Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Rea and The Fall are both winners at Irish Film and Television Awards night

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Belfast has the best supporting actor in Ireland after Stephen Rea picked up a gong at the Irish Film and Television Awards.

Fresh from picking up a Bafta for Best Supporting Actor earlier this month, Rea was handed the Irish equivalent at the annual IFTA Awards in Dublin's Mansion House.

The Belfast actor took the prize for his performance in An Honourable Woman.

Rea appeared as Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, a shaggy MI6 operative on his last Middle East assignment, in the tense BBC Two drama opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Before he was presented with the award, Rea said the Irish film and TV industry was worth celebrating.

"This puts a gloss of glamour over something that's really quite tough," he said.

"I absolutely think it's a vital moment that we do acknowledge the industry. Our crews are great and they deserve the work."

Newcomer Aisling Franciosi won best supporting actress in a TV drama - series two of The Fall.

Franciosi's father is Italian, but she has spent most of her life in Dublin and the 22-year-old convincingly plays a 16-year-old local schoolgirl in the nerve-racking drama filmed in Belfast.

Her mesmerising and uncomfortable performance alongside Co Down actor and Fifty Shades Of Grey star Jamie Dornan recently landed Aisling her first big break in the United States. She has joined the cast of top-rated American spy drama Legends.

Meanwhile, veteran director Jim Sheridan was honoured for his outstanding contribution to Irish film for his work, including My Left Foot, In America, The Field and, of course, rap artist 50 Cent's 2005 biopic Get Rich Or Die Tryin'.

"This means a huge amount to me," Sheridan said. "Getting recognised in your home town is always special. But more important than getting this award is having so many members of my family here tonight to celebrate with me."

Amid the glitz and glamour, actress Sarah Greene picked up two awards, for Best Supporting Actress Film and the Irish Film Board Rising Star gong.

"This means so much," she said.

"I think I'm going to give these to my mam."

It was a triumphant night for Stuart Carolan and the Love/Hate team, with the series picking up three awards including Best Script Drama and Best Drama.

Deirdre O'Kane was awarded Best Lead Actress Film for her portrayal of charity campaigner Christina Noble.

Oscar-nominated animation Song Of The Sea, voiced by Brendan Gleeson and David Rawle, took home the top award of the night for Best Film.

Belfast Telegraph

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