The 2018 IFTA Film and Drama nominations were revealed yesterday, and many major Irish stars were nominated across a number of categories.
However, in a statement this afternoon, the Irish Film Board have expressed their disappointment at the “gender imbalance that exists” across many of the categories.
Annie Doona, Chair of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) said, “On behalf of the IFB, I would like to congratulate all the nominees for this year’s IFTAs. This awards ceremony has a long tradition of celebration and recognition of Irish film and television and the talent that has helped bring more and more productions to growing local and global audiences.
“The IFTAs were established to reflect the breadth and depth of the Irish film and television industry. With this in mind I would like to express my disappointment at the gender imbalance that has emerged in the shortlists for almost every category of award.”
— Irish Film Board (@IrishFilmBoard) January 12, 2018
“We are all aware that there is a gender imbalance within the industry and we at the IFB remain steadfastly committed to addressing this issue.
“Achieving 50/50 gender equality within the sector remains an utmost priority for the IFB and we have undertaken a number of measures to ensure that Irish female talent is encouraged and visible within the industry. It is vitally important that the stories Irish films portray represent a contemporary image of Ireland in all its diversity, inclusivity and originality of voice.
“In December 2015, we launched our Six Point Plan on Gender Equality, detailing a number of measures to monitor and enhance gender representation across the sector. At last year’s Galway Film Fleadh, we furthered our commitment to achieving 50/50 gender equality by announcing a number of groundbreaking initiatives to support and encourage female talent,” she continued.
“We acknowledge that this shift cannot happen overnight and it is important to remember that we can only fund what we receive. We must continue to implore and encourage Irish creative female talent to apply so that these goals can be achieved.”
“In the last year alone, we have seen female Irish filmmakers break through on the international stage including the likes of Nora Twomey with her Golden Globe-nominated animated feature, The Breadwinner, and Emer Reynolds with her critically acclaimed feature documentary, The Farthest.
“In 2018, a host of female-led Irish films will come to the fore, including Twomey’s aforementioned The Breadwinner, Carmel Winters’ Float Like A Butterfly, Aoife McArdle’s Kissing Candice, Mary McGuckian’s A Girl From Mogadishu, and Alexandra McGuinness’ Highway alongside the Katie Holly-produced Irish co-production Vita & Virginia and Sinéad O’Shea’s documentary, A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot.
“These upcoming titles prove that this imbalance is shifting and it is a shift we will unyieldingly support. We hope that at next year’s awards, female talent will be equally represented and offered the recognition it truly deserves,” she added.
Yesterday, Chief executive of the IFTAs Áine Moriarty told EVOKE.ie, “IFTA showcases the work that has been done in the past year and so probably are the platform to have a full visibility on what is shining through.”
“And therefore you’ll very quickly identify where there are gaps, where more work needs to be done from an industry perspective and obviously the Film Board will continue to deal with and address those issues in terms of encouraging more development in areas that need development.”