6 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
IFTA Awards Focus: Best Production Design
22 Mar 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Nominees this year are Padraig O'Neill ('An Klondike'), Paki Smith ('Viva'), Derek Wallace ('Rebellion') and Tom Conroy ('Legend')
The IFTA Film & Drama Awards is getting ever closer (Saturday, April 9th) and we continue our coverage of the ceremony by looking at the nominees of the Production Design category.

This year’s category ranges from an eleven time nominee (Tom Conroy for ‘Legend’) to a first time nominee (Derek Wallace for ‘Rebellion’). Sprinkled in between are Padraig O’Neill (‘An Klondike’) and Paki Smith (‘Viva’).

One of the most distinguished Production Designers in the world, Tom Conroy (nominated this year for ‘Legend’) has previously been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards (winning one), 11 IFTA Awards (winning two) and three Art Director’s Guild Awards on top of a hat-trick of Gemini Awards.

For his work on ‘Legend’ – which features Tom Hardy in a dual role as notorious London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray – Conroy received international praise for his recreation of 1960’s London as well as the constant changing of sets in order to portray the twins inherently restless nature.

Check out IFTN’s interview with Tom Conroy about ‘Legend’ here.

Working on a very modest budget of €1.6m in ‘An Klondike’, Padraig O’Neill was tasked with turning modern day Galway into the rough and desolate Yukon region of 1897 with Donald Clarke of The Irish Times praising O’Neill’s work stating that the praise western feature film ‘Slow West’ (starring Michael Fassbender) received for turning New Zealand into the Wild West on a much larger budget should pale in comparison to what the production designer achieved here.

O’Neill has previously won an IFTA for ‘Spin The Bottle’ in 2003, receiving another nomination in 2008 for Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Garage’. Upcoming projects of O’Neill’s include ‘Cardboard Gangsters’ and ‘Fir Bolg’.

Paki Smith is receiving his third nomination this year for Paddy Breathnach’s ‘Viva’, after previous nominations for ‘God’s Kitchen’ and ‘Man About Dog’ (also directed by Breathnach. His work on the low-budget critically acclaimed ‘Viva’ has been lauded with The Hollywood Reporter praising Breathnach and Smith’s ability to capture the “less touristy, grittier side of Havana”. Praise also came from ScreenDaily who noted that the “The whole city seems steeped in a vibrant, voluptuously sensual atmosphere”.

Upcoming projects of Smith’s include Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ starring Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy as well as ‘A Storm in the Stars’ which is currently shooting in Northern Ireland.

Receiving his first nomination this year for ‘Rebellion’, Derek Wallace has previously worked on dramas such as ‘Single Handed’, ‘Jack Taylor’ and ‘Charlie’ as well as films such as ‘Triage’, ‘Tara Road’ and ‘Good Vibrations’. Writing about ‘Rebellion’, the Independent stated that the “production values were sky-high” when discussing Wallace’s task of turning modern-day Dublin into an embattled 1916 Dublin.

Upcoming projects of Wallace’s include ‘Twelve Days in May’ as well as Jim Sheridan’s ‘The Secret Scripture’, starring Rooney Mara, Jack Reynor and Eric Bana.

Follow the #IFTA16 conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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