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January 18, 2012 11:56 AM
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'Bridesmaids' Star Chris O'Dowd, 'The Guard' Director John Michael McDonagh Up for IFTA Rising Star Award

Chris O'Dowd in "Bridesmaids." Universal Pictures
Nominations for the Irish Film and Television Academy 2012 Rising Star Award have been announced.


The nominees include Rebecca Daly, writer/director of "The Other Side of Sleep," John Michael McDonagh, writer/director of "The Guard," Chris O'Dowd, actor in "Bridesmaids," and Emmett Scanlan, actor in "Charlie Casanova."

“This important Award puts the spotlight on great Irish talent making a significant mark in the film industry at large," said Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of the IFTA. "These four exciting Irish stars have shown themselves to be world class talents in their respective fields and I have no doubt that they will be counted among the wealth of leading Irish talents over the coming years.”

Previous winners of the Rising Star Award include writer/director Tomm Moore and actors Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and Saoirse Ronan.

Full press release below:

IFTA 2012 Rising Star Award Nominees Announced

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) are delighted to announce the Rising Star Award nominees for 2012, the winner of which will be announced at the Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony on 11 February 2012.

Selected by a special jury and sponsored by the IFB, the Rising Star Award is a unique IFTA Award in that it aims to highlight exceptional new and breakthrough talent working in all areas of the Irish film industry.

The 2012 nominees are:

Rebecca Daly - Writer/Director (The Other Side of Sleep)
John Michael McDonagh - Writer/Director (The Guard)
Chris O’Dowd - Actor (Bridesmaids)
Emmett Scanlan - Actor (Charlie Casanova)
The 2011 Rising Star Award was won by actor Domhnall Gleeson, who has worked on the feature films Shadow Dancer, Anna Karenina and Dredd in 2011. Tomm Moore writer/director of the Oscar nominated feature animation The Secret of Kells was named IFTA Rising Star in 2010 and Tomm has since begun working on his second feature length animation Song of the Sea.  Shame and Hunger actor Michael Fassbender received the Rising Star Award in 2009, whilst young actress Saoirse Ronan was named the winner of the first Rising Star IFTA in 2008 for her breakthrough performance in Atonement.

Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of the Irish Film and Television Academy said:

“This important Award puts the spotlight on great Irish talent making a significant mark in the film industry at large. These four exciting Irish stars have shown themselves to be world class talents in their respective fields and I have no doubt that they will be counted among the wealth of leading Irish talents over the coming years. IFTA is proud to put the international spotlight on Irelands Rising Stars and acknowledges the Irish Film Board’s on-going support of new Irish industry talent.”

Commenting on the nominations James Hickey, Chief Executive Bord Scannán na hÉireann / Irish Film Board said:

“Creating opportunities for new Irish talent across feature films, animation and documentary through our film funding is one of the key objectives of Bord ScannÁn na hÉireann / Irish Film Board.  The Rising Star Award provides a profile for new talent and we hope that this year’s nominees go on to achieve great success in the future.”

About the 2012 Rising Star Award Nominees

Rebecca Daly - Writer/Director (The Other Side of Sleep)

After receiving a BA in Theatre and English and an MA in Film, Rebecca Daly made her first short film Joyriders (Best Irish Short - Galway Film Fleadh 2006, Best Short - Irish Film and Television Awards 2007) and Hum, as part of the Berlin Today Award. In 2008 she was selected for the Cannes CinÉfondation RÉsidence du Festival in Paris where she developed and co-wrote The Other Side of Sleep, her debut feature film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

John Michael McDonagh - Writer/Director (The Guard)

John Michael McDonagh wrote the screenplay for Ned Kelly (2003), starring Heath Ledger, for which he was nominated for AFI and Australian Film Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote and directed the short, The Second Death (2000), starring Liam Cunningham.  John Michael McDonagh wrote and directed The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, which was released in 2011 and became the highest grossing Irish independent film of all time at the Irish box office. John Michael has been shortlisted for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards, in addition to The Guard receiving nine Irish Film & Television Awards nominations.

Speaking about his IFTA Rising Star Award nomination John Michael McDonagh said:

“I'm very pleased to be nominated for this year's Rising Star Award. However, given that I am pathologically competitive, this nomination will mean nothing to me if I don't win. All opposition must be crushed. Especially Chris O'Dowd, who will be starring with Brendan Gleeson in my next film later this year. If he wins, his role with have to be recast. I'm that vindictive.”

Chris O’Dowd - Actor (Bridesmaids)

Chris made his TV debut in the RTÉ drama series The Clinic followed by a role in the hugely CH4 popular comedy series IT Crowd. He played the lead in Crimson Petal and the White and Chris’ other credits include: The Boat That Rocked, Gulliver’s Travels, Dinner for Schmucks, Festival and Showbands. Chris has received two Irish Film & Television Awards nominations, Supporting Actor Film for his performance in the 2011 box office smash Bridesmaids and Supporting Actor TV for his role in Crimson Petal. This year he will star in This is Forty and The Sapphires and Chris is currently filming comedy series Moone Boy at Ireland’s Ardmore Studios which he developed and co-wrote for Sky television.

Speaking about his IFTA Rising Star Award nomination Chris O’Dowd said:

“Thank you so much people of IFTA for including this shy country boy in your glorious shindig in the big schmoke. Can't wait for the night. Can I meet Bosco? Cheers, Chris!”

Emmett J. Scanlan - Actor (Charlie Casanova)

Emmett J. Scanlan is a multi-award winning actor best known for his role as Brendan Brady in Hollyoaks. In the last year Emmett has picked up National Television Award nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Actor. He picked up ‘The Villian of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ at the British Soap Awards, as well as picking up the Best Actor award for his leading performance in Charlie Casanova at the 2011 European Independent Film Festival Awards in Paris. Other awards and nominations include Best Newcomer for the Inside soap awards, RTS/ TV choice & All about soap awards. Charlie Casanova has won the Best First Feature Film Award at the Galway Film Fleadh in addition to Best Film at the DMV International Film Festival in Washington Awards at festivals in Washington.  Charlie Casanova is nominated for four IFTAs including Best Film.

Speaking about his IFTA Rising Star Award nomination Emmett Scanlan said:

“I’m utterly shocked. When I heard the news I thought it was a wind up  at first… This is stuff of fairy tales. Walt Disney couldn't have written it, Mystic Meg couldn't have predicted it… I just wanted to make a movie and now I find myself in a category of folk more deserving of the recognition...the fact that it's my own home country makes this very special for me. I am massively humbled and grateful for the nod. Thank you very much.”

The 9th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards will take place at Dublin’s Convention Centre on Saturday, 11 February 2012. The ceremony will broadcast on RTÉ One at 9.30pm.

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1 Comment

  • Carol Danielsen | April 18, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    I am impressed by Chris O'Dowd's performance in "Bridesmaids". He is a fresh new talent and I hope to see him again in all his movie roles. I love his Irish accent also.