RTS Ireland/Gradaim Television Awards announces nominees for 2021

Dara will receive the BAI Outstanding Contribution Award and nine other award winners will be revealed in a programme to be broadcast at 11pm on Virgin Media One on Tuesday March 30th, presented by Muireann O’Connell.

27 other nominees were announced today in nine categories from the 126 entries received, including RTÉ's Normal People, Virgin Media Television's News coverage - COVID News Special - Opening Up The Country, TG4's Is Olc an Ghaoth and Sky Sports’ Coverage of the GAA Championships.

Winners announced for the RTS Republic of Ireland Student Television Awards 2021

The Scripted award went to Cease, a film about the friendship between two girls. “The violent sexual assault and its aftermath, which is at the heart of the drama, is sensitively and skilfully dealt with,” said the judges.

Fatherly, which tells the story of a man who loses contact with his child, took the non-scripted prize. The judges said: “The story of the heartbreak of this young father is sympathetically told.”

RTS RoI find out what went into the making of RTÉ Does Comic Relief

An RTS Republic of Ireland event in late October looked at how the June fundraiser brought stars, including Normal People‘s Marianne and Connell and Fleabag‘s Hot Priest, to the small screen.

RTÉ entertainment producers Clare and Michael Hughes (they are not related) were given just six weeks to get the show ready for transmission on 26 June.

The sounds of BBC's Normal People

Niall O’Sullivan recorded the location sound, which Steve Fanagan mixed in post-production – along with added dialogue, Foley sounds, music and sound effects – to create the final sound.

Fanagan described his task as one of “creating a world soundwise that feels truthful to the world portrayed on screen”.

Two clips illustrated the work of the sound specialists. The first – Marianne and Connell’s first romantic encounter in the former’s family home – was recorded by O'Sullivan with two boom microphones.

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). 

RTS Republic of Ireland host screening and documentary masterclass

Director Hilary Fennell (far right) and crew on location in Dingle (Credit RTÉ)

For the one-hour film, director Hilary Fennell followed seven artists attempting to have their work accepted for Ireland’s most important open-call art show, the Royal Hibernian Academy Summer Exhibition

It was the first time cameras have been allowed behind the scenes at the 196-year-old Royal Hibernian Academy, including access to the judging process. The film was broadcast on RTÉ One in June 2019.

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!”