Leading the charge for best film at this year’s IFTAs is Brendan Gleeson’s The Guard.
The black comedy, also starring Don Cheadle, is among the features nominated for Best Film at 2012 Awards. Also nominated is period drama Albert Nobbs, Irish psychological thriller Charlie Casanova and rural drama Stella Days.
Reflecting the Irish film and television industry’s continuing development year-on-year, IFTA received 337 titles submitted for consideration in the 2012 Awards, which take place on February 11 at the Convention Centre Dublin.
Academy CEO Áine Moriarty said: “The Irish Film & Television Awards is Ireland’s showcase to the world of what our small but outstanding film and television community has to offer – excellent and challenging feature films and dramas; entertaining television and engaging factual content. The Irish industry consistently delivers world-class standards of work that is watched by a global audience. Ireland’s economic struggles have been well documented, but against this pressure it’s heartening to see how Ireland’s hard-working creative community continues to punch above its weight and really deliver.”
Screenwriters for all four of the Best Film contenders – John Banville and Glenn Close, John Michael McDonagh, Terry McMahon and Antoine O’Flaherta – have also been nominated for Script Film whilst McDonagh and McMahon join fellow debut director Rebecca Daly (The Other Side of Sleep) and IFTA winner Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Stella Days) in the category for Director Film.
In the feature film acting categories, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy star Ciarán Hinds receives a nod alongside The Guard actor Brendan Gleeson.
Michael Fassbender has been nominated for his performance in Steve McQueen’s drama Shame and Martin Sheen, an Irish citizen, has also been selected for his role as Irish priest Fr. Daniel Barry in the Irish production Stella Days.
Newcomer Aoife Duffin takes her place among the nominees for her performance in Behold the Lamb. While IFTA winning actress Saoirse Ronan has beennominated for her lead turn in Hanna.
In the Television Drama categories, RTÉ crime drama Love/Hate leads the overall shortlist with nominations in 10 categories including Best Drama, Director Television Drama for David Caffrey, Writer Television Drama for Stuart Carolan and acting nominations for cast Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Denise McCormack and Aidan Gillen.
TG4’s Irish language series Corp + Anam has received four IFTA nominations including Best Drama, Writer Television Drama for Daire Mac Con Iomaire, Lead Actor Diarmuid de Faoite and Actress Maria Doyle Kennedy.
The showtime epic The Borgias has also been shortlisted in Drama, with the series’ creator, director and writer Neil Jordan receiving two further nominations.
Ireland’s MasterChef debuts strongly at this year’s IFTAs with nominations in three categories, including Entertainment Programme and the Irish Academy’s newly introduced Television Craft categories.
Comedy series Hardy Bucks, Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Savage Eye are also shortlisted for Entertainment.
Actor Simon Delaney, who recently played a guest lead in US series The Good Wife, will return to host the Awards.
He said: “There’s a lot to be proud of in the Irish film and television industry and what’s being achieved, and I think that’s what makes the IFTA night so special. We are all working to promote our business internationally and the IFTAs are our international calling card, we can stand behind this event and say, ‘look at this room, look who we have here, this is our creative industry – this is Ireland!”