Filmmakers flying the flag for Cork at tomorrow night's IFTAS

Filmmakers flying the flag for Cork at tomorrow night's IFTAS

Peter Foott, Director/writer/producer of The Young Offenders with Cork actors (left) Alex Murphy, from Douglas and (right) Chris Walley, from Glanmire on St Patrick’s Hill, Cork. Pic: Larry Cummins

THE stars of Cork’s growing film scene are set to take Dublin by storm tomorrow for this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards.

Chief among them will be the cast and crew members of popular Leeside flick Young Offenders.

One of the best Irish movies of the year, the movie has received a phenomenal seven nominations across various different categories.

The movie was nominated more than any other film apart from Netflix production The Siege of Jadotville, starring Jamie Dornan, which also received seven nods.

Both are up for the best feature film category, going against Love & Friendship, A Date for Mad Mary, The Secret Scripture and Tomato Red.

Director of Young Offenders, Monkstown native and former St John’s College student Peter Foott, who now lives in St Luke’s, is also flying the red and white flag — he is up for the best director as well as the best scriptwriter gongs, and is also named in the Rising Star category.

His wife, Montenotte woman Hilary Rose, is up for the best actress in a leading role award, while fellow Corkonians Alex Murphy, from Douglas, and Chris Walley, from Glanmire are up for the best actor and best supporting actor awards — all for their work in The Young Offenders. Colin Campbell, who edited the movie, is up for the best editing award.

Well-known Cork actor Ciaran Bermingham was also involved and is hoping for a huge Young Offenders gong haul.

“Hopefully it will win everything! Hopefully the boys will win, Alex and Chris, and Peter will get the Rising Star award, and Hilary as well. It’s fantastic to have gotten so many nominations. It really is,” he said.

“Filming it was great craic to be honest. And one of the things is that it’s almost like a love story to Cork. Cork is so beautiful in it. It’s so beautiful. Cork people are very proud of Cork but I think this film really brings it home even more. Some of my cousins in the States have watched it and it makes them laugh but it also makes them homesick. It’s a piece of home.”

The Glanmire native said he is delighted with how the film has been received by Irish audiences.

“What it reminds me of, in a way, is when we were doing the first seasons of Game of Thrones and we didn’t know what we had. And look what that turned into. When we were on the set of Young Offenders we were laughing our socks off... but you also did get a sense that this was going to be good.”

Other Corkonians up for awards at Saturday’s Iftas include Douglas native Cillian Murphy, who is up for the best actor in a leading role in drama for Peaky Blinders, and Montenotte actress Fiona Shaw who is up for best supporting actress in film for her role in Out of Innocence.

A short film by Ballinlough writer and director Niall Owens is also in the running for a prestigious accolade.

Titled Animal, the 15-minute flick is up for best live action short film.

Ballinlough filmmaker Niall Owens
Ballinlough filmmaker Niall Owens

“Animal is based on a true story. It’s based on a newspaper article I read about a camp in England that was raided by police and they found eight or nine people that were being kept as slaves. Then I heard another story where a man was trafficked into Ireland under false pretences and misled as to what he was going to be doing. So Animal kind of came out of that. It’s about a man who escapes from the camp where he’s being held and through a series of flashbacks we see where he has come from,” said Niall.

“It’s great to get nominated. One has to manage their expectations though! You never know, of course, but it’s important not to get carried away. Just getting nominated is in and of itself a massive reward, especially for a self-funded film.”

Niall said that the sheer volume of Cork people and projects up for awards at the IFTAs this year is indicative of how big the film scene here is getting.

“It’s definitely growing. A bit part of that comes from Rossa Mullin at Film in Cork. He has done massive work for the region and he has provided a real bridge to provide people to come into Cork and film and make it more accessible. It’s definitely getting better in Cork. We’re a ways off Dublin yet, but it’s going in the right direction.”

The Iftas take place tomorrow night at the Mansion House in Dublin and will be broadcast on RTÉ1 on Tuesday at 10.15pm.

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