Hollywood stars blaze a trail at IFTAs

ROUNDING off a weekend of star-studded award ceremonies and film premieres in Dublin, the fifth Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs) didn’t fail to bring out a mix of Hollywood stars and home-grown talent.

Amid cheers from the waiting and freezing public, Hollywood veterans Rene Russo and Bo Derek graced the red carpet of the Gaiety Theatre.

But the night really belonged to Braveheart star Mel Gibson who took home the award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema and said it was an “incredible honour”. He said he has slipped into Ireland “a few times” since filming Braveheart and added that he even has an Irish passport.

One of the night’s most popular awards, the TV Personality of the Year award and voted for by the public went to Kathryn Thomas, presenter of travel show, No Frontiers on RTÉ.

Kathryn, kitted out in purple and green, paid tribute to her colleagues and to her friends, her family and boyfriend Enda.

Jonathon Rhys Myers, who picked up the award for Best Actor in a Lead Television Role for The Tudors, was joined by his girlfriend Reema Hammer who dazzled in a gold/silver gown.

The Tudors were big winners on the night picking up a series of other awards including Best Supporting Actor and Actress as well as Best Drama Series or Soap. Colin Farrell, who avoided the red carpet and instead slipped in the back door, presented the award for Irish Film Board Rising Star to Saoirse Ronan, who is filming in New Zealand.

Her grandparents picked up the award on her behalf saying they would look forward to giving it to Saoirse on her return.

The award for Best Entertainment Programme went to Podge and Rodge who beat off competition from Dan & Becs, Killinaskully and Naked Camera.

The award for Best Actress went to Hilary Swank for her role in PS I Love You. Although Hilary wasn’t present on the night, the author behind the book of the film Cecelia Ahern was there to take the praise.

Best Actor in a Lead Role went to Pat Shortt for Garage — beating Gabriel Byrne, Colm Meaney and Cillian Murphy.

Back on the red carpet, first to arrive was television presenter Caroline Morahan wearing a bright yellow off-the shoulder number and starting a trend that continued with dashings of yellow and orange for the remainder of the arrivals.

David Kelly, of recent Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fame, followed soon afterwards, as did Hector and a scattering of Fair City and The Clinic stars.

Other stars on the red carpet included celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and former Miss Ireland Rosanna Davison who was wearing a turquoise mermaid-style dress.

The Clinic star, Amy Huberman, was joined by her significant other, rugby star Brian O’Driscoll — who was happy to let the spotlight to his girlfriend.

Amy, in a fitted cream and silver dress, was complemented by Brian who said she looked “absolutely stunning”.

Also present on the carpet were Dan and Becks, of the TV show of the same name and who confirmed that there are no plans for a new series of the popular show.

In a green dress she picked up on the high street, RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan said she didn’t need to spend a lot of money to look glamorous while sisters Gráinne and Síle Seoige were wearing frocks from the same Limerick boutique, Meile B.

Also stopping to chat was Dominic Purcell of Prison Break, whose parents are from Dundalk.

Mel Gibson meanwhile was last to arrive on the red carpet and said he would like to film another movie in Ireland after having a great few days in Dublin.

IFTA winners

Film categories

Film

Garage

Director

Lenny Abrahamson — Garage

Actor in a lead role

Pat Shortt — Garage

Actor in a supporting role

Brendan Conroy — Kings

Actress in a supporting role

Saoirse Ronan — Atonement

International actor

Daniel Day Lewis — There Will Be Blood

TV drama categories

Single drama/dramaserial

The Running Mate

Drama series/soap

The Tudors

Director

Lenny Abrahamson — Prosperity

Actor in a lead role

Jonathan Rhys Meyers — The Tudors

Actress in a lead role film/television

Aisling O’Sullivan — The Clinic

TV categories

Current Affairs

Prime Time Investigates — Not Seen, Not Heard (RTÉ)

Entertainment

The Podge & Rodge Show

News Programme

BBC Newsline — BBC Northern Ireland

Sport

Tall, Dark & Ó’hAilpín

Other awards

Rising star award

Saoirse Ronan — Actress

Pantene People’s Choice Award for best international actress

Hilary Swank — PS I Love You

Sony Bravia TV Personality of the Year

Kathryn Thomas — RTÉ

Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema

Mel Gibson.

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