Throughout our coverage of the upcoming awards ceremony from the Irish Film & Television Academy, the calibre of 2017 nominees has been continuously impressive.
Best Actor in a Leading Role in Film is no exception to this, with last year’s recipient Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) again nominated for ‘The Light Between Oceans’ alongside a diverse line-up of his peers.
With a mix of comedy, experimental documentary, political and wartime drama and romance, the category showcases the agility and reach of talent among Irish actors in the industry today.
Jamie Dornan, The Siege of Jadotville
‘Fifty Shades’ franchise star Jamie Dornan is nominated for his portrayal of Pat Quinlan in ‘The Siege of Jadotville’, the feature directorial debut from Richie Smyth. Dornan’s nomination is one of seven for the project, which also features in Best Film (Alan Moloney & Richie Smyth) Best Director (Smyth), Best Script (Kevin Brodbin), Best Supporting Actor (Jason O’Mara), Best Sound (Garret Farrell & Fionan Higgins) and Best VFX (Tim Chauncey).
Dornan is currently filming Appian Way production ‘Robin Hood’ directed by Otto Bathurst, in which he plays iconic character Will Scarlet. Other highlights for the actor so far this year include his role as Jan Kubis in ‘Anthropoid’, in which he starred alongside ‘Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy. ‘Anthropoid’ was nominated for 12 Czech Lion Awards Nominations in January.
Colm Meaney, The Journey
Meaney earns his nomination for the role of Martin McGuinness in ‘The Journey’ (Nick Hamm), in which he stars alongside Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley. The project screened at TIFF 2016 and has since has struck distribution deals with both IFC Films for North America and just this month with The Swen Group for Ireland and the UK.
Jonathan Sehring, Co-President of IFC Films:
“We at IFC Films were immediately enthralled with the film and are always excited at the opportunity to work once more with IM Global. Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney imbue their characters with such charisma and provide a master class in acting.”
Meaney’s other work this year includes ‘Halal Daddy’ from Conor McDermottroe, the Irish and UK rights to which were acquired by Element Pictures Distribution last Summer. The project is produced by Hermann Florin and Ailish McElmeel of Deadpan Pictures and filmed in Co. Sligo.
Mark O’Halloran, History’s Future
The ‘Garage’, ‘Adam and Paul’ and ‘Viva’ writer is a three-time IFTA nominee and is nominated this year for his role as MP in Fiona Tan’s hybrid documentary, fiction and essay style project. ‘History’s Future’ is produced by Family Affair Films and is one of several recent projects from the writer/actor, who also co-wrote the abovementioned ‘Halal Daddy’ with Conor McDermottroe.
O’Halloran also received funding for the upcoming ‘Trade’, to be produced by Roads Entertainment and directed by Hong Khaou (Lilting) from the Irish Film Board in Q3 2016.
Mark O’Halloran, Best Leading Actor in Film Nominee:
"I am absolutely thrilled to be nominated for this award. History's Future is very dear to my heart and I will take the opportunity of the IFTAs to celebrate the whole team that made it possible. Thank you."
Michael Fassbender, The Light Between Oceans
As last year’s recipient of the award for Best Lead Actor, Fassbender is also among the busiest of this year’s nominees. His recent credits include ‘Trespass Against Us’ (Adam Smith) alongside Brendan Gleeson, ‘Assassin’s Creed’ (Justin Kurzel), ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (Bryan Singer), short film ‘Prologue: Last Supper’ (Luke Scott) and ‘Song to Song’ (Terrence Malick) in addition to Derek Cianfrance’s ‘The Light Between Oceans’, for which he is nominated.
Alex Murphy, The Young Offenders
Peter Foott’s debut also marks a first feature for newcomer Murphy, whose co-star Chris Walley is also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Film. With a total of seven nominations this year, the title is one of several stand-out Irish films of last year. Its other nominations are: Best Film (Peter Foott & Julie Ryan), Best Director (Foott), Best Script (Foott), Best Supporting Actress (Hilary Rose) and Editing (Colin Campbell).
Alex Murphy, Best Lead Actor in Film Nominee:
“It’s unbelievable. To be nominated for an IFTA in a category like this. Absolute dream come true. It doesn’t feel real."
For a full list of #IFTA17 Nominees visit the Official IFTA Website