Iftas 2017: ‘The Young Offenders’ leads film nominations

‘The Siege of Jadotville’ also secures seven nods, while TG4 series ‘Klondike’ scores 10

Two very different projects have topped the cinema nominations for this year's Irish Film and Television Academy awards (Iftas).

The Ifta nominations were announced on Wednesday for the film and TV drama categories.

Both Richie Smyth’s The Siege of Jadotville and Peter Foott’s The Young Offenders clocked up seven nominations each.

Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture followed them with six mentions.


Darren Thornton's A Date for Mad Mary, perhaps the best-reviewed Irish film of last year, had to settle for five nominations.

The biggest haul of the day went, however, to the TG4 western series Klondike.

The series, now in its second season, ended up with 10 nominations.

Slightly confusingly, some of the craft awards are open to both films and TV dramas, so Klondike will compete in cinematography and costume design against films such as Nocturnal Animals and Florence Foster Jenkins.

The modestly-budgeted Irish language series, which follows a group of Connemara immigrants to the Yukon in the 19th-century, laid waste to such TV behemoths as Game of Thrones and Vikings.

“We took some chances with season two and it’s great to see them paying off,” Dathaí Keane, creator of Klondike, told The Irish Times.

“I think the whole cast and crew can be proud of what we have achieved with this series.”

Smyth's film, made in co-operation with Netflix, concerns the brave defence of a compound in Congo-Léopoldville by Irish UN forces during disturbances in 1961.

Jamie Dornan, who plays Commandant Pat Quinlan in the film, is among those nominated for best actor.

He is competing against Alex Murphy, who, alongside Chris Walley, plays one of two amiable Cork layabouts in The Young Offenders.

Despite featuring no huge stars and having no familiar source material, Foott’s film went on to become a box-office sensation.

Taking about €1.3 million domestically, the project is a significant triumph for local distributors Wildcard.

Foott, the director and the writer, said he and the team behind the film were “completely over the moon” with their seven nominations.

“The incredible journey of this film just keeps continuing to surprise us.

“We’re all absolutely delighted to have been recognised by Ifta with so many nominations. It’s just terrific.”

Both films premiered at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh.

Element Pictures

It was another strong year for Element Pictures. Twelve months after the company's Oscar triumph with Room, it scored 11 nominations for this year's Ifta awards.

Juanita Wilson’s Tomato Red received four mentions for the company - including one for best picture - along with A Date for Mad Mary’s five.

Seána Kerslake, who won rave reviews for her turn as an ex-con bouncing around Drogheda in A Date for Mad Mary, will face strong competition from Oscar nominee Ruth Negga in the best actress category.

The immense goodwill behind A Date for Mad Mary could still push Kerslake to victory.

Negga is shortlisted for her turn in the US civil rights drama Loving.

"We are delighted at the news of the five nominations for A Date For Mad Mary," Andrew Lowe, director of Element Pictures, said.

"Following the terrific performance of the film at the Irish box office, we are so pleased for Darren and Colin Thornton that their work has been deservedly recognised by their peers."

The 2017 Ifta awards take place on April 8th in The Mansion House in Dublin.

Awards season can then finally be declared at an end.


Feature film

  • A Date for Mad Mary
  • Love & Friendship
  • The Siege of Jadotville
  • The Secret Scripture
  • Tomato Red
  • The Young Offenders

Director: film

Scriptwriter: film

  • Kevin Brodbin, The Siege of Jadotville
  • Peter Foott, The Young Offenders
  • Darren Thornton & Colin Thornton, A Date for Mad Mary
  • Juanita Wilson, Tomato Red

Actor in a leading role - film

  • Jamie Dornan, The Siege of Jadotville
  • Michael Fassbender, The Light Between Oceans
  • Colm Meaney, The Journey
  • Alex Murphy, The Young Offenders
  • Mark O'Halloran, History's Future

Actress in a leading role - film

  • Caoilfhionn Dunne, In View
  • Seana Kerslake, A Date For Mad Mary
  • Aisling Loftus, Property of the State
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Catherine Walker, A Dark Song

