Moe Dunford has said he is “hugely honoured” that he will receive an award as a breakthrough artist at a Californian film festival later this month.
The Waterford actor (31) was named yesterday for the prestigious gong at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
The 20th year of the movie extravaganza will focus on the achievements of Irish film during its eight-day run from April 25 to May 2, playing 31 Irish-made films in total over the festival.
These will include three films starring Moe: Rosie, The Dig and Metal Heart.
The festival marks Rosie’s US premiere, which was directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Dublin author Roddy Doyle, and gives a raw take on the homelessness crisis in Ireland.
Rising star Moe will receive his Breakthrough Artist Award at a reception co-hosted by Variety Magazine at the Balboa Bay Resort on April 28.
“I’m hugely honoured to be chosen for the Breakthrough Artist Award by the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival in California,” Moe told the Herald.
“And I’m delighted I’ll have a chance to attend the festival to help present three great Irish films that I was privileged to be a part of, The Dig – which opens in Ireland on April 26 – Rosie and Metal Heart which will all be screening there as part of a great celebration of Irish film.”
Moe has certainly proven his big screen credentials in some hard-hitting films since bursting onto the scene in Patrick’s Day, a 2014 film in which he played a schizophrenic young man called Patrick who goes missing during the national holiday festivities in Dublin.
He has gone on to work with industry heavy weight, Lord of the Rings Hugo Weaving in Lance Daly’s famine film Black 47 and will next be seen by Irish audiences in The Dig which is directed by Northern Irish twins Ryan and Andy Tohill – their first feature length film.
And while winning awards is nice, it was seeing Ryan’s reaction to the film selling out in Rome the other night that was a highlight for Moe to date.
“Seeing one of our directors of The Dig, Ryan, ring his twin brother from Rome after a sell-out screening of the film there the other night [was a highlight]. Andy couldn’t be there as he was back home with the kids. All Ryan could say was: ‘They loved it mate, they f***ing loved it’ when talking about the audience response. These two brothers were ecstatic from one side of the world to the other after a screening of their very first feature.”
“This is what it’s all about for me, those kinds of moments, after you work hard on a shoot that was only three weeks long. On a freezing bog in Antrim, and you see how hard everyone on the crew works – it was a similar experience to my first movie Patrick’s Day where everybody dived in, every single day, and our directors and producer Brian gave us everything we needed to be collaborative in such a short time frame.
“The pay-off was seeing that the other night, these two brothers who when they were kids dreamt of making a solid feature and showing it to audiences around the world. It’s a good feeling when the audience really get the stories you make.”
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