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Verdigris wins Best Narrative Feature at KIFF 2023
23 Oct 2023 : News Desk
KIFF Manager Marie Linehan with director Patricia Kelly, winner of Best Irish Narrative Feature for Verdigris
Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF) celebrated its 24th Edition this past weekend. KIFF presented 46 screenings and events across several venues in Killarney, Co. Kerry, and it was the first year that they introduced live acts, along with traditional film screenings and industry events, which proved to be a phenomenal success.

KIFF was delighted with the level of interest and support they received, and they were thrilled to welcome a variety of industry talent, including comedian Deirdre O'Kane, actors Eileen Walsh, Aoife Duffin and Geraldine McAlinden, world renowned cinematographer P.J. Dillon, and journalist and editor at large at Empire Magazine, Helen O'Hara. There were a huge number of attendees across all KIFF screenings, live events, and film industry talks, and the engagement and support received by the local community was outstanding.

KIFF 2023 received more submissions than ever, which resulted in a dynamic and diverse programme that attracted audiences, filmmakers and film enthusiasts, from near and far. The festival hosted a selection of sold-out screenings, including the compelling screening of their opening film Hungry Hill, which was co-directed by Mieke Vanmechelen and researcher Michael Holly.

“It’s been an amazing experience proving that Co. Kerry has a vibrant, dedicated, and growing film audience,” said Declan Lynch, Director of Programming. “As a team we have delighted in, and learnt so much from, our many conversations with local film fans and visiting filmmakers. All of which can be applied to next year's very special 25th anniversary edition.”

A highlight of KIFF 2023 was the presentation of the Maureen O'Hara Award to actress Eileen Walsh. The award ceremony took place at Randles Hotel Killarney on Friday, 20th October, and was followed by a very special event, In Conversation with Eileen Walsh, which was hosted by Derek O’Connor, editor for RTÉ Culture. Eileen is a worthy recipient of the award, having starred in a series of roles including The Magdalene Sisters, Pure Mule, Eden, and Catastrophe, to name a few. She is also a revered stage actor, having recently starred in the Lyndsey Turner directed play The Crucible, winner of Best Revival nomination at the Olivier Awards 2023, and Girl on an Alter directed by Annabelle Comyn.

Another important highlight of KIFF 2023 was the IFTA Networking Event, which took place at The Plaza Hotel Killarney on Saturday, 21st October. Hosted by IFTA CEO, and KIFF Board member, Áine Moriarty, the event highlighted Kerry as a potential leader in film location and production work. Celebrity guests included the revered comedian Deirdre O’Kane, and the internationally renowned PJ Dillon, IFTA-winning director, Emmy-nominated cinematographer, and native Kerry man. PJ joined KIFF’s weekend celebrations directly from the House of the Dragon film set. He shared an incredibly inspiring talk about his work to date, during which he remarked that Kerry has untapped potential as a location for film, TV, and the screen industry.

The KIFF 2023 Awards Ceremony took place on Sunday, 22nd October at The Great Southern Hotel, Killarney. The ceremony celebrated all aspects of film making and the awards were presented to outstanding film makers, directors, script writers and producers. 

Basil Sheerin, Chief Financial Officer, at Kerry Airport Ireland, presented the KIFF 2023 Taking Flight Award, celebrating emerging talent in film. Sponsored by Kerry Airport, this year’s worthy recipient is Hannah Mamalis. The Best of Kerry Award, sponsored by Virgin Media, went to Two for the Road.

This year’s Trua Award went to Miles O’Reilly for the short film The Street Where You Live. Along with the awards ceremony, the Great Southern Hotel Killarney very generously hosted a full day of films at their 225-seater film auditorium in the hotel.

“This year’s festival was a resounding success,” said KIFF Manager, Marie Linehan. “We are delighted with the positive feedback we have received across KIFF’s live events and screenings, and it is fantastic to see so many local businesses working together to support the festival. We look forward to delivering additional events across Co. Kerry in the coming months and to celebrate our 25th festival in 2024.”

KIFF 2023 presented a truly memorable festival that was warmly received by the public and participants alike. KIFF is immensely grateful to their title sponsors, Kerry Airport Ireland, and also for the invaluable support received from The Arts Council of Ireland, Kerry County Council, Virgin Media, Screen Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA), Tower Records Ireland, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Randles Hotel, the Great Southern Hotel, the Plaza Hotel, and Kerry Broadband, Killarney Chamber, and Killarney Brewing Company, as well as a wealth of local businesses, individuals, and supporters.

Full list Of KIFF 2023 Award Winners

Taking Flight, Rising Talent Award
WINNER - Hannah Mamalis

KIFF 2023 Maureen O’ Hara Award
WINNER - Eileen Walsh

Best Of Kerry
WINNER - Two for the Road

Best International Narrative Short
WINNER - Spoor

Best Animation
WINNER - Pinokidoki

Best Student Short
WINNER - Harvest

Best Original Score
WINNER - Paddy Mulcahy for Songs of Blood and Destiny

Best Documentary Feature
WINNER - Secrets From Putomayo

Best Documentary Short

Best Irish Narrative Short
WINNER - Jill And Lill Do Knick Knacks

Best Narrative Feature
WINNER - Verdigris

Screenwriting Award
WINNER - Eyes to Listen, Hands to Speak (Cathriona Slammon)
Honourable Mentions: Toucan (Eoin Joseph Duncum), Noa's Place (Maria Romanova-Hynes)

Trua Award
WINNER - Myles O’Reilly (The Streets Where You Live)

For more information about Kerry International Film Festival, click here.

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