Rita Fitzgerald: Stolen hearts and tears of joy from the Bafta's red carpet

UTV's Rita Fitzgerald catches up with the team behind the Bafta-winning Northern Irish short film An Irish Goodbye.

There are red carpet events and then there is the Baftas.

I had the pleasure of attending this year's star studded event held at the Royal Festival Hall in London and it was simply amazing.

I joined the many hundreds of other media as we lined the red carpet tightly-packed excitedly waiting for the opportunity to speak to our cinematic heroes and in my case too, to gaze at the incredible couture that seemed to glide endlessly past.

Florence Pugh attending the 76th British Academy Film Awards held at the Southbank Centre's Royal.

And what a year to get to attend the Baftas!

With Irish talent so well represented from 10 nominations for the Banshees of Inisherin to The Quiet Girl and of course the incredible Northern Irish short film An Irish Goodbye.

When I arrived in London the day before I had the pleasure of catching up with the cast and directors of the film to chat about their thoughts and feelings having succeeded in making it to the awards show.

This was all to be part of a special show for UTV Life which will be aired on Friday but having met the guys, well what can I say, they stole my heart.

Such a talented and humble bunch of actors and directors who deserve every success. So when they made their way down the red carpet and a beeline for the UTV media spot, it was just awesome.

These guys were so nice to compliment me on my interview. Beyond nice lads.

The stars just kept on coming and I had the pleasure of chatting to many actors and producers and even to my daughters favorite actor of all time Matthew Modine from Stranger Things.

He was hilarious and interestingly shared future plans of filming a movie in Ireland soon. You heard it here first.

It was also fascinating to hear about how blockbuster movies like Avatar are created, and how soundtracks are composed for blockbuster hits like the Banshees of Inisherin. And between interviews, I enjoyed watching one incredible actor after another sail down the red carpet beaming and looking thrilled to be there.

Jamie Curtis joked with the media as she passed by and the incomparable Emma Thompson left us all in stitches.

Emma Thompson Credit: PA

Of course as with any competition there can only be some winners, so the rest of my evening was spent glued to the screen at the media centre crossing my fingers. Four Baftas for the Banshees of Inisherin two of which were for best supporting actor and actress roles and I couldn't be more thrilled for deserved winners Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon. But when it was time for Best Short, well let's say I was holding my breath.

And it happened!

The media centre went wild to the news that An Irish Goodbye won. There were tears of joy and relief.

So the cast and directors are off to the Oscars in only a matter of weeks and I couldn't be more thrilled for them.

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