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Another Strong Year for Irish Documentary Filmmaking as the BAI gets behind IFTA Documentary Single Award
25 May 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Following another strong year of Irish Documentary filmmaking, the Irish Film & Television Academy has announced that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) will continue their their support of the IFTA Documentary Single Award at this year’s ceremony.

This marks the third year that the Broadcast Authority of Ireland has supported this category, which honours the best of Irish talent in the production of single documentaries in Ireland. The BAI is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting in Ireland, and provides and awards funding for programming across a range of projects for film and television annually through its Sound & Vision Scheme.
In the Best Single Documentary category, this year's nominees are Autism and Me, a revealing documentary exploring the autism spectrum through the experiences of a number of Irish children, teenagers and young adults; also nominated this year is The Great Irish Sell-Off in which Ian Kehoe explores how a small number of financial giants have bought close to 200 billion euros of distressed Irish debt in recent years; Pearl Harbour – The Heroes Who Fought Back gives a fresh insight into the disaster and tells the true stories of the men that went above and beyond the call of duty. Brendan Courtney’s poignant We Need to Talk About Dad, which explores the toughest decision his family has had to make and how that decision can tear a family apart. Also nominated is the superb Shaw: My Astonishing Self, presented by Gabriel Byrne, exploring the life and times of Ireland’s brilliant satirist George Bernard Shaw.
Commenting on the sponsorship, BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, said:
“The BAI is delighted to be supporting the IFTA Gala Television Awards for 2018. I would like to congratulate all nominees, including those in the Single Documentary and other award categories highlighted today.
“Through its Sound & Vision 3 Scheme, the BAI continues to support a wide variety of high-quality and diverse programming, across a range of formats and genres, for the enjoyment of Irish audiences. BAI funded programmes are well represented at the 2018 awards and we wish every success to all shortlisted candidates.”
About the Single Documentary Nominees:

‘Autism & Me' is a revealing and enlightening observational documentary exploring the autism spectrum through the experiences of Irish children, teenagers and young adults. Avoiding the inclusion of medics or psychologists, we hear directly from the diverse cast of participants whose extraordinary and very personal testimonies gives us a rare opportunity to see life from their perspective.
Producer, Christine Thornton, Firebrand Productions:
"It's wonderful to have Autism and Me nominated for an IFTA as it's a clear recognition of the valuable and inspiring contributions made by the participants in the documentary who patiently stuck with us over a number of years as we waited to get the documentary green lit. I'm also delighted for director, Liam Mc Grath and editor, Gretta Ohle."
‘The Great Irish Sell-Off’ examines the small number of global financial giants bought close to 200 billion in distressed Irish debt in recent years. In this documentary, Ian Kehoe, editor of The Sunday Business Post, examines how they have acted in other countries and finds out what their arrival means for Ireland. Included are interviews with political activist, Noam Chomsky and former IMF mission head, Ashoka Mody.
Producer/Director, Maire Kearney, Factual Unit, RTÉ said:
"We made this documentary to highlight one of the real legacies of the crash – the selloff of Ireland to a small number of vulture funds. We are honoured to be nominated in this category."  
‘Pearl Harbor: The Heroes Who Fought Back’ tells the story of how the attack at Pearl Harbor changed the course of history - and made heroes of ordinary men. Inspired by the 75th anniversary of the attack back in December 2016.
Producer, Edward Hart said:
‘It was a privilege to work with veterans and families to tell the stories of the heroes of Pearl Harbor. 360 South is thrilled to be nominated for this landmark documentary, made with the best of Irish TV production talent."
‘Shaw: My Astonishing Self’ is a passionate and timely one-hour documentary jointly commissioned by RTE and the BBC: internationally-renowned Irish actor Gabriel Byrne explores the life, works and passions of George Bernard Shaw - a giant of world literature, and, like Byrne, an emigrant Irishman who had to leave to be heard; Shaw learnt the outsider's ability to observe, needle and puncture.
Director, Gerry Hoban said:
"It was a joyful documentary to make with the brilliant Gabriel Byrne and an equally astonishing team - I think we reclaimed George Bernard Shaw as a great artist, campaigner and Irishman."
‘We Need To Talk About Dad’ follows fashion designer and TV presenter Brendan Courtney and his family who are facing the toughest decision of their lives so far. And it's a decision that can tear a family apart. What to do about the care of his aging father Frank Courtney now that he's suddenly no longer able to care for himself? 
Producer, Brendan Courtney said:
"Making the Documentary ‘We need to talk about Dad’ was the most challenging thing I have ever done, I had no idea of the impact it would have. To think that my Dad’s suffering has amounted to such change is beyond my wildest expectations and leaves a profound legacy that I feel privileged to have captured and shared. To be nominated for an IFTA in my father’s name is the proudest moment of my career - actually of my life."   
The 2018 IFTA Gala Television Awards take place in the RDS on Thursday May 31st 2018.

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