Irish Film Part 2: Oscar nomination records, Storytelling and Well Deserved Recognition.


An amazing achievement for Ireland. The 14th of January was a record day for the country. Ireland received nine nominations for the 88th Academy Awards, being held on the 28th of February. You might have wondered why I was raving so much on Twitter, Facebook and my blog's Facebook page. Nine nominations is phenomenal for such a small country and it's a record too. I was eating lunch in The Stables bar in the University of Limerick when the nominations were livestreamed from the US. The nominees are the following:

Emma Donoghue - Best Adapted Screenplay (Room)
Lenny Abrahamson - Best Director (Room)
Best Picture - (Room)
Brie Larson - Best Actress (Room)

Best Picture - (Brooklyn)
Saoirse Ronan - Best Actress (Brooklyn)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Brooklyn)

Best Live Action Short (Stutterer) 

I have been waiting years for Saoirse Ronan to be recognised by the international film industry, the way she suddenly is now thanks to the Golden Globes and the Oscars. It is so well deserved. Michael Fassbender is punching above his weight with roles in films such as "Shame", "12 Years A Slave", "Macbeth" and "Steve Jobs". Lenny Abrahamson has been in my line of vision since I watched "Garage" for my Leaving Cert. Other excellent films he has worked on are "What Richard Did" and "Frank". So for him to be recognised for "Room", a film adapted from Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name is just fantastic. Emma Donoghue's excellent novel was adaptly perfectly by the author herself.

Irish directors, John Crowley and Lenny Abrahamson up for Oscars this year.
I think why I'm so happy is because Irish films I feel have a uniqueness to them, I say this with some bias but honestly if you watch even one or two of them you'll know what I mean. I grew up watching the likes of "The Field", "Into the West", "War of the Buttons", "Mickey Bo and Me", "Garage", "In America" and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley". All beautiful and unique films in their own right. Directors such as Jim Sheridan ("In America", "The Field", "In the Name of the Father", Gerard Barrett ("Glassland" and "Pilgrim Hill) Liam Cunningham, Cillian Murphy, Domhnall Gleeson and Brendan Gleeson, Jack Reynor, Ciarán Hinds, Sarah Bolger, Aidan Gillen, Andrew Scott and Robert Sheehan etc) There are so many more talented actors/actresses, not just those on screen, but on stage too. Not to be mention producers, cinematographers, those involved with sound, lighting, scriptwriting and costume design. All important components of a film.

Saoirse Ronan and Michael Fassbender
So I suppose this post is again me letting you know that I still am in love with Irish film, I always have been and always will be. I get a burst of  immsense pride when I see someone in the Irish film industry being recognised internationally. I talked about Cartoon Saloon last year, a Kilkenny based two time Oscar nominated animation studio. I am part of my university's filmmaking society, whose members are among the most passionate people I've ever met. I keep up with young filmmakers on Youtube and Twitter. As you can see I can rave about Irish film for a very long time.

Think of all the amazing films/tv shows that were partly filmed here. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Game of Thrones and Vikings are among some of them. I think the Irish Film Institute should try entice filmmakers to the country to make their films here. We do have the facilities. A new film studio is being built next to the University of Limerick and for that I am extremely excited. A new PhD has been introducted to UL, called New Media and Film. People are starting to produce really good amateur films, preferring quality over quantity. This way the industry is expanding and is enriching itself.

Ahch To, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Skellig Michael, Co Kerry)
Take a look here at all the film/tv projects ongoing in this country: in production.

The Irish are natural born storytellers, at times we tend to exaggerate but we are capable of weaving intricate scéals of times long ago. We still hear stories from our ancient past, the Tuatha de Danann, the Fianna and the legends that come with that. Oisín in Tír na nÓg, Gráinne Mhaol, The Salmon of Knowledge. My family tell me stories of the Troubles in the North of Ireland, my grandparents told me of the 1916 Rising and the part our families played in it. Some stories not worth of film but worth telling all the same.

When there is an Irish film in the cinema I beg you to go and see it, your money is going into Irish jobs, providing employment for Irish people. If these filmmakers have money they will continue to produce amazing films, based here in Ireland. It is a good thing to support your own. We really can compete with Hollywood, I feel. We just need the support of our own Irish people.

I won't say who I think will win at this year's Oscars. Regardless I think we all need to applaud those in our talented film industry. PLEASE I am encouraging you to create your own films. Challenge yourself. Write a script, shoot a short film, record your own music from a film or design costumes. I am longing for some new young filmmakers to support and follow. Could it be you? Once again I want to congratulate all the Irish nominees on their amazing achievements, we as a country really couldn't be prouder. And I hope this sort of standard in Irish filmmaking lasts. I really wish the best of luck to all of them.

All pictures used are merely decorative and belong to their respective owners.

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