Local director wins BIFS prize

The British and Irish Film Season came to an end on Sunday with a low-key screening of short films. But the awards ceremony the previous evening attracted a sell-out crowd, drawn to the Luxembourg avant-premier of the big screen version of “Downton Abbey”.

British ambassador John Marshall was on hand to give a speech and awards were handed out for the festival’s two prizes.

The Critics’ Award, voted by a jury comprising members of the Luxembourg Film Critics' Association, went to Paddy Breathnach’s “Rosie”. Written by the great Roddy Doyle, the film follows a homeless mother of three (played to great acclaim by Sarah Greene) as she tries to find accommodation for her family. The jury also gave a special mention to Kevin Glynn’s documentary “Alcock & Brown, the True Story”.

Liam McEvoy’s documentary “The Spirit of the Game”, which delves into the world of the Luxembourg Puckers ice hockey team, won the audience award. Attendees of the festival could award each film they saw up to 10 points via voting slips after the screenings. The collected voting slips were then used to draw the audience prize of two return flights to London City or Dublin with Luxair, which was won by Chari Kadambari.

Ambassador John Marshall thanked festival organiser Geoff Thompson as well as sponsors, volunteers, and audiences “for another hugely enjoyable 10 days of Irish and British cinema.” He tweeted that Downton Abbey provided “the perfect end” to the festival.