From a fairly open field of nominees Element Films' Garage and Newgrange Films' Kings collected four awards each at the 5th Irish Film & Television Awards ceremony in Dublin last night.
Garage was voted best film and picked up three other main awards. Best director and best writer awards went to Lenny Abrahamson and Mark O'Halloran for their work on the film, while its leading man, Pat Shortt, took the award for best film actor.
Newgrange Films' Irish-language drama Kings took awards for best supporting actor (Brendan Conroy), editing (Dermot Diskin), sound (Ken Galvin, Ronan Hill and Dominic Weaver) and original score (Pol Brennan). The film also picked up a special award for film or television production in the Irish language.
Abrahamson and O'Halloran also won the television directing and writing awards for their series Prosperity, commissioned by RTE. Seven other awards in the television drama production categories went to the Showtime series, The Tudors, filmed at Ardmore Studios outside Dublin.
Saoirse Ronan, an Oscar nominee for Atonement, was the recipient of the Irish Film Board's rising star award as well as the award for best supporting actress. Her grandparents collected the award on her behalf from Colin Farrell as she is currently filming The Lovely Bones with Peter Jackson in New Zealand.
Seamus McGarvey, Ireland's other Oscar nominee for Atonement, won the best cinematography award for his work on the film.
The evening wound up with rousing applause for Mel Gibson who was presented with the IFTA honorary award for outstanding contribution to world cinema. He recalled the good time he had making Braveheart in Ireland and expressed regret that his Irish mother was not alive to enjoy the occasion.
Irish Film & Television Academy Awards - Film
Best Irish film: Garage
Best international film: The Lives of Others
Best film director: Lenny Abrahamson (Garage)
Best script for film: Mark O'Halloran (Garage)
Best actor in a lead film role: Pat Shortt (Garage)
Best actor in a supporting role: Brendan Conroy (Kings)
Best actress in a supporting role: Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)
Best director of photography: Seamus McGarvey (Atonement)
Best editing: Dermot Diskin (Kings)
Best original score: Pol Brennan (Kings)
Best production design: Tom Conroy (The Tudors)
Best costume design: Joan Bergin (The Tudors)
Outstanding contribution to world cinema: Mel Gibson