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Five Filmmakers Make IFTA Rising Star List
31 Jan 2013 : By Eva Hall
Ciaran Foy (top left), Jack Reynor (bottom left), Gerard Barrett (top right) & Glenn Leyburn & Lisa Barros D'Sa
Gerard Barrett, Jack Reynor, Ciaran Foy and Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn have joined the elite club of IFTA/Irish Film Board Rising Star nominees.

In an announcement made by the Irish Film & Television Academy today, the five nominees will hear their fate at the 10th anniversary ceremony on February 9.

Barrett, a 24 year-old filmmaker from Kerry, directed his feature film debut ‘Pilgrim Hill’ in 2012. The drama, set in rural Ireland, follows a lonely bachelor tasked with looking after his ill father in his deserted Irish town. Barrett wrote and directed the feature, and went on to win the Best New Irish Talent at the 2012 Galway Film Fleadh.

Barrett, who currently spends his days working at top animation company Brown Bag Films, said it is a “huge honour” to receive the nomination for Rising Star, and he dedicated the nomination the cast and crew of ‘Pilgrim Hill’.

Jack Reynor, the 20 year-old from Wicklow who has made headlines around the world as the next lead actor to take on Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’, has said he is “really delighted” and feels “very lucky” to be nominated for an IFTA Rising Star.

The actor gained his start in Kirsten Sheridan’s ‘Dollhouse’ in 2011, in which he literally played boy-next-door Robbie opposite Best Actress nominee Seana Kerslake. However it was Lenny Abrahamson’s 2012 film ‘What Richard Did’, released before ‘Dollhouse’, that earned Reynor a Best Actor nomination, and placed him on the books of top talent agency WME, as well as earn him recognition from Michael Bay himself.

Ciaran Foy, a graduate of IADT, a college which has amassed 25 IFTA nominations this year, is the director of psychological horror film ‘Citadel’. The film marks his feature film debut, starring Aneurin Barnard as Tommy, an agoraphobic father who seeks the help of a renegade priest to protect his daughter from a violent gang.

The film won a BAFTA Scotland Award as well as the Audience Prize at the SXSW Festival in 2012. Speaking of his latest nomination, Foy said: “No man is an island and I owe a debt of thanks to my many collaborators who helped me get here”.

The fourth nominees, husband and wife duo Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, have been collaborating on films together since their 2006 award-winning short ‘The 18th Electricity Plan’. Having set up Canderblinks Film and Music with composer and music producer David Holmes, the filmmakers achieved worldwide recognition with their 2012 film ‘Good Vibrations’, which has been nominated for Best Film at this year’s IFTA’s.

Based on the life of Belfast’s godfather of punk and Good Vibrations record store owner Terri Hooley, Barros D'Sa and Leyburn directed the feature, which went on to win Best Irish Film at the 2012 Galway Film Fleadh. Speaking of their nomination, the duo said they were “incredibly honoured”.

The IFTA/Irish Film Board Rising Star Award is selected by a special jury, and aims to highlight exceptional new and breakthrough talent working in all areas of the Irish film industry.

Previous Rising Star recipients include ‘The Guard’ director John Michael McDonagh (2012); Domhnall Gleeson, who was awarded for his performance in ‘When Harvey Met Bob’ and ‘Sensation’ (2011) and ‘Shame’ and ‘Hunger’ actor Michael Fassbender (2009).

Áine Moriarty, chief executive of the Irish Film and Television Academy, said: “This important award puts the spotlight on great Irish talent making a significant mark in the film industry at large. These four exciting Irish stars have shown themselves to be world class talents in their respective fields and I have no doubt that they will be counted among the wealth of leading Irish talents over the coming years. IFTA is proud to put the international spotlight on Ireland’s Rising Stars and acknowledges the Irish Film Board’s on-going support of new Irish industry talent.”

James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, said: “Developing and creating opportunities for Irish talent both in front of and behind the camera is one of the primary functions of the Irish Film Board and the IFTA Rising Star award is an important opportunity to highlight up and coming Irish actors, directors and writers who have accomplished great work this year.”

The 10th IFTA Awards take place in the Convention Centre in Dublin on Saturday, February 9.


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