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Where to watch the 2021 IFTA Award Winners

















It’s just over a month since the Star-studded Virtual IFTA Awards 2021. With over 25 Awards given out to the very best in Irish film and drama, the IFTA compiled the complete guide of where to watch this year's winners. 



Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers took home the coveted Best Film Award at the 2021 IFTA Film & Drama Awards. This is only the second time the Best Film award has gone to an animated film, with Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea also winning in 2015. This makes Ireland the only country other than Japan whose academy has twice awarded an animated film Best Film. 

Wolfwalkers, the third and final installment in Tomm Moore's "Irish Folklore Trilogy", following his previous films The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014). It follows the story of Robyn Goodfellowe, a young apprentice hunter who arrives in Ireland with her father during a time of superstition and magic to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to turn into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

Where to watch Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers was released exclusively on Apple TV+ in December 2020. If you want to watch the film for free, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial of Apple TV+. 



Distributed by Wildcard Distribution, Wildfire will be released in cinemas across Ireland from 3rd September 2021.




Winner – Script Film – Clare Dunne & Malcolm Campbell

Clare Dunne and Malcolm Campbell won the award for Best Script Film. Dunne, also nominated for a Rising Star Award, wrote the script as well as starring in the lead role. The Film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Best known for directing ‘Mamma Mia!’ & ‘The Iron Lady’, Lloyd’s Herself has generated a huge buzz since its world premiere to critical acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. 

The story follows the story of Sandra ( Dunne), who on the surface of it, is a young Mum struggling to provide her two young daughters with a warm, safe, happy home to grow up in. Beneath the surface, Sandra has a steely determination to change their lives for the better and when it becomes clear that there are no other options left to her, she decides to build it herself from scratch, drawing together a community of friends to support her. Supporting cast includes Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) and Cathy Belton (Philomena).

Where to watch Herself

Cinemas (Ireland) - From September 12th

Element Distribution will be releasing the film in Ireland and Picturehouse Entertainment in the UK. Cornerstone Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution. The film is available on Amazon Prime in the US.




Winner – Nicola Coughlan

Derry Girls’ star Nicola Coughlan won the Award for her standout performance in Netflix’s world-wide smash BridgertonIn her acceptance speech, a clearly emotional Coughlan said  “I’m really shocked - oh my god I’m so shocked. Hearing Luke Skywalker say my name is such a shock! I’m so proud to be an Irish actor,  I’m so proud to be so proud of that! This is so special because all you really want is people at home to be happy with what you are doing. I was at the BAFTAs when Paul [Mescal]won and it felt like a win for everybody. So to be recognised at home is really so special, it's so amazing and I am so grateful, thank you so much.” Coughlan was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role in Bridgerton. 

Bridgerton follows the eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family who look for love and happiness in London high society. It is inspired by Julia Quinn's bestselling novels. 


Where to watch Bridgerton


All eight episodes of the first season are available on Netflix to those with a subscription. Season two was confirmed by Netflix in January 2021.



Winner – Actor in a Lead Role (Film) – Gabriel Byrne

Gabriel Byrne won Best Actor Film for his role as  Samuel O’Shea, a university professor of poetry, exuberant womanizer and enthusiastic drinker, who has seen better days.  His second marriage is ending, and his wife and children are at their wits’ end with him. 

More disturbingly, he has begun seeing things: Frankenstein sidles up to the bar and strangers sing and dance to Leonard Cohen tunes.  His much missed father, who died when Samuel was just a boy, pops in for chats.  At first, Samuel thinks it could be the drink, or perhaps he’s just crazy or over-imaginative, but then learns he has a brain tumour. 

Reflecting on the life he has lived, Samuel retreats to his family shack in remote Ireland, where he begins work on that great novel he always meant to write, and generally takes stock.  Surprisingly, or not, he meets and falls in love with a local woman, who is full of unexpected ideas. All this leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable ending.

