Liam Neeson heads glittering guest list at Iftas this weekend

A host of famous faces will descend on the capital this weekend ahead of the eagerly anticipated Irish Film and Television Awards.

The annual Iftas ceremony is set to take place tonight in Dublin’s Mansion House.

One of the biggest stars lighting up the red carpet will be A-Lister Liam Neeson, who will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Awards, to be presented by President Michael D Higgins.

The actor, whose impressive 30-year career includes high-profile roles in films such as Schindler’s List, Michael Collins, Love Actually, and Batman Begins, will receive tributes on the night from famed directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.

Roma Downey, best known for her role as Monica in hit TV series Touched by an Angel, will also be honoured during the ceremony. The actress and producer is set to receive the Irish Diaspora Award.

Rock star and humanitarian Bob Geldolf will be on hand as a guest presenter, joining Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer, Moone Boy writer Chris O’Dowd, and Threesome actress Amy Huberman.

This year’s host is actress and comedien Deirdre O’Kane.

“What an honour it is to be asked to host the Iftas, especially on such a fantastic year for Irish film and drama,” she said.

“All the success abroad in this golden year means that it is especially important to recognise and reward these accomplishments at home and I am delighted to be a part of such a prestigious and significant event.”

Liam Neeson heads glittering guest list at Iftas this weekend

Among the feature films nominated for Best Film this year are Brooklyn, Cork man John Crowley’s depiction of a young Irish woman’s emigration to New York in the 1950s, and Room, the heart-wrenching story of a kidnapped young woman and her son.

In the Actor in a Leading Role Film category, Colin Farrell is nominated for his artistic turn in the strange and thrillingly ambitious film The Lobster, alongside Domhnall Gleeson for his performance in Ex Machina, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs, Barry Keoghan for Mammal, and Martin McCann for The Survivalist.

Nominated for Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan is also in good company in the Actress in a Leading Role Film category alongside Orla Brady for The Price of Desire, Eva Birthistle for Swansong, Evanna Lynch for My Name is Emily, and Ruth Bradley for Pursuit.

The Actor Lead role in Drama category sees Colin Farrell nominated for True Detective, Aidan Turner for Poldark, Dara Devaney for Irish-language drama An Klondike, Stephen Rea for Dickensian, and Barry Ward for Rebellion.

Academy CEO Aine Moriarty said the star-studded list reflects just how fantastic the past year has been in terms of Irish film: “What a superb year for Irish production. This year’s nominations showcase to the world what Ireland’s small but excellent film industry has to offer.”

The awards take place in Dublin’s Mansion House tonight and will be broadcast on TV3 on Sunday at 9pm.


Lifestyle

From Turkey to Vietnam, here’s where the chef and food writer has fallen in love with on her travellers.Sabrina Ghayour’s top 5 cities for foodies to visit

Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health (University College Cork graduate)Working Life: Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health

Like most Irish kids of our generation, chillies, spicy food, heat were never really big aspects of our formative eating experiences.Currabinny Cooks: Getting spicy in the kitchen

New Yorker Jessica Bonenfant Coogan has noticed a curious discrepancy between east and west when it comes to Cork county; arts infrastructure has tended to be better resourced in the west of Ireland’s largest county.Making an artistic mark in East Cork

More From The Irish Examiner