Two awards for TG4 at PRIX CIRCOM 2021, the awards for Europe's regional public service broadcasters
Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth awarded at PRIX CIRCOM 2021
TG4’s Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth have been awarded at PRIX CIRCOM 2021 announced today. Every year, the Prix CIRCOM awards honours the best regional productions. These are the most important international awards for regional programmes and were first presented in 1990. Ten Category Winners and nine Commended awards were selected in 2021. There were 191 entries for the awards this year compared with 193 last year, which suggests that in a full year of Covid-19 the public stations continued to produce a significant amount of content in service to their viewers during this tragic year. In all, 23 states had entries for the awards by broadcasters.
TG4’s Samhlú 2020 was awarded Winner of MOST ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE award which is sponsored by NRK NORWAY. Samhlú 2020, a landmark cultural showcase to celebrate the artistic endeavours and creativity that have endured throughout Ireland in 2020 despite a very challenging year. Samhlú 2020 was funded by The Creative Ireland Programme and produced by Meangadh Fíbín, and directed by Philip Doherty for TG4. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Roundstone, Connemara, Co. Galway. Tommy Tiernan, in the role of The Wanderer brought the audience on a joyous and magical journey of music, dance, and theatre. World renowned composer and Roundstone resident Bill Whelan’s new original composition, ‘Samhlú’ premiered in the broadcast. Samhlú 2020 also featured six short leagacy films interwoven with performances from Shane Hennessey, Moxie, Slow Moving Clouds, Julie Feeney, Morgan Bullock, David Geaney, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Varo and Tonnta.
Is Olc an Ghaoth was awarded Commended in the ENTERTAINMENT AND DRAMA category which was sponsored by TPA Asturias-TVG Galicia. An Achill Island Gothic Triptych – three sad-funny short films that fold into each other, set on a slightly off-kilter, quirky Covid-bound Island and features some of the finest actors in the country, Stiofán Seoige (Murdair Mhám Trasna, Na Cloigne, Ros na Rún), John Finn (Cold Case, The Walking Dead, The Crown, An Bronntanas), Carrie Crowley (Fair City, Rásaí na Gaillimhe) and Peadar Cox (Song of Granite, Fir Bolg, Ros na Rún). Produced by Niamh Fagan directed by IFTA winning director Tom Sullivan and BAFTA winning writer Kevin Toolis.
The winner of the Grand Prix – the Best of the Best, sponsored by TVP Poland will be announced at an online gala and celebration on Wednesday 12 May, 20:00 CET. There will also be a further Special Award to be announced, sponsored by BNT Bulgaria.
The award juries comprise experts working as producers in regional stations. They were: Sybren Terpstra, Omrop Fryslan, The Netherlands; Cathrine Gaukerud, NRK, Norway; Erica Stenback, SVT, Sweden; Léa Zilber, RTBF, Belgium; Adriano Nazareth, RTP, Portugal; Lisa Reynolds, BBC, UK; Zsuszanna Antala, MTVA, Hungary; Chiara Tomasoni, RSI, Switzerland; Daniela Draštata, HRT, Croatia; Daniele Guido Gessa, RAI, Italy; Françoise Erb, France 3, France; Alina Amza, TVR, Romania; Montse Armengou Martín, CCMA, Spain; Dagmara Drzazga, TVP, Poland; Christine Schwarz, RTBF, Belgium; Andreas Riedl, ORF, Au stria; Mojca Recek, RTVSLO, Slovenia; Martin Novosad, ČT, Czech Republic; Lucía Herrera Cueva, RTPA, Spain; Roisin Ní Thuairisg, TG4, Ireland; Janina Strothman, HR, Germany; Joe Reddington, RTÉ, Ireland; Gunnar Henrich, HR, Germany;Eivind Undrum Jacobsen, NRK, Norway.
Director Genereal of TG4 Alan Esslemont said, “I would like to congratulate producers Meangadh Fíbín and Lunar Pictures and everybody involved in Samhlú 2020 and Is Olc an Ghaoth on their awards today. Samhlú 2020 was a hugely ambitious and important project which celebrated the best of the arts in Ireland during an unprecedented and difficult year. Our partnership with The Creative Ireland Programme was a fruitful one and we are delighted with this award today. The calibre of talent involved in Is Olc an Ghaoth speaks for itself, and shows the success of original Irish-produced drama which can transcend boundaries and appeal to international audiences.”
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said “Many congratulations to TG4 and Fíbín Media in Connemara. To win the most original and innovative programme against regional broadcasters of much greater scale is some achievement. TG4’s Súil Eile is one we all admire. I am delighted to have funded the making of Samhlú. Our ambition was to showcase the extraordinary creative practice which thrived despite COVID, hence 126 artists featured from all over Ireland including new music from composer Bill Whelan. This is also a great tribute to the independent production community in the west.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers said, “I want to offer my congratulations to TG4 on this magnificent achievement. Covid has tested the entire nation’s resolve but programmes like Samhlú have played an incredible role in keeping people’s hopes up and inspiring the nation. Connemara in the Gaeltacht community is at the heart of so much creativity and innovation so this award is particularly fitting and showcases Irish culture to the entire world. That the programme has triumphed over productions from some of Europe’s largest broadcasters is further testament to the incredible work that has gone into making Samhlú.”
David Lowen CIRCOM said: “It has been a pleasure and honour to be Chair of the Juries of such distinguished and experienced professionals from around Europe. They have worked hard and faced some difficult choices. They have praised so much of what has been achieved by the regional public service broadcasters and media providers in what has been a difficult period for viewers and professionals. We now look forward to the announcement of the Grand Prix and the Special Award and to sharing the video celebrations of the category winners.”