Where to watch Death of a Ladies’ Man

Festival screenings 

Death of a Ladies’ Man has been released in Canada, USA, Germany and Russia. It is expected to release here and in the UK later this year, but keep an eye out for festival screenings before then. 




Coming-of-age, fairytale horror Gretel & Hansel took home the awards for make-up & hair and Costume with Linda Gannon-Foster and Liz Byrne, and Leonie Prendergast showcasing their fantastic(al) work on the Dublin-shot film. Oz Perkin’s  stylish and intelligent re-imagining of the classic folk tale stars Sophia Lillis (Netflix’s I am Not OK with This Chapters 1 & 2) as the titular Gretel  as she and her brother Hansel (newcomer Sam Leakey) enter the dark woods in order to find work and food, and then stumble upon the (definitely not Gingerbread-based) home of a mysterious witch.

Where to watch Gretel & Hansel:

Sky Store, Rent/Buy online platforms.

Gretel & Hansel is available to rent or buy on the Sky Store, to buy on the Microsoft Store, Google Play, Apple TV, and other online platforms.




Winner – Best Original Score – Aza Hand

Aza Hand was nominated for dual roles on Ivan-Kavanagh’s horror film Son, for Best Sound and Best Original Score. He won for his haunting soundtrack which skillfully augments Kavanagh’s unique blend of Folk-Horror and family trauma with chilling results.

Award-winning Irish filmmaker Ivan Kavanagh (The Canal, Never Grow Old) returns to horror with Son. It stars Halloween’s Andi Matichak as a  mother who escaped a cult as a child must face her past when cult members return and attempt to kidnap her son David. On the run from the sinister sect, they are helped by a detective - but since the attempted abduction, something has changed in David. Emile Hirsch and Matichak lead an on-form cast in Kavanagh’s dark, psychological horror/thriller.

Where to watch Son:

Shudder, Rent/Buy online platforms.

Son is available for streaming on dedicated horror streaming platform Shudder since July 2nd. It is also available to rent/buy on Apple TV and Prime Video.




Winner – Best Actress in a Leading Role (Drama) – Dervla Kirwan

Dervla Kirwan won the Best Actress in a Lead Role in Drama for her portrayal of Ahern Family matriarch Val Ahern in Treasure Entertainment’s twisty and hugely entertaining whodunnit. When Val’shusband is found dead the morning after a family party, she interrogates his relationships with his family – and begins to uncover an intricate web of lies.  Smother  is currently shooting its second season.

Kirwan is an Irish television, stage, and film actress who specializes in drama roles. She gained attention for her roles in Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart, and the Doctor Who Christmas special episode The Next Doctor.For 23 episodes, from 1996–1998, she appeared in Ballykissangel in the role of Assumpta Fitzgerald, the landlady of the village's only pub, Fitzgerald's. She reprised this role for a Comic Relief special of The Vicar of Dibley, and for a Father Ted special.Since departing popular Ballykissangel, Dervla has appeared  in Goodnight Sweetheart, Doctor Who, Law and Order: UK and recently in the smash hit Netflix thriller, The Stranger. 

Where to watch Smother:

RTÉ Player

Smother has been a big ratings hit for RTÉ with the second series now filming. It is available to view on the RTE Player.




Irish drama Normal People smashed the RTÉ Player record with 3.3 million streams - and, in the process, overtook the number of streams on the service for season four of Love/Hate.  It’s been available exclusively on the  RTÉ Player since it debuted to critical acclaim last summer. 







Best Short Animation

Éabha Bortolozzo & Jack Kirwan’s Her Song won the best Short Animation Award at this year’s IFTA Awards. Written and directed by Bortolozzo and Kirwan, the animation depicts an Irish woman’s harrowing experience in a mother and baby home.

Her Song follows  Eve as she learns of her Grandmother's harrowing history in a Mother & Baby home. Woven through her past is the mythological and misunderstood figure of the Banshee, whose comforting presence inspires the strength she needs to tell her story.

Where to watch Her Song