Hollywood stars were shining brightly at this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards, with A-listers such as Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender presenting and receiving awards.
It wasn’t all glitz and glam, however, due to significant sound problems during the televised broadcast.
Thanks to a particularly excitable crowd, the majority of RTÉ’s footage featured an overwhelming amount of background noise. So much so, a barrage of angry viewers took to Twitter during and after the show to voice disappointment.
IFTA Awards programme probably wudnt win any awards.— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) April 5, 2014
Is there anyone at the IFTA' s listening - the chatter is deafening. #ifta's— Tony Crosbie (@rabser) April 5, 2014
Co-hosts Laura Whitmore and Simon Delaney also seemed put out by the noisy attendees, giving noticeably rigid and stand-offish performances.
Actor Jeremy Irons seemed particularly peeved, having to shout for attention when presenting Jamie Dornan with his Rising Star award, while Colm Meaney sarcastically told the crowd they were “very settled and quiet”.
Behind the scenes, the atmosphere was a lot less tense, with various celebrities milling around posing for photos, taking selfies, talking to the press, and generally having a good time.
Brendan Gleeson was seen clutching his Best Actor statuette, poking fun at the fact his son Domhnall lost out to him in the same category, while The Stag actress Amy Huberman expressed delight at not being so “massive and sweaty” this time, having been heavily pregnant at last year’s Iftas. “My risk of labour on the red carpet this year is minimal,” she joked.
Meanwhile, Love/Hate actor Peter Coonan was busy dodging questions about the next season of the cult Irish drama and co-star Killian Scott joked about people buying him fizzy orange. “It’s a sweet gesture,” he admitted “but I’ve had plenty at this stage. Feel free to buy me a pint.”
Back onstage, Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan had to collect his gong alone, blandly noting his lack of support was because the cast members were either at the bar or out in the smoking area.
Surprisingly, this was cut out of RTÉ’s televised broadcast, though they did leave in a scathing comment from the winners of the Best Current Affairs award for Breach of Trust. Apparently the crew of the hard-hitting documentary couldn’t get tickets to the event because various “RTÉ hangers on” had snapped them all up.
The big winners on the night were films Calvary, Byzantium, and Philomena, picking up three awards each.
Calvary took home the coveted award for Best Film along with Best Actor for Brendan Gleeson and Best Script for writer/director John Michael McDonagh.
Michael Fassbender was also honoured, bagging Best Supporting Actor for his Oscar-nominated role in 12 Years a Slave.
Wrapping up the night, President Michael D Higgins collected an industry award for his outstanding contribution to the Irish film and television industry.
Introducing the award, Colin Farrell and Amy Huberman paid touching tribute to the president while Hollywood star Mel Gibson featured in a short VT congratulating him on his win. Gibson apologised for not being able to be at the awards in person and praised the president for his support when filming scenes for blockbuster Braveheart in Co Wicklow.
The star expressed surprise that the president hadn’t received the award before and said: “You were minister of the arts 20 years ago. You’re the president now. You must be doing something right! Maybe you could rule the world one day?”
President Higgins declined to comment on Gibson’s suggestion.
Best Film — Calvary
Best Actor, film — Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
Best TV Drama — The Fall
Best Actor TV — Jamie Dornan, The Fall
Rising Star — Jamie Dornan, The Fall
Best Actress, Film — Saoirse Ronan, Byzantium
Best Actress, TV — Eva Birthistle, Amber
Best Supporting Actor, film — Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Best Supporting Actor, TV — Peter Coonan, Love/Hate
Best Supporting Actress, Film — Sinead Cusack, The Sea
Best Supporting Actress, TV — Michelle Fairley, Game of Thrones
Best Current Affairs — Breach of Trust
Best International Film — Philomena
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