IFTA award for Donegal director

A Donegal director has scooped a prestigious award at the IFTAs.

A Donegal director has scooped a prestigious award at the IFTAs.

Garry Keane, from Ballyshannon won the IFTA in the Best Director Television Category for his superb work on “The Writing in the Sky” - a stunning documentary about the writer Dermot Healy.

Keane was said to have been “thrilled” to win the IFTA - and Ballyshannon theatre, film and drama lovers were sharing in his joy this weekend.

Garry is a graduate of DLIAD and has worked in television for the last twenty years, first as a lighting cameraman and for the last twelve years as a director of documentaries. He was nominated by IFTA for Best Director in 2009 for the documentary Brief Encounters of a Sporting Mind.

Garry was born and raised in Ballyshannon and educated at the De La Salle secondary school. He left Donegal in 1984 and went to UC Galway, then spent a year in New York. This was followed by five years in London working and studying photography.

He returned to Ireland in 1990 to do his film degree at DLIADT in Dun Laghaoire. In 1997, he moved back to Donegal and settled in Barnesmore where he and Alison now make their home along with their three children - Molly (13) Eddie (10) and Tom (6).

The documentary received four nominations: Micheal O’Donovan was short-listed for Best Director of Photography Television, while Mick Mahon was short-listed for Best Editing Television. Killian Fitzgerald and Aza Hand was nominated in the Best Sound Television category. The documentary was produced by Real Film, a production company owned and run by Garry and his wife Alison.

Before the awards night Keane told the Democrat: “I work with a great team of people, including editor Mick Mahon and cinematographer Micheal O’Donovan who I studied with in Dun Laghoaire. It’s fantastic to see the actual practitioners getting due recognition for their endeavours and skill levels. I’m not exaggerating when I say they are as good as anyone in the world at what they do.”

The IFTAs were attended by all the leading lights of the Irish film and television world, Ryan Tubridy was there with Desperate Housewives star Dana Delaney - who has Donegal and Sligo grandparents.