Dublin born animator Richard Baneham and his team last night took home the Oscar for their Visual Effects work on James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ whilst the ceremony’s prestigious Best Picture prize went, for the first time, to a female director - Kathryn Bigelow for ‘The Hurt Locker’.
‘Avatar’s Visual Effects win saw Richard, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum and Andrew R. Jones beat off competition from the visual effects teams from ‘District 9’ and ‘Star Trek’. Richard Baneham, the film’s animation supervisor, voiced his gratitude for home efforts involved in his win thanking: “Everybody in Ireland that’s watching, everybody watching in Ballyfermot and in Tallaght.”
Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism this morning (Monday, March 8th) congratulated Richard on his win, saying :“Richard is one of Ireland’s most accomplished animators and winning this much-coveted award is a great personal success and a further recognition of the talent available in the Irish film industry either working at home or abroad. Both Richard’s Academy Award and his recent BAFTA will inspire young Irish creative animators and all those working in, and committed to art, design and the digital media in Ireland.”
Alluding to the high Irish presence at this year’s ceremony the Minister continued: “At this year’s Oscars, Ireland had nominees in five categories, all at the cutting edge of filmmaking – and especially animation, where skills of craftsmanship and storytelling combine with digital technology.
“This global profile of Irish film talent associates Ireland with excellence in creativity and the arts. It follows the ongoing contributions of actors Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Brenda Fricker, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, among others, and behind the camera, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and Dearbhla Walsh all of whom are recognised as major contributors to Ireland’s cultural profile internationally.”
Minister Cullen also extended his congratulations to the other Irish nominees represented at the 82nd Academy Awards who were, Tomm Moore from Cartoon Saloon for ‘The Secret of Kells’; Nicky Phelan and Darragh O Connell from Brownbag Films for ‘Granny O Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’; Juanita Wilson and James Flynn for ‘The Door’ and Peter J. Devlin for sound mixing on ‘Star Trek’.
Kathryn Bigelow, director of ‘The Hurt Locker’, which also won the 2010 IFTA in the category of International Film, saw her film walk away with wins in six categories including Best Picture, Directing, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
For a full list of Oscar winners visit www.oscars.org