The Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF) have announced that American film producer and current president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, will be the recipient of their Maureen O’ Hara award for the 2021 edition of the festival this October.


In 2020, the award celebrating women in the film industry was awarded to Kerry’s own, actress Jessie Buckley. In advance of this year’s KIFF, one of the most renowned producers in Hollywood has been confirmed as the next to receive the festival’s honour.


A well-known blockbuster producer, Kennedy has participated in the making of over 70 films worldwide including five of the fifty highest-grossing films in motion picture history, as well as co-founding the production company Amblin Entertainment with Stephen Spielberg and Frank Marshall.


Kennedy is most known today for production on some of the biggest blockbusters around, including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, the Jurassic Park series, historical dramas including MunichLincoln, and Schindler’s List, and three of the four celebrated Indiana Jones adventures and many more. She is currently producing several new Star Wars series and films, including the third season of the Emmy Award-winning The Mandalorian.


KIFF have announced that they are greatly honored to be presenting Kathleen Kennedy with the prestigious Maureen O’ Hara award for 2021 in celebration of her work in the film industry. This award, named after the beloved Munster movie icon, is offered exclusively to women who have excelled in film. Due to Covid restrictions, the award will be presented via an online interview which will be available throughout the festival on the KIFF website and social media platforms from October 4, 2021.

Taking place 14 – 17 October 2021, KIFF is a well-established festival that celebrates shorts, features, live film scores, emerging film talent and industry events. This year, the Kerry International Film Festival will be hosting both an online and physical event in partnership with venues throughout Kerry, such as Cinema Killarney, Randles Hotel Killarney, the Plaza Hotel Killarney and Siamsa Tíre Tralee.


Upon hearing the news, Kathleen Kennedy said:

“It is such an honor to receive the prestigious Maureen O’Hara award, a namesake that represents the progressive grit and enduring grace of powerful women in the industry whose careers and accomplishments paved the way for all of us. I very much admire what the Kerry International Film Festival has accomplished and look forward to virtually meeting the filmmakers in October!”


KIFF has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months as they gained over 17,000+ live streams during their online festival in 2020 and they recently received their largest number of film submissions in the festival’s history to date. Additionally, KIFF was delighted to recently announced Kerry Airport as its title sponsor for 2021 and they are very grateful to be working with key partners that include The Arts Council, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Kerry County Council, Tower Records, Kerry Broadband and the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) as well as a variety of local businesses.


KIFF will be announcing their 2021 program in the coming weeks. This will include a diverse selection of films and documentaries for all ages and genres, and it will also showcase a promising new selection of Kerry Short films not to be missed. See more at www.kerryfilmfestival.com  and stay tuned for more from us on this year’s edition of kino in the kingdom. 

About Luke Dunne

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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