Having interviewed Tom Collins recently about An Bronntanas and previously about Kings, I know what a hardworking, conscientious film director he is so I am delighted that the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) has presented the Foras na Gaeilge Award to the Derry wan and all-round good egg in recognition of his Outstanding Contribution in the Irish language in Film and TV.

The award was presented at Filmbase in Dublin today (24  June) with SDGI Director Birch Hamilton, saying Tom Collins had “now become one of the finest directing talents in Ireland.”

Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan presented the award to Tom.

Hailed for his Irish language films Kings (2007) and the award winning Hush-a-Bye-Baby (1992), most recently Collins has had enormous success with the award-winning Irish noir crime drama An Bronntanas, which was adapted for a five part thriller series for TG4 that has now been picked up by French distributor Lagardère Entertainment.

Directed by Collins and starring Dara Devaney (Na Cloigne), Owen McDonnell (Single Handed) and John Finn (Cold Case), An Bronntanas tells the story of the crew of a local independent lifeboat in Connemara who find over a million euro worth of drugs on an abandoned fishing boat.

Speaking about the award, Tom said, “It is great to be honoured by The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland. Tom Collins  film makerThanks to Stuart Carolan for presenting the award as, without doubt he, through Love/Hate, has changed the face of Irish TV drama.”

Despite his mould-beaking work in Irish, Tom has had his struggles with the language.

“While my own Irish skills are not as good as they should be, I enjoyed directing Aimhairghin, Kings, and An Bronntanas – although the real work has been accomplished by those who tried to teach me Irish over the years, from irate Christian Brothers to patient commissioning editors, fellow film-makers and some confused actors.

“For me it’s all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity, that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores,” he said.

Mar sin de, comhghairdeas mór leat, Tommy.

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