“It’s an amazing moment for women.”

MC of the 2018 IFTA Awards Deirdre O’Kane praised the Time’s Up movement, the Irish film and TV industry and Saoirse Ronan at the announcement of this year's nominees.

  • Deirdre O'Kane in our April 2017 issue

Deirdre O'Kane took time out from her Dancing With The Stars training to announce the nominations for this year’s IFTA Awards, and praised the positivity of Hollywood’s Time’s Up campaign.

“It’s an amazing moment for women. Besides the heavy side of things, we have to remember the bigger picture that this is a really positive picture for women. This is a moment to say we have had enough now and we just want to be recognised for what we do,” Deirdre says. “Ultimately it is exciting. I’m very excited by what’s happening. I loved how they marked it at the Globes.”

Deirdre emphasised the importance of events like the IFTAs in celebrating Irish talent and productions. “The IFTAs are vital really. When you make fantastic films like Cardboard Gangsters, that’s not going to translate to Oscars. Some of them do translate to Oscars and Baftas but not all of them do and they’re still fantastic and have to be recognised,” she says. “You have got to recognise your own industry. What would the UK be like without the BAFTAs? It just can’t happen.”

Does Deirdre think that the women of the Irish industry would wear black on the IFTA red carpet in solidarity? “I haven’t heard any discussions about it but now that you say it, I would be up for it. I wear black 24/7 so it would suit me down to the ground!”

The actor and comedian, who earned a nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role in Film for her role in Halal Daddy, also voiced her delight at Saoirse Ronan’s Golden Globe win and potential Oscar win. “I’m absolutely ecstatic, I’m a huge fan of Saoirse’s. She is our Meryl Streep,” Deirdre says.

“I know people know she is good but I’m not sure they realise how good. I expect Saoirse Ronan to get an Oscar nomination every other year, from now on, she is that good.”

Saoirse is nominated for the Actress in a Leading Role IFTA for her acclaimed performance in Lady Bird. The film is also nominated in International Film category.

The IFTA Awards take place on 15 February and this year marks the 15th anniversary of the Irish Film and Television Academy.

For more films starring women we can't wait for this year, click here.

By Róisín Healy

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