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George Morrison to be Honoured by IFTA
12 Feb 2009 :
George Morrison
Veteran Irish documentary filmmaker and archivist George Morrison is be honoured with the Industry Lifetime Contribution Award at this weekend’s IFTAs. The Academy has announced the Feature Documentary category is to be named in his honour.

President Mary McAleese will present the award to Morrison, one of Ireland’s most ground-breaking and influential filmmakers of the 20th century, and will lead the tributes on Saturday night along with Irish directors Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and Senator David Norris.

Morrison is best known for his work during the 50’s & 60’s, his most memorable works being the ground-breaking documentaries ‘Mise Eire’ and ‘Saoirse?’ which told the story of the Easter Rising and Ireland’s War of Independence.

IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty said:

“This year the Academy is putting the spotlight on George Morrison for his outstanding contribution to Ireland as a documentary filmmaker and archivist. His work is, without question, of major importance and significance to Ireland and it is 50 years this year since Mise Eire, George’s first major work, which will forever stand as a national treasure. Irish people need to know this man behind the scenes, who persevered as a filmmaker and archivist through harsh periods of Irish history, times when an Irish film and television industry barely existed. We are proud to put the national and international spotlight on George Morrison.

“Ireland in particular has a great capacity for storytelling and it is for this reason that Ireland has begun to lead the way in high-end production of feature length documentary making. In 2009 the Irish Academy has introduced the new category ‘Feature Documentary. Other Academies are also now considering introducing feature documentary ie BAFTA, as it is widely becoming recognised as a significant and growing genre worldwide. It is the Academy’s great honour to officially name this Award the George Morrison Feature Documentary award.”

Describing George Morrison’s Lifetime Contribution to the Irish Film industry, Neil Jordan said: “It is remarkable what George Morrison has achieved through the 1970’s and 1980’s with almost no support. He’s done extraordinary documentary work and extraordinary work as an archivist, one of the few in Ireland who have done that, he’s an inspiration to all of us.”

The 6th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards will broadcast LIVE on RTÉ One at 9.30pm on Saturday 14th February. Selected highlights from the IFTAs will be broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 7pm on Monday 16th February.

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