Actor in a supporting role - film

  • Colin Farrell, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Brendan Gleeson, Trespass Against Us
  • Ciaran Hinds, Bleed for This
  • Jason O'Mara, The Siege of Jadotville
  • Chris Walley, The Young Offenders

Actress supporting role - film

  • Charleigh Bailey, A Date for Mad Mary
  • Susan Lynch, Bad Day for the Cut
  • Simone Kirby, Notes on Blindness
  • Hilary Rose, The Young Offenders
  • Fiona Shaw, Out of Innocence


  • An Klondike
  • The Fall 3
  • Game of Thrones
  • Smalltown
  • Striking Out
  • Vikings

Director - drama

  • Anthony Byrne, Ripper Street
  • Ciaran Donnelly, Vikings 4
  • Neasa Hardiman, Z: The Beginning of Everything
  • Dathaí Keane, An Klondike 2

Scriptwriter - drama

  • Gerard Barrett, Smalltown
  • Barry Devlin, My Mother and Other Strangers
  • Marcus Fleming, An Klondike
  • James Phelan, Wrecking the Rising

Actor in a leading role - drama

  • Dara Devaney, An Klondike 2
  • Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders
  • James Nesbit, The Secret
  • Aidan Turner, Poldark
  • Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Trial of the Century

Actor in a supporting role - drama

  • Liam Cunningham, Game of Thrones
  • Ned Dennehy, An Klondike 2
  • Moe Dunford, Vikings 4
  • Andrew Scott, The Hollow Crown
  • Robert Sheehan - Fortitude

Actress in a leading role - drama

  • Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
  • Elaine Cassidy, No Offence
  • Anne Marie Duff, Murder: The Lost Weekend
  • Amy Huberman, Striking Out
  • Ruth Negga, Preacher

Actress in a supporting role - drama

  • Ruth Bradley, Humans
  • Sinead Cusack, Call the Midwife
  • Dominique McElligott, House of Cards
  • Charlene McKenna, Ripper Street
  • Charlie Murphy, Happy Valley

George Morrison feature documentary

  • Atlantic
  • Bobby Sands 66 Days
  • In Loco Parentis
  • It's Not Yet Dark
  • Mattress Men

Animated short film

  • Define Intervention
  • Don't Forget the Bread
  • The Lost Letter
  • Second to None

Short film – live action

  • Animal
  • Baring Arms
  • Gridlock
  • Heartbreak
  • Lily
  • Terminal


  • Seamus McGarvey, Nocturnal Animals
  • Piers McGrail, Tomato Red
  • Robbie Ryan, American Honey
  • Cathal Watters, An Klondike 2

Costume design

  • Joan Bergin, The Secret Scripture
  • Consolata Boyle, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Triona Lillis, An Klondike 2
  • Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, Love & Friendship


  • Colin Campbell, The Young Offenders
  • Dermot Diskin, The Secret Scripture
  • Nick Emerson, I Am Not A Serial Killer
  • Una Ni Dhonghaile, The Crown

Makeup & hair

  • Ailbhe Fitzpatrick & Bernie McBride, An Klondike 2
  • Eileen Buggy & Lynn Johnson, Love & Friendship
  • Dee Corcoran & Tom McInerney, Vikings
  • Patsy Giles, Wrecking the Rising

Original score

  • David Holmes, The Fall
  • Steve Lynch, An Klondike 2
  • Patrick Cassidy, Smalltown
  • Brian Byrne, The Secret Scripture

Production design

  • Mark Geraghty, Vikings S4
  • Mark Kelly, An Klondike 2
  • Anna Rackard, Love and Friendship
  • Derek Wallace, The Secret Scripture


  • Game of Thrones
  • The Siege of Jadotville
  • Tomato Red
  • Without Name


  • Black Sails
  • Game of Thrones
  • Ripper Street
  • The Siege of Jadotville

International film

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight

International actor

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

International actress

  • Amy Adams, Arrival
  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist