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Anna Rodgers Lauded at This Year’s Radharc Awards
26 Oct 2012 : By Steve Cummins
John Lonergan
Filmmaker Anna Rodgers was the big winner at this year’s Radharc Awards after two productions she directed were victorious in two categories at the prestigious documentary films awards.

The overall prize at Radharc for a broadcast documentary was given to ‘John Lonergan's School Principles’, directed by Rodgers and produced by Adrian McCarthy and Martha O'Neill.

The jury complimented Lonergan's passion in exploring educational attainment for young people in disadvantaged communities in Ireland. The documentary is a Wildfire Films production and was made as part of RTE's Back to School week.

Rogers was also behind the overall winner in the documentary in digital media non-broadcast category for her short film ‘Hold on Tight’, which was produced by Zlata Filipovic of Crossing the Line Films.

The documentary was selected because of how it treated the subject of equality for gay and lesbian couples in expressing affection in public. ‘Hold on Tight’ was funded through the GAZE LGBT Film Festival, Filmbase and the Irish Film Board.

Speaking to IFTN, Rodgers said: "We are so delighted to receive these awards. It was a real surprise for both works to be awarded yesterday and such an honour to meet President Higgins.

“Myself, Martha and Adrian were very happy to see John Lonergan's spirit and compassion recognised by Radharc. Myself and Zlata are also really grateful to accept the award for ‘Hold on Tight’ and thank the generous couples who shared their stories with us.”

Martha O’Neill, producer of ‘John Lonergan's School Principles’, added: “It was a complete surprise. We are delighted to have won it with someone like John Lonergan. He did a fantastic job for us and people seemed to like the show so I’m very glad for him.”

In total six prizes in the two categories were presented at yesterday’s ceremony in Dublin, which was presided over by President Michael D Higgins.

In the non-broadcast short film category, the Radharc Commended Award was given to director and producer Robin Murray for Nomos Productions’ documentary ‘Uganda - No Country For Old Men’.

’Freedom Driver’, from director and producer Fran Cassidy, won the Radharc Highly Commended Award for his portrait of disability activist Dara Gallagher in the category won by Rodgers’ film ‘Hold on Tight’.

In the category for a documentary film of outstanding quality broadcast on television, ‘Life Patrol: On The Banks of The Foyle’, from producer and director Des Henderson, won the Radharc Commended Award. Alleycat TV produced.

Lelia Doolan’s IFTA-winning documentary on Bernadette McAliskey (formerly Bernadette Devlin), entitled ‘Bernadette – Notes on a Political Journey’, won the Radharc Highly Commended Award. Digital Quilts produced.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the first Radharc film on Teilifis Eireann on January 12, 1962.

The Radharc Awards are presented to the producers of documentaries which address national or international topics of social justice, morality or faith and honour the memory of the late Fr Joe Dunn, co-founder of past independent production company Radharc Films.

Awards are presented every two years to the producers of documentaries of outstanding quality, which address national or international topics of social justice, morality and faith.

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