30 November 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
IFTA Awards Focus: Best Actress Film
21 May 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Six-time nominee Deirdre O Kane is nominated alongside first-time nominees Tara Breathnach, Jordanne Jones and Simone Kirby
The IFTA Awards are only three days away (Sunday May 24) and we continue our coverage with a look at the very talented Best Actress in a Film category, a group which consists of three first-time nominees alongside a six-time nominee.

Nominees this year are Tara Breathnach (‘A Nightingale Falling’), Jordanne Jones (‘I Used To Live Here’), Simone Kirby (‘Jimmy’s Hall’) and Deirdre O Kane (‘Noble’).

One of the three newbie nominees this year, Tara Breathnach received her nomination for the female-led low-budget period drama ‘A Nightingale Falling’ where she shone as a woman who must outwit IRA and British forces and confront her personal rivalry with her sister in order to help a wounded British soldier.

Film Ireland said that Breathnach’s performance was “breathtaking and the character development of a strong and confident woman to being left as nothing but a hollow and jealous wreck is nothing short of remarkable.”

Breathnach’s previous credits include ‘An Bronntanas’, ‘Corp & Anam’ and ‘Holby City’ and she will play the lead in the crime comedy film ‘Hitmanforhire.net’ which is currently in development.

Also nominated this year (and receiving her first nomination) is 14 year old Jordanne Jones.

Her performance as a troubled teenager who flirts with the idea of suicide in Frank Berry’s drama ‘I Used To Live Here’ has received widespread acclaim. The Hollywood Reporter called Jordanne’s performance “riveting, naturalistic, and internalized” with The Irish Times calling her “excellent” and RTÉ labelling her portrayal of Amy as “superb”.

This was Jordanne’s first film role and she procured a scholarship to the Bow Street Acting Academy, on invitation from casting director Maureen Hughes, based on the strength of her performance.

Simone Kirby is also up for her first nomination this year.

Her portrayal of Oonagh in Ken Loach’s period drama ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ has been praised by publications such as RTÉ for its’ “quiet intensity”. Previous credits of Kirby’s include ‘Love/Hate’, ‘Single-Handed’, ‘Pure Mule’ and most notably in British series ‘Peaky Blinders’.

The ‘Season Of The Witch’ and ‘Hamlet’ actress will continue her prolific television work in 2015 with appearances in new RTÉ four part series ‘Clean Break’ and BBC Northern Ireland’s drama ‘The Truth Commissioner’.

Unlike her fellow nominees, Deirdre O’Kane has been IFTA-nominated before. In fact, ‘Noble’ represents the comedienne and actress’s sixth nomination.

In Stephen Bradley’s biopic ‘Noble’, Deirdre plays children rights activist and humanitarian Christina Noble who overcame a harsh childhood to find her destiny on the streets of Saigon, fourteen years after the end of the war.

Her performance has received acclaim with The Irish Times calling her performance “excellent” and The Hollywood Reporter saying that “O’Kane nicely captures Noble’s signature mix of compassion and defiance as a survivor for whom defeat just isn’t an option.”

O’ Kane has received IFTA nominations in the past for ‘Intermission’, ‘Paths To Freedom’, ‘Boy Eats Girl’, ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Moone Boy’.

Recent roles of hers include the third season of ‘Moone Boy’, reprising her role as Debra Moone and playing Robert Sheehan’s mother in the British horror film ‘The Messenger’.

The IFTA Film & Drama Awards takes place on Sunday, May 24 with TV3 airing a one hour special on the ceremony on Monday, June 1st.

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