Iftas 2020: Martin Scorsese and Michael D Higgins to appear at virtual ceremony

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Hollywood director Martin Scorsese will lead a star-studded Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony (Iftas) on Sunday evening.

Deirdre O'Kane makes a welcome return to hosting duties to host the event in a virtual format.

Scorsese will present best Irish film and will be joined on virtual presenting duties by Liam Neeson, Chris O'Dowd, Ruth Negga, Pierce Brosnan, Chris O'Dowd, Robbie Sheehan and Normal People stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones.

As there was no Iftas ceremony last year, the best film nominees this year have been split into two categories – 2019 and 2020 – while other categories have been broadened to include six instead of four nominees.

Among the nominees are Andrew Scott (for Black Mirror), Jessie Buckley (for Wild Rose and the TV adaptation of The Woman in White), Saoirse Ronan (for Little Women), Brendan Gleeson (for Mr Mercedes) and Cillian Murphy (for Peaky Blinders).

Leading the charge in the best Irish film shortlist for the 2020 award is famine drama Arracht.

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It faces competition from A Bump Along the Way, Calm with Horses, Extraordinary and Ordinary Love.

Meanwhile Blood, Dublin Murders, Vikings and Death and Nightingales make up a very blood soaked best TV drama shortlist.

President Michael D Higgins will give a special presentation for the academy and the nominees on the night.

The ceremony will be broadcast on Virgin Media One at 10pm.

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