‘The Stag’ and ‘Calvary’ top nominations for the upcoming Iftas

Shortlist for best Irish film completed by ‘Byzantium,’ ‘Run & Jump’ and ‘The Sea’

Brendan Gleeson Brendan Gleeson as a priest coping with a death sentence in ‘Calvary’.

Brendan Gleeson Brendan Gleeson as a priest coping with a death sentence in ‘Calvary’.

Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 01:11

John Butler’s comedy The Stag and John Michael McDonagh’s state-of-the-nation piece Calvary have topped the charts in the nominations for the upcoming Irish Film and Television Awards. Both films received six nominations.

The shortlist for best Irish film was completed by Neil Jordan’s Byzantium , Steph Green’s Run & Jump and Stephen Brown’s The Sea .

Rather neatly, Calvary , which stars Brendan Gleeson as a priest coping with a death sentence, opened the recent Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and The Stag , an ensemble comedy based around a stag party, closed it. The Stag is released in cinemas next week and McDonagh’s film will hit cinemas in early April.

To nobody’s great surprise, the gangster series Love/Hate , among the most-discussed shows of the last few years, topped the television charts with eight nominations, including mentions for best drama, best director and best script.

“This year’s nominations showcase to the world what Ireland’s small but excellent film and television community has to offer,” Áine Moriarty, the academy’s chief executive said.

“Their hard work over the last 12 months has delivered world-class standards with some of the most diverse and engaging Irish films, dramas and documentaries along with great entertainment and factual programmes.”

For celebrated novelist John Banville, two adaptations of his work registered in the nominations. Banville received a best script nod for his own adaptation of The Sea , his 2005 Booker Prize winner, and Ciarán Hinds is shortlisted as best actor for the same film.

Quirke , the TV series derived from Banville’s crime novels written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, was nominated for best TV drama, best TV script and – acknowledging the performance of veteran Gabriel Byrne – best actor in a leading TV role.

Best international film
With Gleeson and Hinds in the best film actor race are Domhnall Gleeson for About Time and Andrew Scott – Moriarty in the BBC’s Sherlock – for The Stag . The best film actress nominations are Antonia Campbell- Hughes for 3096 Days , Jane McGrath for Black Ice , Saoirse Ronan for Byzantium and Kelly Thornton for Life’s a Breeze .

The academy will also honour a best international film. Four nominees for the best picture Oscar, awarded this Sunday, make the Ifta shortlist: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street .