Rough, a short film about Belfast gangsters passing a death sentence on a dog has picked up the Best Short Film Award at the prestigious Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Film and Drama Awards in Dublin.

Written and directed by Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson and produced by Gallagher Films this is Rough’s third industry award, having previously won best short film at the Krakow Film Festival and the Kerry International Film Festival.

Starring Ryan McParland, Michael Smiley, Gerard Jordan, Peter Heenan, Brendan Quinn, Andrew McGarrigle and Kelly the terrier, Rough is also about truth-telling and forgiveness and how in an absurd world of obscene power, unthinking violence and masculinity gone wrong, the truth can – just once in a while, set us all free.

Louise Gallagher, Producer, Rough and Managing Director, Gallagher Films said: “A huge thank you to Declan and Adam for trusting me with their wonderful script which tackles the deeper themes of conflict in Northern Ireland and its’ aftermath in such a unique way. Rough is about the brutalisation of communities over decades, the acceptance of horrors and ultimately the fact these things can be transformed, in small ways by love – even if in this case, it’s love for a Jack Russell terrier. This was a story that just had to be told.”

Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, added: “We are deeply grateful to IFTA for recognising Rough, and we hope that it helps to draw attention to the issues the film raises. Special thanks to our executive producers Roma Downey and Northern Ireland Screen for making the film a reality, Yellowmoon Post Production, Mick Hannigan, Úna Feely and Peter Zemek at Green Ray Agency for promoting it all over the world and to Louise Gallagher, our producer, who shared our vision and brought it to life so well. We’d also like to thank our crew and talented cast, all of whom worked tirelessly to make this all happen.”

Roma Downey, Executive Producer, Rough said: “I am proud to be associated with the film. I really responded to the story of how one man’s love for his little dog reminds us all of our own humanity. The film is made with warmth and humour and I am so happy for our talented team to pick up this prestigious award.”

Rough was made with the assistance of Northern Ireland Screen, The National Lottery and BFI Network. Find out more about Rough at

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