The actor was in Dublin to collect a Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFTA’s.

The Irish Film and Television Awards took place in the Mansion House last night and one of the most eagerly awaited awards was honouring Gabriel Byrne for his long-time service to Irish film and television.

Speaking at the event, the Dubliner spoke of his concerns for the Irish film industry, particularly in relation to finance and sustainably funding it in the future.

“Ireland has the same battle that every small country has – because the dominant market is the American market. And it shouldn’t be but it is the test that the film, how it does in America, that’s where the money is, that’s where the rewards are. But you know if you’re a novelist you can sit at a table and you can tell your own story without interference from anybody else,” he told The Journal.

He also spoke about the Irish movie industry’s dependence on success in the U.S. to keep growing.

“We’re not in that position where we’re able to tell our own stories. We’re just not,” he said. “To finance them, and tell them we’re away from that.”

“So we’re still not quite a fully functioning film industry and when people say ‘oh yes, it’s really flourishing’, sometimes what they mean is that people come in and make films in Ireland, sometimes cheaper than they’d be able to make them anywhere else. That’s not an industry.”

Byrne also discussed the importance of involving young people in the film industry.

“We have to put it at the forefront, in schools, every child benefits hugely from drama because it gives creative expression to your inner self. I don’t think it’s treated seriously, to be honest.”

See the full list of IFTA winners here.

Via: The Journal