Monday, November 07, 2005

Irish Film & Television Awards 2005

Following hard on the heels - chronologically - of the MTV Europe Awards 2005, Dublin hosted the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA's) last Saturday (5th November). As with the MTV Awards, and most other film, television and music awards, the event featured a mixture of entertainment and presentations. Like these other entertainment awards, the IFTA bash was also filmed for broadcast, primarily for an Irish audience via national broadcaster RTE but also for possible syndication. The show, held at the RDS, was hosted by Irish actor James Nesbitt. With a line-up that included music from Liberty X and an audience that included Sinead Cusack, Vanessa Redgrave, Andrea Corr, Samantha Mumba, Kerry Katona and Caprice, there was certainly plenty of glamour to attract a TV audience for the show. Add to that the promotional clips from the short-listed feature films and television series, and there was no shortage of footage to fill the two-hour show. An international dimension was added with the arrival of actress Mischa Barton, star of hit US series the OC, to present one of the prizes. Also adding to the global appeal was the award of a Lifetime Achievement honour to veteran actor David Kelly, currently starring in the global box office hit 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. This film won the Jameson award for Best International Film. Other international awards included the Avica Best International Actor, presented to Mickey Rourke for his role in Sin City, and the Pantene Best International Actor to Gillian Anderson for The Mighty Celt. Irish actor Liam Neeson was another A-list name to pick up an award, for Best Actor in a Feature Film for his role in Kinsey. Sponsors on the night, in addition to those mentioned above, included mobile network O2 which sponsored the TV Personality of the Year Award, and banking group AIB which sponsored the Best Irish Film Award. A 'People's Choice Best Irish Film' award was also presented, voted on by the Irish public in advance of the ceremony.