Nominations for the 14th annual Irish and Film Television Awards were announced in Dublin on Wednesday (March 8). The nominees across were determined by a jury drawn from members of the Irish Film and Television Academy. In remarks accompanying the announcement of the contenders, Academy CEO Aine Moriarty said, “these great Irish nominees are a testament to the hard work and achievements by Irish creative talent within the film and television industry, delivering world-class standards of work and we look forward to showcasing and celebrating their achievements at the awards ceremony.” (See the full list of nominations.)
Among the six films in contention for the top prize are Whit Stillman‘s period piece “Love and Friendship,” Jim Sheridan‘s character study “The Secret Scripture” and Juanita Wilson’s crime drama “Tomato Red.”
Three first-time filmmakers are also in the running for Best Picture: Peter Foott (“The Young Offenders”), Richie Smyth (“The Siege of Jadotville”) and Darren Thornton (“A Date for Mad Mary”). Their films all reaped writing bids as did “Tomato Red.”
“50 Shades of Grey” leading man Jamie Dornan is up for Best Actor for his portrayal of an Irish army officer caught up in the conflict in the Congo in “The Siege of Jadotville.” His competition includes two other Irish exports — Michael Fassbender (“The Light Between Oceans) and Colm Meaney (“The Journey”) — as well as homegrown favorites Mark O’Halloran (“History’s Future”) and Alex Murphy (” The Young Offenders”).
The Best Actress race is led by Oscar nominee Ruth Negga (“Loving”) who vies against Caoilfhionn Dunne (“In View”), Seana Kerslake (“A Date for Mad Mary”), Aisling Loftus (“Property of the State”) and Catherine Walker (“A Dark Song”).
On the TV side, the Drama nominees include the Emmy-winning “Game of Thrones,” Dornan’s crime drama “The Fall,” the historical epic “Vikings,” the rural tale “Smalltown,” the legal drama “Striking Out” and the Irish language “An Klondike.”
Last year’s Drama Actor winner Dara Devaney (“An Klondike”) defends his title against Cillian Murphy (“Peaky Blinders”), James Nesbitt (“The Secret”), Aidan Turner (“Poldark”), and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (” Trial of the Century”).
Negga is also up for Drama Actress on the TV side for her role in the AMC hit “Preacher.” She vies against Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”), Elaine Cassidy (“No Offence”), Anne-Marie Duff (“Murder”) and Amy Huberman (“Striking Out”).
Winners will be revealed in a ceremony at Dublin’s historic Mansion House on April 8. Michael Gambon will be feted for a lifetime of achievement in the arts.