Controversial documentary ‘Mary Boyle The Untold Story’ picked up an ‘Award of Merit’ at a film festival ceremony in Los Angeles yesterday.

The IndieFEST Film Awards are unique in the industry. Attracting both powerhouse industry veterans as well as talented new filmmakers it is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival – which allows filmmakers from around the world to enter their films in this prestigious competition.

The 82-minute documentary, which was made by journalist Gemma O’Doherty, was published on Youtube. It clocked up thousands of views since its release and kick started a renewed campaign to see justice done for the six-year-old girl who disappeared in rural Donegal in 1977.

A broader audience

“For me the objective was to show the public and to bring it to a broader audience. I thought the Irish people didn’t care about this child. I realise now that the reaction has been phenomenal,” said O’Doherty shortly after it was first screened.

Mary Boyle disappeared on March 18, 1977 as she was visiting her grandparents’ remote farmyard in Cashelard outside Ballyshannon. A campaign to open an inquest into her disappearance has been led by her twin sister Ann Doherty and country singer Margo O’Donnell, who is a distant relative of the family.

Ann Doherty says during the documentary that she believes her twin sister was murdered because she had “a secret” and that she was killed to stop her revealing it.
Gemma O’Doherty has been working with both Doherty and O’Donnell in recent times to gain publicity for their fight and they have met with politicians in an attempt to bring extra impetus to the case.

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Worldwide competition

The documentary explores the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the child and looks at the fruitless investigation that followed.
The IndieFEST is about helping industry professionals who create fresh, standout entertainment achieve the publicity and credibility they deserve. Serving filmmakers is the IndieFEST’s primary goal.

Currently in its seventh year, the awards are an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honours the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality films and new media. It promotes award winners through press releases to over 40,000 filmmakers, industry contacts as well as five additional global media/distribution outlets.

Some of the talented IndieFEST award winners have gone on to win Oscars, Emmys and Tellys.
Each year IndieFEST Film Awards receives thousands of entries. Quality and creativity are celebrated in four levels of awards: Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Recognition.

The judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals including Emmy, Telly and Communicator award recipients.

As with the Tellys and regional Emmy Awards, entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Award of Recognition or no award.

Best of Show honours are granted to the top scoring entry for each season. Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking. Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level and Award of Recognition recognizes achievement in a specific category of entry.

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