The Celtic Media Festival has revealed the nominees for the prestigious Torc Awards for Excellence. The winners are set to be revealed at the 37th Festival in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland from 20th – 22nd April.
Nominees from over 90 production companies and broadcasters will compete across 23 award categories, including Arts, Comedy, Current Affairs, Drama Series, Factual Single, Sport, Radio Documentary and more. Entries for the 2016 Awards again surpassed 500 submissions, with the Festival consistently attracting applications from high-standard productions from across the Celtic nations and regions; 10 separate juries undertook almost 370 hours of listening and viewing to produce a shortlist of the very best in productions in the past year.
The 2016 host nation, Ireland, has 42 productions in the running for a Torc Award including Factual Single nominee, Cumann na mBan – Mná na Réabhlóide. Produced by Genefile Ltd for TG4, it tells the story of the women of Cumann na mBan during Ireland’s revolutionary period. With 2016 marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising the piece affords recognition to the female-led organisation that played a vital role in Ireland during 1914 – 1923.
Among other documentaries nominated is One Million Dubliners, the story of Dublin’s city of the dead – Glasnevin Cemetery. The cemetery’s inhabitants outnumber those living in Dublin, and the documentary explores life, death and the afterlife in an immensely engaging manner. Produced by Underground Films in association with RTÉ it is ultimately a piece about contemporary Irish society: the people, their traditions, their attitudes and rituals.
BAFTA-winning and Oscar nominated Short Drama, Boogaloo and Graham, was shot in four days around the city of Belfast, and centres on two brothers who are over the moon when presented with two baby chicks to care for. Produced by Out of Orbit, the short captured the hearts of many with its depiction of 1970s Belfast and two young boys who discover life lessons with the help of their pet chickens.
The Notorious, a six-part feature series following UFC fighter Conor McGregor’s life behind closed doors was produced by Motive Television and first broadcast on RTÉ, and is nominated for a Torc Award for Excellence in Sport. The success of the Irishman’s TV narrative led to Fox Sports broadcasting the hit series to over 90 million homes in America.
Scotland, the festival’s home in 2015, received 37 nominations across a range of categories for productions including Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Specials 2014, a festive episode of the hugely popular comedy created by BBC Comedy Production, and Catch Me If You Can, a BBC Scotland investigation into the world of doping in athletics, spanning more than 30 years and involving some of the biggest stars in the sport. The programme is nominated in Current Affairs.
Welsh nominees include Y Gwyll / Hinterland, Fiction Factory and S4C/BBC’s ground-breaking, gripping crime drama that won a Torc Award for Excellence in Drama Series in 2014. Michael Sheen’s Valleys Rebellion, a Cwmni Da/BBC production nominated in Factual Single commemorates the 175th anniversary of the Newport Rising. The esteemed actor goes on a personal journey to discover the cause of political disillusionment in the Wales of today.
Cornwall’s Poldark is nominated in Drama Series, always a particularly strong category in the Torc Awards for Excellence. The Mammoth Screen Limited/BBC drama relays the story of Ross Poldark and his struggle to regain control of his Cornish tin mines following his involvement in the American War of Independence. Now shown internationally across the US, Australia, Sweden and more the series has become hugely popular since it was first broadcast in early 2015. The nominees for the 2016 Torc Awards for Excellence include a number of submissions from Brittany in 7 different categories, including Paotred Al Loc’h – a documentary about 2 men who live in rural Brittany, who have been together for 25 years and have just celebrated their wedding. This engaging piece, produced by France Télévisions – France 3 Bretagne, explores Gay Marriage and tolerance in rural societies.
The nominations for Radio Presenter of the Year span Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Dónall Mac Ruairí, BBC Radio Cymru’s Beti George and BBC Radio Scotland’s Edi Stark on the road to potentially winning a prestigious Torc Award for Excellence.
Festival Director, Catriona Logan said: “Every year, we’re taken aback by the quality of programming that is entered into Celtic Media Festival. The Celtic Nations and Regions are a force to be reckoned with creatively, and we’re proud to be involved in recognising this. It’s hugely important to acknowledge the stellar work that these people do, and all the entries this year are testament to the talent and skill that these programme makers have. The record-breaking entries were whittled down by our dedicated National Juries who, in all, watched and listened to over 370 hours of top quality submissions and we’re looking forward getting to work with the Celtic Media Festival International Jury for the difficult task of choosing the winners.”
The 37th Celtic Media Festival takes place over 20th – 22nd April 2016 and will see hundreds of delegates enjoy a packed Festival programme in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. Supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Waterford City and County Council, TG4, BBC Scotland, RTÉ, MG ALBA, S4C, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Cymru Wales, the Festival consistently attracts international delegates wherever it is held and offers a programme that celebrates the influential media industry of the Celtic nations and regions, as well as providing networking opportunities for delegates and speakers alike.
Showcasing the best work from Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales, the Festival is expected to attract some of the biggest names in the media world to the town. Previous high-profile guests include Tilda Swinton, Rhys Ifans, Peter Mullan, Ken Loach, The Killing Director Birger Larsen, River producer Chris Carey and My Mad Fat Diary writer/showrunner Tom Bidwell. 2016 sees the introduction of the inaugural International Pitching Forum, which will see some of the most important commissioners and decision makers in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK attend the Festival to hear formal pitches as part of the Forum. Although the Festival is primarily for industry delegates, there will be a wider programme of events.
Delegate registration for Celtic Media Festival 2016 is now open – visit www.celticmediafestival.co.uk for more information. Further details on the Festival will be unveiled shortly, with the full programme set to be revealed soon.