Normal People Leads This Year's IFTA Irish Academy Awards Nominations

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The nominations for the 2021 Irish Film & Television Academy Awards have been announced.

Normal People, the Irish TV sensation of 2020, leads the pack with a total of 15 nominations. Paul Mescal, who recently received a British Academy Television Award for his role on the show, has been nominated in the Lead Actor Drama category. Lenny Abrahamson is nominated for Best Director, with the series competing in the Best Drama category.

Based on the novel by Sally Rooney, Normal People chronicles the relationship between two Sligo teenagers, played by Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones. When it debuted in April, 2020, it proved a hit not only in Ireland, but in the UK and US too, with Mescal and Edgar-Jones winning raves for their performances. With its depiction of teenage sexuality, the show generated its fair share of controversy, with outraged viewers calling Joe Duffy to express their disgust. The show has been viewed more than three million times on RTÉ Player.

Leading the film nominations is Herself, a Dublin set drama which deals with the hot-button topics of domestic abuse and the housing crisis. In the film, Clare Dunne, who co-wrote the script, plays a woman who finds herself living in a hotel with her two young daughters when she leaves her abusive husband. With the chances of being assigned a home looking slim, she decides to build her own home with the aid of a group of supportive friends. Herself has yet to be seen by the Irish public, having had its 2020 release cancelled by the lockdown, but is expected to release in cinemas later this year. The film has received six nominations, including Best Actress Film for Dunne, Best Screenplay for Dunne and co-writer Malcolm Campbell, and a nomination for Best Film.

The other Best Film nominees are director Paddy Slattery's debut feature Broken Law, a gritty Dublin crime thriller; the '90s set coming of age comedy Dating Amber; trippy sci-fi horror Vivarium; Wildfire, which examines the fallout of the Troubles on two Northern Ireland sisters whose mother was killed in the conflict; and the acclaimed animated tale Wolfwalkers from Kilkenny's Cartoon Saloon.

The awards ceremony, which will be conducted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be aired by Virgin Media One on Sunday July 4th.

Speaking about the nominations, IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty said "This year’s Nominations are an incredible reflection of the high-calibre talent of Irish filmmakers, who are producing world-class standards of production and storytelling on screen.  The Irish Academy is proud to showcase and acknowledge their great achievements. This past year and a half has been difficult for everyone across the globe, and it’s heartening now to see things opening back up, including our Cinemas nationwide, and we urge everyone to go see this incredible array of movies on the big screen near you. Cinema is above all a communal experience and we are looking forward to bringing Ireland’s world class screen community together with audiences to engage and to celebrate the very best in Irish Film & Television excellence."

Here are the nominations in full:

Film Categories
BEST FILM               
•    Broken Law              
•    Dating Amber           
•    Herself                       
•    Vivarium                   
•    Wildfire                     
•    Wolfwalkers             
DIRECTOR FILM                 
•    Cathy Brady - Wildfire                     
•    David Freyne - Dating Amber                     
•    Lorcan Finnegan - Vivarium           
•    Paddy Slattery - Broken Law                      
•    Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart - Wolfwalkers                    
SCRIPT FILM            
•    Cathy Brady - Wildfire                     
•    Clare Dunne & Malcolm Campbell - Herself                      
•    David Freyne - Dating Amber                     
•    Paddy Slattery - Broken Law                      
•    Will Collins - Wolfwalkers               
LEAD ACTOR FILM             
•    Ciarán Hinds - The Man In The Hat            
•    Fionn O'Shea - Dating Amber                      
•    Gabriel Byrne - Death of a Ladies Man                   
•    Moe Dunford - Knuckledust            
•    Tristan Heanue - Broken Law                                 
LEAD ACTRESS FILM                      
•    Clare Dunne - Herself                       
•    Jessie Buckley - I'm Thinking of Ending Things                
•    Lola Petticrew - Dating Amber                   
•    Nika McGuigan - Wildfire                
•    Nora-Jane Noone - Wildfire             
SUPPORTING ACTOR FILM                       
•    Barry Ward - Dating Amber            
•    Brian Gleeson - Death of a Ladies Man                   
•    Colm Meaney - Pixie            
•    Conleth Hill - Herself           
•    Ned Dennehy - Undergods              
SUPPORTING ACTRESS FILM                   
•    Ally Ni Chiarain - Broken Law                     
•    Kathy Kiera Clarke - A Bend in the River               
•    Molly McCann - Herself                   
•    Saoirse Ronan - Ammonite              
•    Sharon Horgan - Dating Amber                  
Drama Categories
BEST DRAMA                       
•    Blood Season 2                     
•    Dead Still                   
•    Line of Duty Season 6                      
•    Normal People                      
•    Smother                    
•    Vikings Season 6                  
DIRECTOR DRAMA             
•    Dathaí Keane - Smother                   
•    Dearbhla Walsh - Fargo                   
•    Imogen Murphy - Dead Still            
•    Lenny Abrahamson - Normal People                     
•    Steve St. Leger - Vikings Season 6              
SCRIPT DRAMA                   
•    Declan Lawn & Adam Patterson - The Salisbury Poisonings                   
•    John Morton - Dead Still                  
•    Kate O'Riordan - Smother               
•    Lisa McGee - The Deceived              
•    Sally Rooney - Normal People                     
LEAD ACTOR DRAMA                    
•    Adrian Dunbar - Line of Duty Season 6                  
•    Brendan Gleeson - The Comey Rule           
•    James Nesbitt - Bloodlands             
•    Michael Smiley - Dead Still              
•    Paul Mescal - Normal People          

