RTÉ

RTÉ enjoys strong night at RTS Ireland Television Awards

RTÉ thriller­-come­-family drama Smother, starring Dervla Kirwan, won the coveted Drama award. One of the stars of the Irish broadcaster’s gangster series Kin, Yasmin Seky, took the Newcomer prize. In total, RTÉ won seven of the 11 categories.

Finding Jack Charlton, Virgin Media’s moving film about the England World Cup win­ner and former Republic of Ireland manager, won the Sport category.

Republic of Ireland Student Awards 2020 winners announced

From Left: Brian Redmond, Jenni McNeaney, Adrian Lynch, Bill Malon, Agnes Cogan, Alan Esslemont (Credit: George Adjaye)

The National Film School IADT Dún Laoghaire notched up two wins in the main categories, taking home awards in the Drama category for Starry Night and in Short Form for Looking For.

These two films picked up further awards in the Craft Skills categories, with Jack Desmond winning the Cinematography prize (Looking For) and Lori Stacey the award for Editing (Starry Night). 

Filmmakers discuss the significance of TV archive

“Raiders of the (lost) archives” featured a distinguished panel, who discussed why and how programmes are saved and stored – and the value of archive material to film-makers.

Documentary film-maker Sé Merry Doyle recently donated much of his work – the Loopline Collection, named after his production company Loopline Films – to the Irish Film Institute (IFI). Volume 1 of the collection includes Doyle’s 1999 documentary about the lives of Dublin street traders, Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin.

TV producers discuss the importance of locally produced drama in Dublin

Zoe (Amy Manson) in Raw (Credit: RTÉ, Ecosse Films & Octagon Films)

Remaining “local” in terms of story, themes and talent was key. In fact, Paul Marquess – MD of PGM TV and a veteran of soaps including Brookside and Hollyoaks – argued that what worked, in his experience, was being “very local”. 

Marquess said: “It is much harder to build a franchise with global appeal… but there is a huge appetite for quality English-speaking drama.” He called for more locally produced drama in Dublin, adding: “This is a cool place!”

Winners of RTS Republic of Ireland Student Awards announced

Alan Esslemont presenting the Short Form award to Jack Desmond and Philip Emo (Credit: George Adjaye)

The National Film School’s Éabha Bortolozza and Jack Kirwin took home the Animation award for their film about alcoholism, The Usual. “The composition and flow of the imagery is creative and demonstrates a high standard of animation direction,” said the judges.

Brendan McCallion and Frank O’Malley’s farm-set film, Backwater, won the Drama award and featured “a strong acting cast”, with “good scripting, detailed camera shots and set design [making] this a decidedly powerful production”.

Republic of Ireland centre hit the dance floor

Dancing with the Stars (Credit: RTÉ)

The show, the international version of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, began its third series at the beginning of the year. It is made by ShinAwiL for RTÉ, and hosted by Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne.

A team of 120-150 people are involved in the production of the two-hour live broadcast, which has been compared to “producing a Eurovision Song Contest every week for 12 weeks”.

Executive producer and ShinAwiL CEO Larry Bass said that the dance floor was bigger than the area used in the original BBC version of the show.

RTS ROI holds a special screening of A Jar with Brendan Behan

Godfrey Graham and Alan Esslemont at the RTS ROI Student Awards (Credit: Charles Byrne)

The film was shot and produced by Godfrey Graham, who revealed at the RoI event that, at the time, Pierre had been a Swedish researcher working at RTÉ Television. She was fascinated with the Irish writer and approached Graham, who took on the challenge of producing the tribute to Behan.

A Jar with Brendan Behan features Níall Tóibín as Behan, who died in 1964. Tóibín also appeared in a stage adaptation of Behan’s Borstal Boy on Broadway, as well as acting in the movies Ryan’s Daughter and Veronica Guerin.