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IFTAs International Jury Commends Irish Creative Talent
05 Feb 2009 :
Peter Jackson
The voting for the 6th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards has come to a close with the winners of this year’s Awards being voted for by a combination of the IFTA Academy and a selection of International Jury headed up by Oscar winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong).

The Jury is made up of Academy Voting Members across 14 different chapters of acting, writing, directing etc along with a selection of high profile industry experts from around the world who have cast their votes to decide the winners of this year’s Irish Film & Television Awards - announced at the Awards Ceremony on February 14th next.

The inclusion of international voting panels is seen as a platform which allows IFTA Nominees the opportunity for their work to be viewed by leading industry players throughout the world and highlights the creative work being produced in Ireland.

Oscar winning writer/director/producer Peter Jackson and his screenwriting partner Fran Walsh (who was also a member of the international panel) made the following comment on viewing the Irish submissions:

“Thank you for inviting us to be part of the celebration of the Irish film industry. It has been an honour to be on the jury for the Film and Television Awards. The films we saw were challenging and funny, passionate and lyrical - all of them unique stories, told with a singular Irish voice. Coming from a similar sized country, with limited resources, we know how important it is to protect and preserve cultural identity and that funding is always a struggle. However it is clear to us you are blessed with the most rare resource of all – an abundance of talent - both in front of and behind the camera! It was a pleasure to see such a wide range of truly adventurous film making; films that transcended the generic rules of Hollywood story-telling and succeeded on their own terms. The Irish film industry has a lot to be proud of – keep ‘em coming!”

Another member of the IFTA jury was Philip Edgar Jones, head of Endemol UK and the mastermind behind Channel 4’s Big Brother series; who said:

“When I sat down to watch 20 DVDs of Entertainment TV I thought I was in for an afternoon and evening of pure endurance, but as soon as I popped the first show in the machine and pressed play I was off on a journey that had me laughing at some really sharp comedy, totally engaged with some fabulously produced factual entertainment, full of great stories, and jigging along with some hugely entertaining music shows. All the shows had production values of the highest standard and what really shone through was a great sense of fun, warmth and affection. And I was thoroughly, thoroughly entertained.”

Also included among the IFTA Jury are; BAFTA winning producer Philippe Carcassonne (Ridicule); IFTA Lifetime member, actor & producer Pierce Brosnan; veteran indie-producer Bingham Ray; Emmy nominated sound expert Doug Murray (The Departed, Sex & The City); BAFTA winning television director Nikki Parsons (Strictly Come Dancing, SMTV); Oscar winning costume designer Trisha Biggar (Star Wars Episode 1, 2 & 3); Oscar winning make up artist Michele Burke (Dracula, Tropic Thunder); Cecelia Ahern, co-creator of hit US TV series Samantha Who?; and Ned Dowd, producer of titles such as Apocalypto, King Arthur and Veronica Guerin: Other international names serving on the IFTA Juries have been producer Ed Pressman (American Psycho), Oscar winning cinematographer Chris Menges (The Killing Fields); Oscar winning writer Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) and Oscar winning sound designer Tom Johnson (Titanic, Terminator 2).

The 6th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards takes place on Saturday 14 February 2009 and will broadcast LIVE on RTÉ One at 9.30pm For further information about IFTA see www.ifta.ie

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