3 March 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Winners at 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival
02 May 2017 : Katie McNeice
The Jury Award for Best Director went to Len Collin of ‘Sanctuary’, while Best Animated Short went to the IFTA-winning ‘Second to None’ from Vincent Gallagher. Honours also went to talent from several other Irish projects such as ‘Cardboard Gangsters’, ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ and 'Aerial Ireland'.

'Moon Dogs' (Philip John) produced by Ripple World Pictures which also stars Tara Lee (A Date For Mad Mary) took the top Jury Award for Best Film.

The festival ran from April 20th–27th, with over three hundred and fifty films screening, including heavyweight Irish titles ‘The Secret Scripture’ (Jim Sheridan) and ‘Tomato Red’ (Juanita Wilson).

Under the Foreign Film branch, Mark O’Connors’ ‘Cardboard Gangsters’ was awarded for its Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking. The title which stars John Connors (Breathe) picked up the award for Best Film at the Manchester Film Festival in March.

Mark O’Connor, 'Cardboard Gangsters' Director:
“It was very special to receive this award from the Newport Beach Film Festival considering the quality of competition from around the world. For some reason foreign audiences are connecting with our film on an emotional level, despite the strong Dublin accents. It was an honour to represent Irish film in LA. We open in Irish cinemas in a few weeks and we are hoping Irish audiences will take to it the same way foreign audiences have.”

Len Collin, 'Sanctuary' Director:
“To say I'm delighted is an understatement, and the award is a testament to the work of our whole team, especially my right hand man DoP Russell Gleeson. And of course it all starts with a great script from Christian O'Reilly and the faith of our producer Edwina Forkin. Thanks also to the IFB and BAI for their faith.”

IFTA Rising Star Nominee Seána Kerslake was likewise awarded under the Acting category for her portrayal of ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle in Darren Thornton’s ‘A Date For Mad Mary’.

‘Aerial Ireland’ which is produced and directed by Stephen Rooke of Tile Films was also honoured for its achievement in Cinematography.

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