Northern Ireland

An Cailín Ciúin and RTÉ crime-drama KIN among winners at IFTAs

An Cailín Ciúin tells the story of Cáit
An Cailín Ciúin tells the story of Cáit

IRISH language film An Cailín Ciúin and RTÉ crime-drama KIN were among the big winners at the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) film and drama awards.

The best of Irish film and drama were celebrated on Saturday during the virtual awards bash with An Cailín Ciúin picking up eight accolades including best film - the first time an Irish-language feature has taken the top honour.

An Cailín Ciúin tells the story of Cáit - a-nine-year-old girl from an overcrowded, dysfunctional family who is sent away to live with foster parents for the summer.

Based on the short story, Foster, by Claire Keegan, it is a coming-of-age drama that explores questions of family, neglect and loss.

The film's writer-director Colm Bairéad won both best director and rising star awards, while Catherine Clinch took home the lead actress prize.

The movie also won awards for cinematography (Kate McCullough), editing (John Murphy), production design (Emma Lowney) and original music (Stephen Rennicks).

The event, which was was hosted by Deirdre O’Kane, saw many of the nominees host their own IFTA-viewing parties with fellow cast and crew.

Belfast-born actor Ciarán Hinds won best supporting actor for his role in KIN, with the drama securing six awards in total including best drama.

The lead actor prize went to Sam Keeley, while Clare Dunne won best lead actress and Maria Doyle Kennedy won the supporting actress accolade. Its writer-creator, Peter McKenna, was also honoured for his script.

Oscar nominee Hinds was a double IFTA recipient, also winning the supporting actor award in the film categories for his performance in Belfast.

Sir Kenneth Branagh, the writer-director of Belfast, was also honoured for his semi-autobiographical screenplay.

The lead actor film award went to Nightride star Moe Dunford, while there were also wins for The Lost Daughter's Jessie Buckley (supporting actress film) and Young Plato (feature documentary).