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IFTA To Honour Film Icon Mel Gibson
08 Feb 2008 :
Mel Gibson
The Irish Film and Television Academy has announced producer/director/actor Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Apocalypto, Lethal Weapon) will be the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award at the 5th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards, taking place in Dublin on the 17th of February 2008.

In its benchmark 5th year, the Academy will present the first Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award and Gibson will attend the ceremony at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre to accept the special honour.

With an exceptional career that spans over three decades, Mel Gibson has starred in over 48 film and television productions. He is the co-founder of Icon Productions and, since his directorial debut in 1993, he has become one of the industry’s most successful and renowned filmmakers. His list of acting credits include ‘Mad Max’, ‘The Bounty’, ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘Maverick’, ‘What Women Want’ and ‘Conspiracy Theory’ and, as a director/producer, Gibson has helmed features including ‘Apocalypto’, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and ‘Braveheart’ – filmed on location in Ireland.

IFTA are welcoming Mel Gibson to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, and will pay tribute to his body of film work and including his multi award winning feature film ‘Braveheart’. ‘Braveheart’ was the first major international film to use Ireland as a location under the new tax incentives and ultimately set the standard and trend for many more international projects to follow over the coming years. The film had a profoundly positive effect on the fledgling Irish film industry of 1994. In 1996, ‘Braveheart’ won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and picked up accolades at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the MTV Movie Awards.

The success of ‘Braveheart’ was cheered by the scores of Irish crew who helped make it possible and the film was a training ground for many of the now leading filmmakers in Ireland. Starring an array of local talent, it also helped boost the careers of actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Sean McGinley and John Kavanagh, with members of the Irish army reserve called upon as extras.

In addition, Gibson has Irish roots on both his mother’s and father’s side. His late mother, Anne Patricia Reilly, was born in County Longford and his great grandfather on his father’s side was Patrick Mylott, who moved from Ireland to Australia in the late 1800’s to escape the Great Potato Famine. Mel is named after the Church of Saint Mel located in his mother’s birthplace, County Longford, while his middle name, Colmcille, is that of the Irish diocese where his mother was born and also the name of a well-loved Irish saint.

Speaking about the award, Aine Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Film & Television Academy said:

“The Irish Film & Television Academy is delighted to welcome Mel Gibson back to Ireland to present him with this Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema, which we hope will take pride of place on his crowded mantelpiece. The Academy holds Mr. Gibson’s film achievements in the highest regard. His drive, vision and determination have inspired so many young Irish filmmakers over the past three decades who have followed his creative journey in filmmaking, both in front of and behind the camera, moreover since he filmed the epic Braveheart here, which won five Academy Awards.”


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