'The Irish Film & Television Awards is Ireland's showcase to the world of what our small but outstanding film and television community has to offer'
Aine Moriarty, CEO of the IFTA
The Wild Geese were faced with a simple choice when they left Ireland: survive and prosper or submit to defeat. With the latter not being an option, they worked hard to achieve success. This is true of the IFTA awards, as many of the talent honoured have already made an incredible impact on Hollywood and British cinema, as well as in their native Ireland.
It's not surprise that everyone was talking about Michael Fassbender, who won the IFTW award for Best Actor in a Lead Role for Shame. This is the second time he has been honoured by this award. In 2008 he received it for his role in Hunger. On both of these films, Fassbender teamed up with Design come Director Steve McQueen. Clearly a winning duo. On their relationship, Steve McQueen says:
'We don't take our relationship for granted, at all, whatsoever... I think we both know, as well as a good friendship, this is a professional relationship where we have to bring our game'
For some, Fassbender's win will not be unexpected. This is his time. But, being honoured by your native country (Fassbender is half Irish, half German and lived in Ireland growing up) is both an exhilarating and humbling experience, one we have known very well recently. The Wild Geese Single Malt* was selected as one of Ireland's Reserve Cuvées last month. This is defined as a signature product of outstanding quality. This is extremely high praise coming from Ireland.
Glen Close won the award for Best International Actress for her role in Albert Nobbs. She fell in love with the story early in her career and worked hard to get it into production, financing a great deal of it herself. She worked with Irish Booker Prize winner John Banville on adapting the script.
'I loved my collaboration with John Banville. Whatever Irish tweaks we could make we did. It had to have wonderful Irish twists to things'
Other award winners on the night were:
Best Film: The Guard
Director Film: John Michael McDonagh, The Guard
Actor - Film: Michael Fassbender, Shame
Actress - Film: Saoirse Ronan, Hanna
Supporting Actor - Film: Chris O'Dowd, Bridesmaids
Supporting Actress - Film: Glenn Close
For the full list, vist the ITFA website.
'The Irish [film & television] industry consistently delivers world-class standards of work that is watched by a global audience'
*In North America The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey is sold under the brand name 'The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes'