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IFTA nominations: Where have all the actresses gone?

Irish film award body says female actors only get one ‘lead role’ category while male actors get two because there were “insufficient” submissions from women.

Amy Huberman is the only Irish female actor nominted for a film role in IFTAs 2011
Amy Huberman is the only Irish female actor nominted for a film role in IFTAs 2011

THE IRISH FILM and Television Academy seemed to be missing a category when they announced their shortlist of nominations for their annual awards ceremony today.

There are two categories for Irish male actors: “Actor Lead Film” and “Actor Lead TV”. However, Irish female actors have been categorised under just one joint heading: “Actress Lead Film/TV”.

A spokesperson for IFTA told TheJournal.ie that it was not the choice of the Academy to lump all female actors into one category. They had “not received sufficient submissions” for female actors overall and so had felt there were only enough nominees to make up one category. The IFTA spokesperson said the procedure for whittling down a shortlist of nominees begins with a general call to all interested parties – actors, their agents, production companies who may have produced TV or films the actors featured in – to put forward submissions to the Academy. The spokesperson said:

We had not received sufficient submissions and it was felt that there just were not enough actresses put forward to fill two categories.

As it stands, there are five women nominated in the “Actress Lead Film/TV” category – Ruth Bradley for Love/Hate, Orla Brady for Mistresses, Sarah Flood for Fair City, Amy Huberman for Rewind and Charlene McKenna for RAW. Amy Huberman is the only actress nominated for a film role, in the independent thriller Rewind.

There are four male actors shortlisted in the “Actor Lead Film” category – Martin McCann for Swansong, The Story of Occi Byrne, Colm Meaney for Parked, Cillian Murphy for Perrier’s Bounty and Liam Neeson in Chloe.

Four male actors are shortlisted in the “Actor Lead TV” category – Domhnall Gleeson for When Harvey Met Bob, Owen McDonnell for Single-Handed, Jonathan Rhys Meyers for The Tudors and Robert Sheehan for Love/Hate.

It costs a production company or an agent €60 to submit a nomination. However, a more costly expense is the fact that the nomination has to be accompanied by up to 100 DVDs of the film or programme in which the actor is featured. These are distributed to the members of IFTA who are involved in nominating a winner in each category.

The full list of nominees for the 8th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards are available on the IFTA website here.

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