Future of Irish Film and Television Academy Awards unclear

Irish Film Board confirms it has no firm plans to fund the Iftas

Michael Fassbender at the 11th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards (Iftas) in Dublin last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Michael Fassbender at the 11th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards (Iftas) in Dublin last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The fate of the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards (the Iftas) is unclear following the Irish Film Board’s confirmation that it has no firm plans to fund this year’s event.

James Hickey, chief executive of the board, said: “No funding decision has been made as regards the Ifta awards ceremony in 2015.”

The news comes after RTÉ confirmed that it does not intend to broadcast the ceremony.

The 2014 event, honouring excellence in Irish film and television, was heavily criticised after the show seriously overran and background conversation could be heard during the acceptance speeches.

“Last year’s awards ceremony as broadcast was not a success in terms of promoting Irish film,” Mr Hickey said.

Áine Moriarty, chief executive of Ifta, said that negotiations were still taking place with an unnamed broadcaster.

“The academy is in discussions with the Irish Film Board regarding the 12th annual awards ceremony with an exciting and alternative new format with a new broadcasting partner to showcase the industry,” she said in a statement following Mr Hickey’s announcement.

“Having undertaken a full review of last year’s production, the plans being considered are fresh and dynamic and we look forward to discussing further with the IFB, which has been the standard process over the past 11 years between the Academy and the IFB.”

Last year was not the first time that the Ifta ceremony has attracted controversy. The actress Brenda Fricker used uncompromising language in her criticism of the 2012 event.

“I hated it. It was mind blowingly, numbingly boring. It was a mess. Badly organised. I was cringing in my seat,” she said.

It has been reported that last year’s ceremony cost close to €500,000 to produce. This article was modified on January 14th, 2015.