LEAD ACTRESS DRAMA                 
•    Aisling Franciosi - Black Narcissus             
•    Catherine Walker - The Deceived               
•    Dervla Kirwan - Smother                 
•    Eve Hewson - Behind Her Eyes                   
•    Niamh Algar - Raised By Wolves                
SUPPORTING ACTOR DRAMA                  
•    Andrew Scott - His Dark Materials             
•    Colm Meaney - Gangs of London                
•    Desmond Eastwood - Normal People                     
•    Éanna Hardwicke - Smother           
•    Fionn O'Shea - Normal People                    
•    Fiona Shaw - Killing Eve                  
•    Gemma-Leah Devereux - Smother              
•    Nicola Coughlan - Bridgerton                      
•    Sarah Greene - Normal People                    
•    Seána Kerslake - Smother               
Documentary & Short Film Categories
•    Breaking Out            
•    Finding Jack Charlton                      
•    Henry Glassie: Field Work               
•    Phil Lynott: Songs for While I'm Away                   
•    The 8th                      
•    Tomorrow is Saturday                     
SHORT FILM            
•    Five Letters To The Stranger Who Will Dissect My Brain            
•    Flicker           
•    Kathleen Was Here              
•    My Other Suit Is Human                  
•    Rough            
•    The Invisible Boy                 
•    Gunter Falls in Love             
•    Her Song                   
•    The Dead Hands of Dublin              
•    The Voyage               
•    Zog and the Flying Doctors
Craft Categories
•    Cathal Watters - Smother                
•    Ciaran Tanham - Dead Still              
•    James Mather - Here are the Young Men               
•    Kate McCullough - Normal People              
•    Suzie Lavelle - Normal People                    
•    Aisling Wallace Byrne - Here are the Young Men             
•    Joan O'Clery - Dating Amber            
•    Leonie Prendergast - Gretel & Hansel                    
•    Lorna Marie Mugan - Normal People                     
•    Triona Lillis - Smother                     
•    Colin Campbell - Here are the Young Men             
•    Gráinne Gavigan - Dead Still           
•    Nathan Nugent - Normal People                 
•    Tony Cranstoun - Vivarium             
•    Úna Ní Dhonghaíle - Misbehaviour             
PRODUCTION DESIGN                   
•    John Leslie - Son                   
•    Lucy van Lonkhuyzen - Normal People                 
•    Philip Murphy - Vivarium                
•    Ray Ball - Sea Fever              
•    Tamara Conboy - Herself                 
•    Aza Hand & Patrick Drummond - Son                    
•    Hugh Fox, Fionán Higgins & Mark Henry - Smother                     
•    Kieran Horgan & Brendan Rehill - Phil Lynott: Songs for While I'm Away                    
•    Patrick Drummond, Aza Hand, Katie O'Mahony & Adrian Conway - Here are the Young Men            
•    Steve Fanagan, Niall Brady, & Niall O Sullivan - Normal People              
MAKE UP & HAIR                
•    Jennie Readman & Niamh O'Loan - Vivarium                    
•    Linda Gannon Foster & Jennifer Hegarty - Dead Still                   
•    Linda Gannon Foster & Liz Byrne - Gretel & Hansel                     
•    Sandra Kelly & Sharon Doyle - Normal People                  
•    Siobhan Harper-Ryan - I Hate Suzie                       
•    Aza Hand - Son                     
•    Colm Mac Con Iomaire - A Bend in the River                     
•    John McPhillips - Smother               
•    Ray Harman - Blood Season 2                     
•    Stephen Rennicks - Normal People            
•    Jim O'Hagan & Ed Bruce - WandaVision                
•    Ed Bruce - Shadow and Bone                      
•    Ed Bruce - Kidding

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