IndieCork Festival last night announced the award winners in all categories, film and music to a capacity audience at The Gate Cinemas. The festival concluded it’s live element, but continues online at the Blacknight Hub, until midnight on October 3rd where the full festival will remains available.

Closing the festival out, Festival Co-Director Mick Hannigan said ‘We are very grateful for the goodwill and support shown to IndieCork, we’ve had really strong audiences, and many filmmakers travelled to Cork to represent their films. Even a month ago, this isn’t something we thought was possible. It’s shown us that there is a huge appetite amongst audiences and filmmakers for a festival such as IndieCork, where our role is developing and supporting filmmaking talent’.

IndieCork welcomed filmmakers from Dubliln, Kildare, Derry, Donegal, Belfast, London, Barcelona and New York as well as a strong cohort of Cork filmmakers who convened daily at The Gate Cinema.

Festival Co-Director Úna Feely commented: ‘It’s been a very strong and positive year for IndieCork. Receiving the accolade of becoming a BAFTA nominating festival, hosting many world premieres and simply welcoming back filmmakers and audiences. We’d like to thank all our partners who support the festival; The Gate Cinema, Blacknight Solutions and the Arts Office of Cork City Council, plus our creative partners MTU Crawford College of Art and Design and The Guesthouse.

IndieCork Festival continues online at until October 3rd.

Awards winners 2021 – IndieCork Festival

Best Creative Cork Short Film

Winner: Woodpeckers by Owen Warren

We were enormously impressed by the script, acting and direction of Woodpeckers which squeezes dark humour from a personal and ecological crisis for the main character. We commend Mike O’Dowd who scripted, produced and acted in Woodpeckers and Owen Warren the director of an original and impressive film.

The award is sponsored by Green Ray Film Agency.


Two special mentions:

  • May The Peacock Have Its Call And Dance by Sofia Rudi
  • I Have Plants in Lonely Places by Elsie Van Dam

Winner: Best Graduate Film – Kitsch Doom – The Clothes Wear You

Jury statement: We selected Kitsch Doom’s The Clothes Wear You because it is a mature marriage of concept and production design containing a measured central performance by the artist filmmaker

Best Irish Film

Winner: Matthew McGuigan for Ruthless

Directed with a charming and effective shorthand by Matthew McGuigan and skilfully written by Kate Perry, ‘Ruthless’ is a humorous, heart-warming story of how a prosthetic leg and a T. Rex album become the conduit for overcoming grief.From the opening images this short but impressive film keeps its eye on the essentials, alternating between the playful and the tragic as we unearth the damage done to a father and son in 1970s Belfast. The performances are winning and finely measured, the emotional heft earned and grounded. A world expertly drawn with moments of silence that say a lot this is a handsome and spirited tale told with wit and warmth.

Honourable Mention Documentary: In Between Lands

Family and one’s own roots are the foundation of a person’s being and culture. But what happens if a child is placed into a very different environment to what they were born into? This documentary touches upon a very personal subject taking the viewer on an intimate journey towards self-discovery and belonging. For its sensitive and brave exploration of identity and heritage, the special mention is given to In Between Lands by Laura Griffin.

Honourable Mention Fiction: To All My Darlings

With To All My Darlings, writer Derek Ugochukwu and director Lia Campbell have crafted a warm, poignant piece of cinema. Taking place in the Nigerian-Irish community, this quietly powerful short follows one couple and the pressures they face to conceive. Demi Isaac Oviawe does an outstanding job in her role as Adaeze, a woman internally processing the pain of yet another miscarraige as life carries on around her. Heartbreaking, compassionate yet ultimately hopeful, To All My Darlings is a film that hangs in your thoughts long after the credits finish.

Best International Short Film

Winner: Maria Erikkson-Hecht for High Sky Low Land (Sweden)

A beautifully made short film that only hints at the past and the future, but portrays the here and now of a young girl coping with what’s left of her family. With a strong sense of place depicted, we learn of her struggles through gesture, look and circumstance. A film that represents all the strengths of short filmmaking.

Honourable mention: ‘Cradle’ by Paul Muresan (Romania)

Best Emerging Irish Female Director Award

Winner: Eva Birthistle for Kathleen Was Here

Jury statement: Masterfully shot and beautifully realised, Kathleen Was Here is the directorial debut by actress and writer Eva Birthistle. In these brief ten minutes, Eva curates the difficult, complex moments of her young protagonist’s life with deft and skill. The viewer meets Kathleen – realised with a wonderful performance from Hazel Doupe – as she ages out of care. Now eighteen, Kathleen returns to the home she grew up in with her troubled but loving mother. Kathleen Was Here casts an empathetic eye on the reaching impact of mental health struggles and does an exemplary job of capturing the contradictory emotions surrounding grief.

Spirit of IndieCork Awards

In 2021, we award two filmmakers:

Niall Owens

To Niall Owens who has shown a true independent spirit of dogged persistence in getting his accomplished debut feature, Gateway, to screen. The film, set and shot in Cork, was self-financed and entailed the work of large team of willing collaborators, acting talent and crew; truly representative of independent filmmaking. We were excited to launch Gateway and we look forward to its onward festival journey.

Bill Morrison

To Bill Morrison for his body of work, notably The Village Detective: a song cycle, which screened this year at IndieCork. Taking film reels found at the bottom of the sea and literally bringing them to light, he creates a new and profound narrative. Bill’s work, adds to the history of cinema, to the language of cinema and to the pleasures of cinema. We salute a truly independent filmmaker.

IndieCork Music Award

Winner: The Quiet Club

The Quiet Club, comprised of Danny McCarthy and Mick O’Shea, has become Ireland’s foremost sound art ensemble since their beginnings in 2006. This award recognises the significance and influence of the Quiet Club in the field of sonic arts thought Ireland, but particularly in Cork. More specifically, this award is made for the duo’s live-streamed performance as part of the IndieCork festival. During the pandemic lockdown period, when physical collaboration wasn’t possible, the Quiet Club responded with ‘The Telepathic Tapes’, an album that blends simultaneous recordings in different locations. Neither Mick nor Danny heard each other’s contribution whilst making the record. Their performance for IndiecCrk revisited this working model, with both playing live at the same time but in separate rooms.  For this imaginative exploration of sound in time and space, and for their purposeful disregard of artistic conventions over many years, The Quiet Club are worthy winners of this award.