Published Thursday, 06 September 2012
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The contest, which is part of the 50th Belfast Festival at Queen's, celebrates the rich filmmaking history and gives you the chance to cast your vote in u.tv's online poll before a gala screening is held at the QFT in Belfast next month.
Film critic Brian Henry Martin picked out movies made by Irish directors between 1962 and 2012 and came up with the shortlist which features Angel (1985, Director Neil Jordan), My Left Foot (1989, Director Jim Sheridan), December Bride (1990, Director Thaddeus O'Sullivan), Once (2006, Director John Carney) and The Guard (2011, Director John Michael McDonagh).
Brian described them as "five films from four different decades that were innovative, entertaining and captured our hearts and imaginations".
But the strict criteria means there are some, including The Quiet Man, which do not fit the bill, and Brian said he is prepared for a little reaction.
The first tricky question you are faced with is what is an Irish film? Is it story? Is it actors? Is it location? I decided to choose five Irish films by Irish film directors.
Brian Henry Martin
"I know people are going to get annoyed ... but when you look at it I think I made a subjective argument about why certain films are in and certain films aren't," he explained.
The Best Irish Film poll, which u.tv is running in partnership with the QFT and Jameson Irish Whiskey, hopes to pick the film that entertained you, innovated and is quintessentially Irish.
Susan Picken, from the Queen's Film Theatre, cast her opinion on her Best Irish Film.
"My pick has got to be Angel, I think it really did have a huge influence on the Irish Film industry, but Brian's come up with a fantastic list, everything from thrillers to comedy," she said.
You can vote online by visiting our Best Irish Film page, where you can also champion your choice or leave a comment if your favourite film by an Irish director has not made the cut.
Voting at www.u.tv/bestirishfilm closes on Friday 21 September. The winning film will be announced on Thursday 27 September and it will be screened at the QFT on Friday 26 October at 7pm.