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Stephen Rea to receive IFTA Lifetime Achievement award

Legendary actor Stephen Rea will be honoured with the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s ceremony.

The award will be presented to the Oscar-nominated actor for his outstanding contribution to the Irish and international screen industry over a career that has spanned five decades.

Responding to the Lifetime Achievement Award announcement, Rea said: “So much of Irish culture has been recovered and reimagined. Music, language, literature, theatre.

“And cinema can be added to that list because of the special energy of John Boorman who produced Neil Jordan’s first film Angel. And to my astonishment, my first film too. Neil thrust the script and a saxophone into my hands and suddenly I was in the movies. Well, one really original movie, which was at the beginning of a new confidence in Irish cinema.

Actor Stephen Rea to be honoured with IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured in 1999.

“And now many films later, IFTA have, equally surprisingly, offered me a Lifetime Achievement Award. A lifetime of collaboration with the most generous and creative artists you could ever work with. And hang out with. Thanks to all of them. Thank you IFTA.”

IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty added: “As a pioneer of his craft, Stephen’s profound contribution to our industry has left an indelible mark. He brings such an intelligent and intuitive approach to his craft and his performances, with authentic depth and honesty, and a uniquely Irish stoicism.

“He has become one of Ireland’s most respected and beloved actors. His commitment to the craft and to our community has made him an integral part of our cinematic history and the legacy of Irish film, theatre and television. We in the Irish Academy are honoured to recognise his achievements with this special award.”

Stephen Rea was nominated for an Oscar in 1992 for his role in The Crying Game

Rea is known for his collaborations with director Neil Jordan in a number of iconic films, including The Crying Game, for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1992, Michael Collins, Greta, The Butcher Boy and In Dreams. He has also worked with renowned filmmakers such as Mike Leigh and Robert Altman.

The acclaimed actor won a BAFTA in 2015 for his role in the television miniseries The Honourable Woman. Other notable film credits include Interview with the Vampire (1994), Breakfast on Pluto (2005) and V for Vendetta (2006) and the TV series War & Peace (2016).

This year’s IFTAs host Baz Ashmawy is best known for his hit series 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy, which earned him an International Emmy Award for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment.

Emmy-winning TV presenter Baz Ashmawy will host this year’s IFTAs

He said: “I’m really honoured to host the IFTAs this year. It’s been an amazing year for the Irish in TV and cinema. I’ll aim to be wonderful in celebrating with the best in the industry; the people who have cemented Ireland on the world stage at such a high level, as well as embracing all the new upcoming talent. I can’t wait!”

The 2024 IFTAs will take place on Saturday, 20 April at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre.

The nominations for this year’s ceremony will be announced on Thursday, 14 March.

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