The Irish film 'Once', which stars The Frames singer Glen Hansard and Czech singer Marketa Irglova, has won the World Cinema Audience Award in the dramatic category at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Directed and written by John Carney ('Bachelors Walk', 'On the Edge'), 'Once' is a modern-day musical set in Dublin and tells the story of two singers who fall in love over the course of a week, as they write, rehearse and record songs.
Commenting on the film's win, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O'Donoghue, said: "The Sundance Film Festival is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. I wish to offer my congratulations to John, Glen and the rest of the cast and crew on this marvellous achievement. This is yet another great day in the continued growth of the Irish film industry."
Simon Perry, Chief Executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, said: "For a such a personal Irish film to breakthrough and win such an important award is real recognition of original and independent film-making. John Carney is clearly one of Ireland's most gifted film directors and we look forward to working with him again in the future."
Produced and financed by Samson Films with the assistance of the Irish Film Board and RTÉ, 'Once' will premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival on Monday 19 February.
It will go on general release in Irish cinemas on 23 March.
Hansard and Irglova also collaborated on the album 'The Swell Season'.
Read the review of 'The Swell Season' here.