The Irish Film and Television Academy - IFTA -  has said it wishes to host an awards ceremony this year with plans being put in place for an event in May. 

IFTA last night launched its five year strategy 2020 - 2024, saying it wants to encourage, reward and inspire professional excellence through learning events, mentoring, masterclasses, discussions and an annual Irish Academy Awards.

IFTA says that first among its objectives is to secure financial stability for the Academy, and says that core support is needed from government..

It also plans to open its membership to students as well as sections like animation and gaming and says that, with the right funding support in place, it will prioritise the delivery of two award ceremonies annually, recognising excellence in front of and behind the camera. 

Speaking at the launch, Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham said: "This next phase of growth for the Irish industry is absolutely critical, as we have such an opportunity now to take this to the next level.

"It's not just film and television, but also gaming, animation and so much more. The Academy is right at the heart of all of this, supporting us all the way."