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The Irish film industry is thriving, reaching new audiences and attracting an abundance of talented individuals to work on productions large and small. Established in 2008, the Discovery Award aims to celebrate and champion new and emerging talent both in front of, and behind, the camera, and many of its recipients have emerged as leading lights of Irish film.

2020 Nominees 

Allyn Quigley, Writer/Director, Moth

Cara Holmes, Director, Welcome to a Bright White Limbo

Claire Byrne, Director, Sister This

Clare Dunne, Writer/Cast, Herself

Die Hexen, Composer, Welcome to a Bright White Limbo

Dónall Ó’Héalaí, Lead Actor, Arracht 

Gwen Jeffares Hourie, Costume Designer, Broken Law and Sister This

Laragh McCann, Director, Hasta La Vista

Luke Morgan, Director, The Butterfly Love Song

Paddy Slattery, Director, Broken Law

Phil Blake, Cinematography, Break Us and Sister This

Shaun O’Connor, Director, A White Horse

Tristan Heanue, Writer/Director, Ciúnas

2019 Winners 

Alexandra McGuinness (Writer/Director) 

Ian Hunt Duffy (Director) 

Oonagh Kearney (Director)

Madonna Bambino (Make Up Artist) 

2018 Winners

TJ O’Grady Peyton (Director)

Trevor Whelan (Director)

Rua Meegan (Director)

Mia Mullarkey (Director)

2017 Winners 

John Connors (Actor)

Niamh Algar (Actor)

Vincent Gallagher (Director)

2016 Winners 

Barry Keoghan (Actor)

Jack O’Shea (Director/Animator)

Kathryn Kennedy (Producer)

2014 Winner

Donal Foreman (Director)

2012 Winners 

Pat Collins (Director)

Brian Byrne (Film Composer)

Ian Fitzgibbon (Director)


Juanita Wilson (Director)

David O’Reilly (Animator)

Aidan Gillen (Actor)


Darren Healy (Actor)

Conor Horgan (Director)

Kate McCullough (Cinematographer)


Cartoon Saloon (Animation Company)

Margaret Corkery (Writer/Director)


Ken Wardrop (Director)

Margo Harkin (Producer)

Tim Fleming (Director of Photography)