Deirdre O’Kane to Host the IFTA Awards on RTÉ One

14th of March 2017

The Irish Film & Television Academy has announced that award-winning Irish actress and comedienne Deirdre O’Kane will host the 2017 IFTA Film & Drama Awards, taking place at the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House on Saturday April 8th and will be broadcast on RTÉ ONE.

O’Kane will Host for the second year, having presided over last year’s glamorous proceedings that had the cream of Ireland’s film community including Liam Neeson and President Michael D Higgins in the round room.  With six nominations under her belt since the inaugural ceremony in 2003, Deirdre won the coveted Best Actress award in 2015 for her spectacular performance as Christina Noble in Stephen Bradley’s ‘Noble’. 

Deirdre O’Kane said: “What an honour to be hosting the IFTA Awards for a second year, especially to be part of showcasing this industry that is gaining so much international recognition.  It is important to recognise and reward these accomplishments at home and to promote Irish films and encourage cinema-going so I am delighted to be a part of such a prestigious and significant event.”

IFTA 2017 will see legendary actor Michael Gambon receive the Academy’s highest Honour, the Lifetime Achievement Award, for his spectacular work across 50 years of film and television and will be joined by a host of Irish, UK and international stars helping him celebrate his big night. 

Nominees in the running this year include Ruth Negga, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Jamie Doran, Caitriona Balfe, Aidan Turner, Ciaran Hinds, Jason O’Mara, Colm Meaney, Fiona Shaw, Brendan Gleeson, Susan Lynch, Seana Kerslake, Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Sinead Cusack, Ruth Bradley, Moe Dunford, Liam Cunningham, Mark O’Halloran among others. 

The growth in the industry sees nominated Films commissioned, co-funded and produced by a wide range of companies including the Irish Film Board, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Northern Ireland Screen, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Dramas commissioned by RTÉ, BBCNI, SKY, TV3, TG4, Channel 4 and History Channel among others.

The prestigious Awards Ceremony has been months in the planning with the Ceremony being broadcast primetime on RTÉ ONE and will showcase the very best of Irish creative talent, and all the glamour and excitement from the Red carpet.

Áine Moriarty IFTA CEO, said: “It has been a phenomenal year for Irish film and drama and the Academy is delighted to be working with the Irish Film Board to showcase and reward the extraordinarily talented people working in the industry in Ireland and to be broadcasting with the national broadcaster on RTÉ ONE. We look forward to a great night of celebration and some great fun too with Deirdre at the helm.”

James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said: “The Irish film, documentary and animation industry has gone from strength to strength over the last number of years and has received huge international acclaim. The IFTA's will provide a great opportunity to showcase the best of creative Irish talent at home to local audiences and provide a strong indication of new and upcoming talent to the international industry."

Adrian Lynch, Channel Controller for RTÉ One said:

RTÉ is pleased to partner with the Irish Film Board and IFTA for the 2017 IFTA Film & Drama Awards to recognise the immense creative talent in Irish film and drama on both national and international screens.

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