Irish directors gather for The Screen Directors Guild 10th Anniversay Awards

What, No invite for better hang the tuxedo back up.

One of the largest gatherings of Irish and international film and television directors ever will take place at an event on September 22nd to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI).

The day long event will include masterclass sessions for Irish filmmakers presented by international filmmakers, and an awards dinner at which several honorary memberships of the Guild, and the Director’s Finders Series award will be presented.

The Gala Awards Dinner will take place at The Morrison Hotel, Dublin, and will welcome two internationally recognised directors, Sir Alan Parker and Michael Apted, who will be presented with honorary membership of the SDGI.

Sir Alan Parker’s long, varied and hugely successful body of work includes The Commitments, one of the most popular Irish films ever. Sir Alan will be presented with his honorary membership by the novelist who penned the book on which this film was based, Roddy Doyle.

Michael Apted’s career is no less impressive than that of Sir Alan Parker, with credits on massively popular and memorable films such as Gorillas in the Mist, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Nell, and his work on television includes the groundbreaking “7 Up” series, where the director visits a group of people in seven year intervals to document their lives. He has just finished shooting the latest chapter in The Chronicles of Narnia series, which is due for release in December.

Both directors will present masterclasses earlier in the day to up and coming Irish filmmakers. The directors were approached by SDGI in recognition of their enthusiasm to celebrate Irish filmmaking.

Other filmmakers in attendance include: Ciaran Donnelly, award winning Emmy director Dearbhla Walsh, Ken Wardrop, John Carney, Kirsten Sheridan, Lance Daly, Oscar nominated Juanita Wilson

Commenting on the guests in attendance, Executive Director of SDGI Birch Hamilton said “The SDGI has always been committed to excellence when representing needs and concerns of our members, and we’re thrilled to be able to welcome so many of them to this evening of celebration of not only the success of the Guild, but the success of Irish directors and filmmakers over the last ten years. Irish filmmaking has evolved through numerous initiatives over the past ten years, and it is vital that it continues to be nurtured regardless of economic challenges. It is a viable business which employs over six thousand people, and we aim to continue to support Irish filmmakers in every way we can.”

She continued, “To have our celebrations include masterclasses from two of the most recognised names in filmmaking internationally is a genuine honour for us, and one which we know will benefit the directors who will attend the masterclasses.

Sir Alan Parker and Michael Apted as former President of the DGA have, in many ways, championed Irish film and directors over a number of years, and it is for that reason that we will be welcoming them into SDGI as honorary members at our special awards dinner.”

The Awards dinner will also pay tribute to the winner of this year’s Directors Finders Series, an annual initiative of the Guild which is vital to developing and showcasing Irish filmmaking talent.

The winner of this year’s prestigious award is Ian Power and his film The Runway, which screened to great acclaim at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

The initiative, run by SDGI in conjunction with the Directors Guild of America, provides the winner with an unrivalled opportunity to present their work on an international stage to key players in the film industry.

A screening of the film takes place at the Director’s Guild screening room on Sunset Boulevard, with an invited audience of filmmakers, distributors, agents and journalists, all in an effort to secure a US distribution deal for the film.

Last year’s winner is a visible example of the importance of this award – Ken Wardrop’s His & Hers was the recipient last year, and the exposure for the film garnered as a result has helped the film achieve an impressive feat – as of last week, it passed the €300,000 mark at the Irish box-office, making it most successful documentary release in Ireland since 2004.

The Guild currently has 205 members and the Board is made up of high profile screen directors such as Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with a Vampire, Butcher Boy), Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name of the Father, The Field) Chairman Ciaran Donnelly (The Tudors), Lance Daly (Kisses) and Lenny Abrahamson (Garage).