Emotional Binoche accepts 'Maureen O'Hara' award
TWO stars of the silver screen shared a stage at the weekend, one to receive an award and the other to present one given in her name.
Hollywood icon Maureen O'Hara presented the 'Maureen O'Hara Award' to Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche, star of 'The English Patient', at the closing ceremony of the Kerry Film Festival in Tralee on Saturday.
An emotional Binoche said it felt very far travelling to Ireland but she wanted to come because she loved the country and the spirit of the people.
"The Kerry Film Festival inventing this award for women I think is very special and I've never heard of that before at a film festival," she said.
Having recently celebrated her 90th birthday, O'Hara said although she had difficulty walking, she was still enjoying life.
"I'm still here, thank God. There probably isn't room for me up in heaven just yet and I'm delighted," the Dublin-born star of 'The Quiet Man' said.
"Everybody tells me that Charlie Blair, whom I was married to, and my other best friend John Wayne, are both up there and they say to God 'don't let her up yet, give us a little bit longer so that we can enjoy it'."
O'Hara said it was wonderful for Binoche to be accepted in a country outside of her own and to receive an award at a film festival in another country was something to be very proud of.
Poignantly, the late Mick Lally starred in 'Passing' by director David Freyne, which won the 'Best Short Film/Best Director Award' at the 11th Kerry Film Festival. A total of 102 films were screened throughout the week.