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IFTA Film & Drama Awards Focus: Best Drama Nominations #IFTA17
10 Mar 2017 : Laura Brennan
The Irish Academy this week announced the line-up of nominees for the upcoming 2017 awards ceremony, which will take place on Saturday April 8th in the Mansion House, Dublin.

With the ceremony just four weeks away, we take a look at the Best Drama nominations, showcasing the quality and production scale of dramas currently being made in Ireland. All six nominations showcase the strength of talents that we have in this country within production crew, writers and actors.

At a time when content makers are heavily focused on investing and commissioning new drama series. These factors across the board help contribute to the highly regarded quality of drama productions and series proudly made here in Ireland that compete and are celebrated amongst global audiences.

The six titles nominated for the 2017 Best Drama IFTA include; ‘An Klondike’ Season 2, ‘The Fall’ Season 3, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6, ‘Smalltown’, Striking Out’ and ‘Vikings’ Season 4.

‘An Klondike’ Season 2

The second season of the 1890’s Irish language gold rush drama ‘An Klondike', brings viewers back into the exciting world of the Klondike continuing the story of the Connolly brothers played by Dara Devaney, Owen McDonnell and Sean T O Meallaigh

After previously journeying from the silver mines of Montana to the Klondike Valley in the hope of striking it rich. We watch as seeking their fortunes brings with it a lack of fair opportunity in Dominion Creek, a town built on greed, as the Connolly’s become embroiled in deepening storylines of deadly business feuds and personal battles that play out against a gritty backdrop of dark and original music.

Winners of the Best Drama category in 2016, ‘An Klondike' carries 10 nominations across the awards categories this year and seems to be looking for its own IFTA gold rush. The nominated categories include; Best Drama, Best Director Drama, Best Script Drama, Best Actor In A Lead Role In Drama, Best Actor In A Supporting Role in Drama, Cinematography, Original Music, Production Design, Costume Design and Make-Up & Hair.

Read our full interview with ‘An Klondike’ Director and creator Dathaí Keane

‘The Fall’ Season 3
In series 3 of the BBC Two crime drama Gillian Anderson returns as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson. Having arrested serial killer Paul Spector played by Irish talent Jamie Dornan.  Will there be enough evidence and will Paul’s health allow him to live long enough to ever stand trial?  

‘The Fall’ has also received a nomination in the Best Original Music category this year for Ivor Novella winner David Holmes  composing work in series three.

New faces that adding to the storylines in the third series include Irish actors Ruth Bradley ‘The Flag’, Aidan McArdle ‘Ella Enchanted’, Aisling Bea ‘The Trap’ and Colin Morgan ‘The Huntsman: Winter's War’.

Jamie Dornan, Actor:
“In series three particularly, we get an insight into the mind of Spector. It’s such a treat to get to play someone who’s so layered - even after four years of playing him I am still finding out more about the character.”

Read our full interview with Director Allan Cubitt

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6

The HBO series which is partially filmed in Northern Ireland and features various Irish talent within acting and production crew. Continuing storylines of battling feuds of triumph and ruin across the seven kingdoms again play out with more deadly sieges and wars ensuing against all natures of forces across land and sea.

‘Game of Thrones’ is nominated across several categories at this year’s awards including; Best Actor In A Supporting Role in Drama for Liam Cunningham, Best VFX and Best Sound for Onnalee Blank, Matthew Waters and Ronan Hill who recently received his 4th Consecutive CAS Award in February.

Read our full interview with Director Neil Marshall


Filmaker Gerard Barrett’s ‘Smalltown' engages with the topic of emigration in Ireland.  The three-part mini drama series produced by Blank Page productions follows a rural family as they deal with emigration and illness. In his highly anticipated return to drama, Pat Shortt plays patriarch Tom, struggling to keep strong in the midst of a crisis.

‘Smalltown’ is also up for nominations in Best Script Drama, Gerard Barrett and Best Original Music for ASCAP Award nominated Patrick Cassidy’s composing.

Gerrard Barrett, Director:

“For me it’s a continuation of what I’ve been doing with 'Pilgrim Hill' and 'Glassland' shining a light on issues in Ireland  not in any moral way or anything like that, but purely in what I see going on around me in my own life and in my own community…“I’ve a strong affinity to rural Ireland, it’s where I come from, it’s who I am. I’ll always go back and tell rural Ireland stories.”

‘Striking Out’
The four-part series follows the professional and personal life of Dublin-based solicitor Tara Rafferty, played by Best Actress in A Lead Role In Drama nominee Amy Huberman. After discovering that her fiancé Eric has been cheating on her with a colleague, she breaks up with him, quits her job at the prestigious law firm they worked at together, and sets about making her way in a new life,

‘Striking Out’ was produced for RTÉ by Katie Holly and Yvonne Donohoe of Blinder Films with international co-financing from DCD Rights and Acorn Media EnterprisesThe series was created by James Phelan (‘Wrecking the Rising’), written by Rob Heyland (‘Between the Lines’,’Whistleblowers’), Mike O’Leary (‘Eipic’, ‘Misfits’) and James Phelan and directed by Lisa James Larsson.         

Read the full interview when IFTN Spoke with Creator James Phelan

‘Vikings’ Season 4

The world of the 'Vikings' is brought to life through the journey of Ragnar Lothbrok, the first Viking to emerge from Norse legend and onto the pages of history. Making it into IMDb’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2016. The History channels internationally acclaimed drama created by Michael Hirst is filmed in Ireland and broadcast in over 100 territories worldwide includes a lead cast that includes Irish actors such as Best Actor In A Supporting Role in Drama nominee Moe Dunford (‘Handsome Devil ‘,‘The Flag’) and John Kavanagh (‘Braveheart’,‘The Butcher Boy’) alongside  Northern Ireland’s Clive Standen (‘Robin Hood’,‘ Camelot’) and Katheryn Winnick (‘Love & Other Drugs’,’Bones’).

‘Vikings’ is nominated across other categories at this year’s awards including; Best Director Drama, Best Actor In A Supporting Role in Drama, Production Design and Make-Up & Hair.

Read IFTN Talks ‘Vikings’ with Director Stephen St. Leger interview

For a full list of #IFTA17 Nominees visit the Official IFTA Website 

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