The Irish Film and Television Academy today announced that Tom Collins’ ‘Kings’ starring Colm Meaney, Donal O’Kelly and Brendan Conroy has been officially selected by an independent IFTA jury for submission to the 80th Academy Award(s)®, for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category.
This is the first time that an Irish language film is being submitted from Ireland for this prestigious category. The submission and jury process is co-ordinated by the Irish Film & Television Academy. The American Academy accepts one foreign language film from each eligible country for consideration under this category and will announce their selection of five foreign language films on January 22nd 2008.
IFTA put together a small independent JURY comprising of Director Neil Jordan (Breakfast on Pluto, The Crying Game), Actor Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs of New York, My Left Foot); Actress Fionnula Flanagan (Transamerica, The Others); Writer/director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father, Some Mother’s Son); Casting Director Ros Hubbard (Evita, The Mummy, Enemy at the Gates).
Áine Moriarty, CEO of the Irish and Film Academy (IFTA) says “IFTA is very proud to submit the very first Irish language film to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. ‘Kings’ is a powerful and moving story that transcends its native language and can communicate universally with its raw and honest storyline. I commend Tom Collins for his dedication to this film ‘as gaeilge’ and I have no doubt that Kings will stand it’s ground in the foreign language film category in Los Angeles and that it will be well received by audiences throughout the world.”
According to writer/director Tom Collins, "‘Kings’ has been a remarkable journey for me over the past four years. To receive this latest accolade is quite overwhelming and I am indebted to the Irish Academy for their support. I know it’s always dangerous to have messages in films, but I hope people will watch ‘Kings’ and empathise with the whole experience of emigrants in a foreign land and how hard it is for them to find their way home. This is a universal story – it’s not just about paddies…”
The €2.2m feature film was shot in Belfast, London and Dublin in 2006, and tells the moving story of a group of young men who in the mid 1970s left the west of Ireland, bound for London, filled with ambition for a better life in a place where they could be kings. Thirty years on they meet to mark the passing of the youngest of the group. For some of them, those thirty years have been hard. Their muscle has been spent, their hopes dashed on the roads and building sites of Britain, to be replaced with a sense of hopeless disaffection. ‘Kings’ is a story of a lost generation, rich in humanity and emotion, and with a heart-breaking resonance not just for the Irish in today’s changing world.
The film screens at the Toronto Film Festival Contemporary World Cinema section today, Wednesday 12 September.
‘Kings’ is released across Ireland on September 21st 2007.
'Kings' is a High Point Films & Television presentation, produced by Jackie Larkin (Newgrange Pictures) and Tom Collins (De Facto Films production), and co-produced by Michael Casey (Green Park Films), in association with the Northern Ireland Screen, the Broadcast Commission of Ireland and TG4 with the participation of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board.
The Irish Film & Television Academy is the all-Ireland not-for-profit organisation whose mission is the stimulation of original and creative production work, and the encouragement of excellence through recognition, education and leadership in film and television. The Irish Film & Television Academy is comprised of members in Ireland and internationally who are professionals working in the film and television industries.