A glittering line up of Irish showbiz talent will gather in Dublin this Saturday for the annual Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs.)
Now in its sixth year, the gathering of home-grown and international talent promises a night of celebration of what has been a great year for Irish film and television, on both sides of the border.
Organisers are hopeful that Northern Ireland favourites Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt — who co-starred in Five Minutes From Heaven, based on the true story of a UVF murder in Belfast in 1975 — will be in attendance.
Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham, stars of multi-award winning film Hunger will be in Dublin for the ceremony, nominated for their roles in the controversial Steve McQueen film.
BAFTA-winning director McQueen will be also be there, hopeful of collecting another accolade for his film based on the hunger strike of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in the Maze.
The big-budget Hollywood film City of Ember, which was filmed in Belfast, will also be represented at the ceremony with Saoirse Ronan nominated as Best Actress.
Actors Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers will also be in Dublin, fresh from their Golden Globe nominations in the US.
It is not just the achievements of established actors which will be recognised at the ceremony however, with many of Ireland’s rising starlets such as Sarah Bolger, Jenn Murray and Kelly O’Neill also appearing at the 2009 awards.
Glamour for the evening will be provided by Amy Huberman, star of RTE drama series The Clinic and girlfriend of Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll, who will be in the party spirit after her boyfriend’s star performance against France last weekend.
Special guests arriving from the UK include actor and television presenter Shane Richie, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, and her fiancé Jamie Lomas, star of Channel Four’s Hollyoaks.
Stars from the small screen and those behind the camera will also be honoured and film-makers nominated for IFTA awards include directors Martin McDonagh, Lance Daly and Ciaran Donnelly.
Also in the IFTA line-up are costume designers Joan Bergin and Eimear Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, and production designer John Paul Kelly.
The Irish FIlm Board Rising Star Award will be presented by Emmy nominated Irish-American actor Aidan Quinn who is jetting into Dublin for the ceremony.
Quinn stars in the IFTA nominated feature 32A, written and directed by his sister Marian Quinn, which is in contention for Best Film.
Other guests attending the IFTA ceremony include Amanda Byram, the Irish presenter and former girlfriend of Paddy Kielty who has carved a presenting career in the US.
Comedian Des Bishop, whose documentary series on his quest to learn Irish, In the name of the Fada, is nominated for Best factual television series, will also be attending the ceremony as well as directors Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and broadcasting veteran Gay Byrne.
Irish television stars including ITV’s Dancing on Ice contestant Donal MacIntyre, the Irish stars of BBC’s Merlin Colin Morgan and Katie McGrath and television presenter Gerry Anderson will all be there.
Glamour for the evening will be provided by Amy Hubberman, star of RTE drama series The Clinic and girlfriend of Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll, who will be in the party spirit after her boyfriend’s star performance against France last weekend.
Special guests arriving from the UK include actor and television presenter Shane Richie, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, and her fiancé Jamie Lomas, star of Channel Four’s Hollyoaks. Hosted by housewives’ favourite Ryan Tubridy, highlights from the IFTAs will be broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 7pm on Monday, February 16.
Who’s in the running
Colin Farrell (In Bruges)
Michael Fassbender (Hunger)
Dylan Moran (A Film With Me In It)
Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges)
Jenn Murray (Dorothy)
Kelly O'Neill (Kisses)
Saoirse Ronan (City of Ember)
Eileen Walsh (Eden)
Best Drama Series (Soap)
Ros na Run, The Tudors
Rising Star Award
Sarah Bolger (Actress)
Lance Daly (Writer/Director) Enda Walsh (Writer)
Michael Fassbender (Actor)