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Niamh Algar, Clare Dunne, and Barry Keoghan nominated for 2021 BIFA Awards
09 Dec 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Clare Dunne in Herself.
It has been a fantastic morning for Irish production company Element Pictures as two of their recent feature films Calm with Horses and Herself have been nominated for 11 awards in total at this year’s BIFA Awards.

Nick Rowland’s debut feature film Calm With Horses, written by Irish scriptwriter Joe Murtagh, has received 10 BIFA nominations, while Clare Dunne has received a BIFA nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Phyllida Lloyd’s touching and uplifting drama, Herself.

The British Independent Film Awards highlight the most innovative and creative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the UK and Ireland.

Rowland’s award-winning debut Calm With Horses starring Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, and Niamh Algar received nominations in categories including Best Casting; Shaheen Baig, Most Promising Newcomer; Niamh Algar, Breakthrough Producer; Dan Emmerson, Debut Screenwriter; Joe Murtagh, Debut Director; Nick Rowland, Best Supporting Actress; Niamh Algar, Best Supporting Actor; Barry Keoghan, Best Actor; Cosmo Jarvis, Best Director; Nick Rowland, and Best British Independent Film.

Read our interview with Niamh Algar.

It’s such a dream come true to see CWH recognised by the BIFA voters,” said director Nick Rowland who is nominated for both Debut Director and Best Director. “It’s a testament to the amazing work done by the entire cast and crew, and I am so excited to celebrate this with them all, in some kind of responsible and socially distanced fashion!

"It feels so special to be following in the footsteps of my filmmaking heroes, and it means even more to see so many of my good friends nominated alongside us too," Rowland continued. You would never know 2020 has been a tough year for cinema, with so many amazing films being recognised today. It’s an honour to be in their company.” Read our interview with Director Nick Rowland.

Clare Dunne, who co-wrote Herself with Malcolm Campbell, received a BIFA nomination for Best Actress for a performance that has been hailed as “a revelation” by Indiewire.

On hearing the nomination news, Clare Dunne said: I can’t express how thrilled and honoured I am to be nominated by BIFA for best actress. Such incredible films and artists get included every year and I cannot believe I’ve been chosen to be amongst this incredible group of artists. (I am) so grateful to BIFA for this. 

“Thank you to my family and friends and partner Jack for supporting me all the way! Many more thanks to Sharon Horgan, Clelia Mountford, Malcolm Campbell, Ed Guiney, Rory Gilmartin, Andrew Lowe, Rose Garnett and all the team in Merman, Element Pictures, BBC, BFI and Screen Ireland who made this film happen .... Especially Phyllida Lloyd, who encouraged me to play Sandra - an incredible director of this whole cast. It’s mostly her I owe!”

Herself is coming soon to Irish and UK cinemas.  The film is an Element Pictures and Merman Films Production and was developed with BBC Films, Screen Ireland, and production was backed by Screen Ireland, BBC Films, and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).

Calm With Horses is currently available to watch on all major platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Virgin Media, and Volta. Calm With Horses is a DMC Film, Element Pictures production in association with Altitude Film Entertainment; developed and co-financed by Film4 and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland with the participation of The Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund/WRAP Fund.

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