5 July 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth pick up awards at Prix Circom 2021
30 Apr 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Tommy Tiernan as The Wanderer in Samhlú 2020.
Two TG4 programmes, Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth, have picked up awards at Prix Circom 2021. Every year, the Prix Circom awards honours the best regional productions.

The Prix Circom awards are seen as the most important international awards for regional programmes and were first presented in 1990. Ten category winners and nine commended awards were selected in 2021. 

"I would like to congratulate producers Meangadh Fíbín and Lunar Pictures and everybody involved in Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth on their awards today,” said Director Genereal of TG4 Alan Esslemont.

Samhlú 2020 was awarded Winner of Most Original and Innovative award. A landmark cultural showcase, Samhlú 2020 celebrated the artistic endeavours and creativity that have endured throughout Ireland in 2020 despite a very challenging year. The show was funded by The Creative Ireland Programme and produced by Meangadh Fíbín for TG4. 

“Samhlú 2020 was a hugely ambitious and important project which celebrated the best of the arts in Ireland during an unprecedented and difficult year,” Esslemont added.

Set in the beautiful surrounds of Roundstone, Connemara, Co. Galway. Tommy Tiernan, in the role of The Wanderer brought the audience on a joyous and magical journey of music, dance, and theatre. World renowned composer and Roundstone resident Bill Whelan’s new original composition, Samhlú premiered in the broadcast.  Samhlú 2020 also featured six short legacy films interwoven with performances from Shane Hennessey, Moxie, Slow Moving Clouds, Julie Feeney, Morgan Bullock, David Geaney, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Vario and Tonnta. 

Sharing her congratulations with the TG4 and Fíbín Media team in Connemara, Minister Catherine Martin added: “To win the most original and innovative programme against regional broadcasters of much greater scale is some achievement. TG4’s Súil Eile is one we all admire,” said Minister Martin. “I am delighted to have funded the making of Samhlú. Our ambition was to showcase the extraordinary creative practice which thrived despite COVID, hence 126 artists featured from all over Ireland including new music from composer Bill Whelan. This is also a great tribute to the independent production community in the west”.
Is Olc an Ghaoth was awarded Commended in the Entertainment and Drama category. An Achill Island Gothic Triptych, Is Olc An Ghaoth consisted of three sad-funny short films that fold into each other, set on a slightly off-kilter, quirky Covid-bound Island and features some of the finest actors in the country, Stiofán Seoige (Murdair Mhám Trasna), John Finn (Cold Case, The Waking Dead), Carrie Crowley (Rásaí na Gaillimhe) and Peadar Cox (Song of Granite, Fir Bolg).Produced by Niamh Fagan directed by IFTA winning director Tom Sullivan and BAFTA winning writer Kevin Toolis. 

“The calibre of talent involved in Is Olc an Ghaoth speaks for itself, and shows the success of original Irish-produced drama which can transcend boundaries and appeal to international audiences," said Esslemont.

There were 191 entries for the awards this year compared with 193 last year, which suggests that in a full year of Covid-19, the public stations continued to produce a significant amount of content in service to their viewers during this tragic year. In all, 23 states had entries for the awards by broadcasters.

The award juries comprise experts working as producers in regional stations.  They were: Sybren Terpstra, Omrop Fryslan, The Netherlands; Cathrine Gaukerud, NRK, Norway; Erica Stenback, SVT, Sweden; Léa Zilber, RTBF, Belgium; Adriano Nazareth, RTP, Portugal; Lisa Reynolds, BBC, UK; Zsuszanna Antala, MTVA, Hungary; Chiara Tomasoni, RSI, Switzerland; Daniela Draštata, HRT, Croatia; Daniele Guido Gessa, RAI, Italy; Françoise Erb, France 3, France; Alina Amza, TVR, Romania; Montse Armengou Martín, CCMA, Spain; Dagmara Drzazga, TVP, Poland; Christine Schwarz, RTBF, Belgium; Andreas Riedl, ORF, Au stria; Mojca Recek, RTVSLO, Slovenia; Martin Novosad, ČT, Czech Republic; Lucía Herrera Cueva, RTPA, Spain; Roisin Ní Thuairisg, TG4, Ireland; Janina Strothman, HR, Germany; Joe Reddington, RTÉ, Ireland; Gunnar Henrich, HR, Germany;Eivind Undrum Jacobsen, NRK, Norway.

The winner of the Grand Prix – the Best of the Best will be announced at an online gala and celebration on Wednesday 12 May, 20:00 CET.  There will also be a further Special Award to be announced.

Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
Director Gary Lennon discusses Irish documentary Castro's Spies; currently on limited release in IFI
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