Cailín Ciúin

PRODUCTION DESIGN Emma Lowney – An Cailín Ciúin

SOUND Steve Fanagan – Swan Song

ORIGINAL SCORE Stephen Rennicks – An Cailín Ciúin

VFX Kevin Cahill & Eric Saindon – The Green Knight

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