The final announcement of the Academy Awards nominees are finally upon us and what has been an incredible day for the Irish film industry. An unprecedented two Irish films have been shortlisted for Best Film, with Irish films securing a fantastic nine nominations overall.
Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley lead the Irish assault for Best Film. Abrahamson has also been nominated for Best Director. Both Brooklyn and Room have also been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Meanwhile Kerry man Michael Fassbender has been nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Steve Jobs and Carlow native Saoirse Ronan receives a Best Actress nomination for her critically acclaimed role in Brooklyn.
The success of the Irish film industry today saw President Michael D Higgins join in on the congratulations, adding “I am delighted to send my warmest congratulations to the Irish nominees on the occasion of the unprecedented strong Irish representation at the Oscars 2016. This year’s Oscars shortlist is a remarkable testimony of the vitality and diversity of the talent available to the Irish film industry.” Higgins famously re-established the Irish Film Board during his tenure as Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
But the main buzz concerning Irish involvement at the Oscars didn’t come from already established acts. Instead, the name on everyone’s lips was that of up and coming Irish director Benjamin Cleary. Having made the final five nominees, out of a list of hundreds, Cleary’s acclaimed Stutterer has been nominated for Best Live Action Short Film. Stutterer stars Matthew Needham and Chloe Price and has already seen success in numerous established film festivals and has won 9 awards including Best Foreign Language Film at the highly prestigious LA Shorts Fest.