Birch Hamilton, Bob Collins, Louis Marcus, Deirdre Davitt & Paddy Breathnach

Oscar®-nominated director Louis Marcus (Conquest of Light, Paisti ag obair) has been awarded a special prize for his outstanding work in the Irish language last night at the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) Annual Meeting of Directors, which took place in Fallon & Byrne in Dublin.

This is a new initiative by SDGI in partnership with Foras na Gaeilge which aims to award directors for their contribution to Irish film, TV and the Irish language. Louis Marcus was presented with a plaque and a prize of €5,000 by fellow directors including Oliver Hirschbeigel, Dearbhla Walsh, Paddy Breathnach, Lenny Abrhamson and Ciaran Donnelly.

‘For myself, I’m greatly honoured to receive this award from my fellow directors and Foras na Gaeilge. But I think it also highlights the tremendous support of the Irish-language sector for serious documentary production from the pioneering days of Gael Linn to the TG4 of today.’ said Louis Marcus.

Born in Cork in 1936, Louis Marcus began his film career in Dublin in 1958 as assistant editor on Mise Éire and Saoirse? and made his own first film in 1959 on the sculptor, Seamus Murphy RHA. From 1960 to 1973 he made short cinema documentaries for Gael-Linn, and has worked since then for television and corporate patrons. His subjects have included social life, Irish traditions, history and the Arts. He has now made over 80 documentaries winning some 20 international awards including the Silver Bear of the Berlin Film Festival, prizes at Moscow, London, Chicago and Oberhausen, and two Academy Award Nominations.

‘Louis Marcus has made outstanding work and we are delighted to be honouring him today,’ said Birch Hamilton, SDGI’s Executive Director.

Deirdre Davitt, Programme Manager for the Arts, Foras na Gaeilge said “Foras na Gaeilge would like to publicly acknowledge the enormous contribution Louis Marcus has made to the Irish language film and television sector over the past 50 years and to thank the SDGI for the opportunity to do so”.

Louis Marcus’ cinema work has had international distribution through United Artists and Columbia Pictures; his television work has appeared on RTÉ, TG4, Ulster Television and Channel Four, with distribution by Thames Television International.

Recent works include Cosc ar Ghnéas/A Ban on Sex, No Rootless Colonists/Na Gaeil-Phrostatúnaigh, Christ Church Through the Ages and a triptych treatment of the annual Fleadh Cheoil for the Brú Ború Centre in Cashel.

In 1995 he received the Irish Film Institute’s Annual Award, and at the 50th Cork Film Festival in 2005 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and a retrospective of his work. He was elected to the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Over the years he has served on several state arts boards including the Abbey Theatre Shareholders, the Foreign Relations Committee and the Arts Council, and is a former Chairperson of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.


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