“We wanted to make a movie that we would be proud of and that Cork could be proud of as well. To be able to bring this award home to Cork… it’s an amazing feeling.”
These were the words of the city’s own Peter Foott, writer and director of Leeside flick The Young Offenders, speaking to the Evening Echo backstage at the Irish Film and Television Awards on Saturday night.
An elated Peter had just won the Best Script in Film award, and said he intends to share the surprisingly heavy gong with everyone who was involved in the production.
“It’s incredibly heavy, feel it! I’m over the moon. I genuinely was not expecting it. I actually wasn’t. I had no speech ready, no nothing, so I was terrified going up there,” said Peter.
“I might have to rotate the award between houses! It’s an award for everybody, not just for me. We’ll be sharing it. Genuinely, I was not expecting it, swear to god.”
Humble as ever, Peter may not have been expecting the accolade but that doesn’t mean anybody else was taken by surprise. In fact, there was consensus on the red carpet ahead of the event that it would at least get one of its incredible seven nominations.
“I think The Young Offenders was a really popular movie in the room because they’re the newbies, they’re the young guys, I think the room was rooting for them,” said host Deirdre Kane.
Vikings star Moe Dunford also gushed about the film, as did the recipient of the Rising Star award Patrick Gibson, who stars in Netflix show The OA.
“The Young Offenders, what a film. I’ve seen it three times,” said Patrick.
“I’ve always said Irish work really resonates with me and I think we produce so much incredible stuff. And the fact that we can make films that can compete with films that are being made in the states and all over the world is incredible.”
Heading into the event, Peter and his wife Hilary Rose, who also stars in The Young Offenders, said they were delighted with how much recognition the film was getting.
They were so excited for the event that they brought along a veritable hoard of Cork support – a rough total of 25 cast members, crew members, friends and family.
“There are a lot of us here alright! We said we’d all go and represent Cork and just have fun,” said Hilary.
The films two star lads were also in attendance, of course – Alex Murphy from Rochestown and Chris Walley from Glanmire. They described the awards ceremony experience as “total madness”.
“A few weeks into filming we knew we had something special… but with regards to how well it was going to do, we really had no idea,” said Alex.
Coincidentally, Peaky Blinders also won big on the night, with Douglas actor Cillian Murphy being named Best Actor in a Leading Role in Drama.
The Irish Film and Television Awards will be broadcast on RTÉ 1 on Tuesday at 10:15pm.