The Irish Film Board (IFB) and the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) have announced the Rising Star Award nominees for 2012.

The nominees are:

Chris O’Dowd - Actor (“Bridesmaids”)
Emmett Scanlan - Actor (“Charlie Casanova”)
Rebecca Daly - Writer/Director (“The Other Side of Sleep”)
John Michael McDonagh - Writer/Director (“The Guard”)

The Rising Star Award is a unique IFTA Award in that it aims to highlight exceptional new and breakthrough talent working in all areas of the Irish film industry.

John Michael McDonagh wrote and directed “The Guard”, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. “The Guard” is officially the highest grossing Irish independent film of all time at the Irish box office. He has been shortlisted for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards, in addition to “The Guard” receiving nine Irish Film & Television Awards nominations.

McDonagh also wrote the screenplay for “Ned Kelly” (2003), starring Heath Ledger, for which he was nominated for AFI and Australian Film Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The director and writer said he plans to be “pathologically competitive” about the award. He said “this nomination will mean nothing to me if I don't win. All opposition must be crushed. Especially Chris O'Dowd, who will be starring with Brendan Gleeson in my next film later this year. If he wins, his role with have to be recast. I'm that vindictive.”

Being equally mature as McDonagh about the award, O’Dowd, who was catapulted to Hollywood fame by his role in “Bridemaids” said, “Thank you so much people of IFTA for including this shy country boy in your glorious shindig in the big schmoke. Can't wait for the night. Can I meet Bosco?”

O’Dowd made his TV debut in the RTÉ drama series “The Clinic” followed by a role in the hugely popular Channel 4 comedy series “The IT Crowd”. His other credits include “The Boat That Rocked’, “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Dinner for Schmucks”, “Festival” and “Showbands”.

This year he will star alongside Megan Fox in “This is Forty” and “The Sapphires”.  O’Dowd is currently filming comedy series “Moone Boy” at Ireland’s Ardmore Studios.


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Emmett J. Scanlan is nominated for his role in “Charlie Casanova”. The movie has previously won the Best First Feature Film Award at the Galway Film Fleadh in addition to Best Film at the DMV International Film Festival in Washington Awards at festivals in Washington. Scanlan has also already won the Best Actor award for his leading performance in “Charlie Casanova” at the 2011 European Independent Film Festival Awards in Paris.

Rebecca Daly, writer and director of “The Other Side of Sleep” made her first short film “Joyriders” (Best Irish Short - Galway Film Fleadh 2006, Best Short - Irish Film and Television Awards 2007) and “Hum”, as part of the Berlin Today Award. In 2008, she was selected for the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence du Festival in Paris where she developed and co-wrote “The Other Side of Sleep”, her debut feature film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

Last year, the award was won by actor Domhnall Gleeson, who has worked on the feature films “Shadow Dancer”, “Anna Karenina” and “Dredd” in 2011. Tomm Moore, writer/director of the Oscar nominated feature animation “The Secret of Kells” won in 2010 and Tomm has since began working on his second feature length animation, “Song of the Sea”.  In 2009, “Shame” and “Hunger” actor Michael Fassbender received the award and in 2008, young actress Saoirse Ronan had the honor for her breakthrough performance in “Atonement”.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 11th February 2012.

For more information visit

"Bridesmaids" trailer:

"The Guard" trailer:

"Charlie Casanova" trailer:

"The Other Side of Sleep" trailer:

Roscommon man and Hollywood star Chris O'DowdGoogle Images