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Irish Filmmaker Wins Top Prize at Foyle Film Festival

Date Posted: November 22, 2016

Northern Ireland’s Oscar-affiliated Foyle Film Festival has announced the winners of its Light In Motion awards, with a host of local and international cinema celebrated at the annual event in Derry.

Taking home the top prize for Best Irish Short was Ian Hunt Duffy for Gridlock, a thriller set during a traffic jam on a country road, featuring some of Ireland’s finest actors including Moe Dunford, Peter Coonan and Amy De Bhrun. The short fought off stiff competition from three other Irish films – Strangers in the Night, Foxglove and runner-up Pause.

The film, along with winner of the Best International Short Grandma’s Day from Polish director Milosz Sakowski will now qualify for consideration of the Academy Awards.

Grandma’s Day focuses on Tomek who needs money and tries to pull a ‘grandparent scam’ on an elderly woman. Everything is going fine until she locks him in her apartment and threatens to expose him, unless he pretends to be her grandson when a social worker comes to visit.

The award for Best Animation went to South Korean director Seongmin Kim for Green Light, which follows Mari who does all she can to rebuild after a nuclear disaster.

Ransacked from director and former banker Petur Einarsson about the financial crisis in Iceland in 2008 was named as the winner of Best Documentary.

The awards, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, were followed by the screening of The Eagle Huntress in Brunswick Moviebowl, bringing to a close five days of premieres, special events and industry networking. Special guests at this year’s festival included; filmmakers John Maclean (Slow West), Tony Cranstoun (I Give It A Year, Mr Bean’s Holiday) and Ciáran McMenamin (Made In Belfast, To End All Wars) and James Northcote (A United Kingdom, The Imitation Game, Belle, Wuthering Heights).

The Foyle Film Festival is one of only a handful of International festivals with Oscar® affiliation and BAFTA recognition.

Bernie McLaughlin, director and programmer of the Foyle Film Festival, said: “We are proud to honour the winning filmmakers of our Oscar®-affiliated Light in Motion awards. We’ve been privileged this year to enjoy a really impressive array of short films, documentary features and short animations from around the world.

“I’d like to thank all our competitors for sharing their work at Foyle Film Festival and we wish them all the very best in their careers going forward.”

Foyle Film Festival is funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen and by Derry City and Strabane District Council. Venue partner is Brunswick Moviebowl.

A full list of the winners can be found here.

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