Thursday 27 October 2016

One Million Dubliners film wins top documentary prize

One Million Dubliners
One Million Dubliners
Shane MacThomais

The documentary about Glasnevin Cemetery, One Million Dubliners, has won Britain's most prestigious award for religious broadcasting.

The documentary about the cemetery and the people who work there won critical acclaim when it aired on RTE last year.

And now it has beaten competition from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to win the main Sandford St Martin TV award.

The judges at the event said that the film had made them reconsider what constitutes a religious programme.

They decided it was exceptional, as it "challenges people to reflect on the things that give life meaning".

Aoife Kelleher and Rachel Lysaght's deeply-moving film has already won prizes from the Galway Film Fleadh and the Boston Irish Film Festival.


There was further good news last weekend when Emer Reynolds won the award for Best Editing in the Irish Film and Television (IFTA) awards.

The documentary took a tragic turn when Glasnevin's historian Shane MacThomais died as the film was being edited.

However, the film has had a positive impact on the cemetery, which has seen an increase in visitors, according to Mervyn Colville the deputy CEO of the Glasnevin Trust.

"That was the intention of the film: to raise awareness of what we do here. It's a very fitting tribute to Shane," he said.

"From such a tragic story there has come some positive consequences."

Roger Childs, head of RTÉ Religious Programmes, said it was "a poignant tribute to Sean who was One Million Dubliners' magnificent heart and soul".

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