International stars of the big and small screen are in Dublin for the inaugural Irish Film and Television Awards.

Hollywood stars, Irish talent and the international media and paparazzi turn out in force at the Burlington Hotel for the event dubbed the Irish Oscars. The ceremony is organised by the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs) to showcase the best of Irish talent in film and television. The industry hopes the event will become a regular fixture on the celebrity calendar.

IFTAs nominee Stuart Townsend is accompanied to the ceremony by his fiancée, the Hollywood actress Charlize Theron, who is always happy to attend an event that celebrates film-making.

Actor Ralph Fiennes thinks events like the IFTAs are important as they create work, interest and focus on film. Star of ‘Watermelon’ Anna Friel agrees, saying it is important to recognise the amount of films being made in Ireland, and how much investment is being made in the industry.  Television presenter Pamela Flood adds,

People work really hard in the film and TV industry and it’s important it’s recognised.

Awards attendees, actor Aidan Quinn, singer and musician Andrea Corr and actor Don Wycherley use the occasion to call on the Irish government retain tax breaks for the film industry.  Also in attendance is Minister for Communications Dermot Ahern who acknowledges the importance of the film and television industry to the Irish economy. He will be reviewing section 481 with Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevey.

Prime Time’ presenter Miriam O'Callaghan attends the ceremony to accept the Best TV Personality award. The hotly contested category includes Gráinne Seoige and Hector Ó hEochagáin, both of whom attend the IFTAs. Ó hEochagáin is nominated for a number of awards and his TG4 programme ‘Amú Amigos Amazon’ wins Best Entertainment and Best Lifestyle programme.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 November 2003. The reporter is Gareth O’Connor.