Irish Horror film wins 23 International Awards from Ukraine to Hollywood

Irish film director Sean Breathnach and lead actor John Ryan Howard have won multiple International awards from Ukraine to Hollywood. Cork born actor John Ryan Howard has won 7 Best Actor awards for his lead performance in Sean Breathnach’s horror short ‘Don’t Open The Box.’ The 7 wins include San Diego International, Hollywood Blood Horror Festival, Inside Film and the New Jersey Film Awards.

Offaly native Breathnach has won 16 awards for ‘Don’t Open The Box’ across a range of categories which include Best Horror Short, Best Short Film, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Design and 6 Best Director Awards.

“As the director, I am overjoyed by the 23 awards ‘Don’t Open The Box’ has received. The success of ‘Don’t Open The Box’ on the international stage is a testament to the universal appeal of horror and the dedication of everyone involved. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together, and I’m delighted to see John Ryan Howard getting recognition for his wonderful performance’’ – Sean Breathnach.

The highly prestigious IndieFest Film Awards in San Francisco honoured Sean Breathnach and John Ryan Howard with awards of Merit and Recognition in Direction and Acting. ‘’Don’t Open The Box features exceptional direction and acting.’’ – IndieFest Film Awards.

The IndieFEST Film Awards recognizes film & television professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry including Emmy Award winners.

In winning an IndieFEST Film Award, Sean Breathnach and John Ryan Howard join the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award including 2021 Academy Award winner “If Anything Happens I Love You” by Laura Dern and Oscar nominee Liam Neeson.

Rick Prickett, who chairs The IndieFEST Film Awards, had this to say about the latest winners, “The IndieFEST is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent. The IndieFEST helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptional high quality of entries. The goal of The IndieFEST Film Awards is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

‘Don’t Open The Box’ directed by Sean Breathnach (You’re Next, Beyond The Woods).

Starring John Ryan Howard (Gateway, Beyond The Woods). Supported by Offaly Arts.
Box Design: Lisa Zagone.


“A man receives a mysterious box that brings forth unspeakable evil into his home.”

‘Don’t Open The Box’ was uploaded to Sean Breathnach’s YouTube channel where it clocked more than 12,000 views in less than two days of being uploaded.

Director Sean Breathnach is currently in development for a feature film about a couple living in a haunted house.


(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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