Ciaran Hinds lands two Best Supporting Actor gongs at IFTA awards

Ciaran Hinds lands two Best Supporting Actor gongs at IFTA awards

CIARÁN HINDS won both Best Supporting Actor awards at Saturday's Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Awards.

In the Drama category, Hinds got the nod for his portrayal of drug lord Eamon Cunningham in the RTÉ crime drama KIN.

He also took the gong in the Film category for his role in Kenneth Branagh's Belfast, in which he plays Pop, the grandfather of young protagonist, Buddy.

Accepting the award at Saturday night's virtual ceremony, Belfast-born Hinds praised Branagh's script and film for reconnecting him to his roots.

"This film Ken wrote touched me very deeply," he said.

"As much as the story was of Ken's childhood, it was also the story of my childhood, and the people I knew, and the community and the wonderful, wry-humoured, stoic people of the north of Ireland."

Big winners

KIN and Irish language film An Cailín Ciúin were the big winners at the event, which was hosted by Deirdre O'Kane and featured stars including Chris Pine, Colin Farrell, Michael Moore, Fionnula Flanagan, Nicola Coughlan and Chris O'Dowd.

An Cailín Ciúin became the first Irish language feature to win the Best Film award, one of eight awards it garnered on the night in the Film category.

Colm Bairéad won both the Director and Rising Star awards, while Catherine Clinch claimed Lead Actress.

It also took the gongs for Cinematography (Kate McCullough), Editing (John Murphy), Production Design (Emma Lowney) and Original Music (Stephen Rennicks).

Other winners in the Film category included Branagh for Best Script (Belfast), Moe Dunford for Best Lead Actor (Nightride) and Jessie Buckley for Best Supporting Actress (The Lost Daughter).

KIN won six awards in the Drama category, including Best Drama and Best Script (Peter McKenna).

As well as Hinds, acting honours went to KIN's Sam Keeley (Lead Actor), Clare Dunne (Lead Actress) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Supporting Actress).

Speaking after his win, Keeley said: "Thank you so much to the Irish Academy for the recognition, Peter McKenna for writing such a wonderfully complex character and giving me full autonomy to play that."

Shared story

Branagh, meanwhile, praised the response to his film Belfast from people all across Ireland.

"My homeland gave me a hell of a story to tell and has been very patient in waiting for 50 years until I could tell it," he said.

"People from up and down the island have responded with such deep-hearted appreciation to a story that it seems many of us share through our very own family experiences."

Branagh and Hinds can add to their awards at tonight's BAFTAs, where Belfast is up for six gongs.

Hinds is again nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while Caitríona Balfe is up for Best Supporting Actress.

Belfast is in the running for Best Film and Outstanding British Film, with Branagh nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Úna Ní Dhonghaíle has also been nominated for Best Editing on the feature, which is also in the running for seven Oscars in two weeks' time.