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The Winter Lake and A better You big winners at 8th Richard Harris International Film Festival
12 May 2021 : News Desk
Richard Harris International Film Festival
Renowned director and six-time Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan accepted the 2020 RHIFF Outstanding Talent Award on the night.

The winners of 19 categories, nominated by an international jury from the shorts and features submitted to the festival in 2020, were announced on the night. 

Previous winners of this award, chosen by the board of the festival, include actors Fionnula Flanagan, Jack Reynor, Patrick Bergin, Dominic West, and composer Patrick Cassidy, whose composition featured in the Inauguration Mass for President Biden. 

Big winners on the night were Eamonn Murphy’s A Better You, which picked up three short film awards, while Phil Sheerin’s feature film The Winter Lake took home four awards. Former Munster Rugby star and first-time director Damien Varley’s Life after life won two awards including the Newport Beach Film Festival Selection category. Spanish filmmaker Fernando Bonelli’s Planet Earth calling Ana was also the winner in two categories.

The acting categories were amongst the most competitive this year with nominees including Charlie Murphy; Michael McElhatton, and Paul Mescal.

The feature film acting awards went to Charlie Murphy for The Winter Lake and Joel Minguet for Lone Wolves. Mark Lawrence was the winner for best short film performance in a male role, while Laia Manzanares won the female acting award for Planet Earth calling Ana.

Phil Sheerin won the inaugural best-directing award in a feature film for The Winter Lake. Sheerin’s film also went on to win the best feature award following on from last year’s winner Bellingcat: Truth in a post-truth world

Eamonn Murphy took both the directing and writing awards in the short film category for A Better you and Eamonn with the film also going on to win the best overall short category. Eamonn has previous form in the festival after winning with Lost Memories in 2017.

The technical awards for Best Editing and Best cinematography went to Colin Campbell for Algorithm and to Ian Fox for Lost Suns, respectively.

Other winners included Planet Earth calling Ana for best National/International Short; Sohaila Lindheim’s Bluebell for Best Midwest film; Michael David McKernan’s How to fall in love in a pandemic (Best Documentary); Kayleigh Gibbon’s Featherweight (Best Animated Short) and Conor Johnston’s Don’t Sing (Best Student Short). Special Judges mentions were awarded to Lane Shipsey’s Olive Harvest and for Emma Mackey for The Winter Lake.

The awards show was produced by Emerald Giant Productions; edited by Simon McGuire, and announced by Rachel Donahue. 

Click here for the full list of winners  and the full show is available – here.

The festival is now accepting submissions for the 9th edition to be held this October. Applications can be made on Film Freeway – here.

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