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Oscar Nominations for Irish Projects
15 Jan 2015 : Seán Brosnan
'Song of the Sea', 'Boogaloo and Graham', 'Begin Again' receive Oscar nominations.

Congratulations to all the Irish projects that have received nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards.

Irish animated feature 'Song of the Sea', Northern Irish short film 'Boogaloo and Graham' and 'Begin Again' have all been nominated for the American Academy Awards.

Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of the Irish Film and Television Academy: 'I would like to congratulate our fellow IFTA Academy Members – great Irish talent nominated for Oscars this year; these great achievements will serve to inspire young creative talent coming through on this island. The Irish film & Television Academy wishes them the best of luck on February 22nd.'

The critically acclaimed animated film 'Song of the Sea' has been nominated in the category of Best Animated Feature. Directed by Tomm Moore, with development and production support from the Irish Film Board (IFB), ‘Song of the Sea’ is Cartoon Saloon’s follow-up to the 2010 Oscar nominated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’ and features the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Lisa Hannigan and music form Kila.

Speaking of the nomination, director Tomm Moore said: 'What an amazing surprise and honour for us all who worked on this film as a labour of love for so many years! The whole crew including all of our co-production studios is delighted and excited that 'Song of the Sea' will now be discovered by many more people thanks to this very special recognition by our peers in the Academy!We are all so grateful to everyone who made this possible.'

Cartoon Saloon and all who worked on the film were congratulated by IFB Chief Executive James Hickey who said: 'This is a big day for the Irish animation industry and as the largest funder of Irish animation content in the state, the Irish Film Board hope that this achievement will lead to further growth and international recognition for an industry that is a major Irish success story.'

The filmmakers were also congratulated by Michael O’Keeffe, CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) who said: 'This is a significant boost for Irish animation in general, and Cartoon Saloon and the film’s director, Tomm Moore, deserve huge congratulations. We now remain hopeful of further success on Oscar night. The BAI – together with other partners - was pleased to support the making of this film and it should help in highlighting Irish film-making and animation.'

Northern Irish short film 'Boogaloo and Graham', directed by Michael Lennox and produced by Brian J Falconer of Out of Orbit Productions is nominated in the category of Best Live Action Short. The film tells the story of two young boys who are given chickens to look after by their father, and stars Martin McCann and Charlene McKenna. The short film is also nominated for a BAFTA Award.

Director Michael Lennox said of the nomination: 'I first heard about being on the long-list the night before I started filming my first feature. It gave me such a boost! Now that the film is actually nominated, it is really overwhelming and such an honour for all the cast and crew involved to be recognised by the Academy. It’s a great time for us, there’s a fabulous, creative vibe in Northern Ireland right now and I’m excited to be a part of it.'

Producer Brian Falconer of Out of Orbit Productions said: 'When we received the BAFTA nomination I thought I could die happy and now for our team to 'do the double' is amazing. But in saying that, the first thing I said to Michael was "if we do this right, we could win the Oscar”. The quality of the script from writer Ronan Blaney, accompanied by the amazing crew and directed by the incredible Michael Lennox, I always thought this film was destined for greatness.'

The filmmakers were acknowledged by Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen who said: 'We are incredibly proud of Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney and Brian Falconer and all the talented crew that made 'Boogaloo and Graham'. An Oscar nomination is such an amazing endorsement for these young filmmakers. This is a wonderful short film and is made all the more special because Michael has just finished filming his first feature film.'

There was also a nomination in the category of Best Original Song for the John Carney helmed 'Begin Again'. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performed the song ‘Lost Stars’ in the film which stars Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in the leads. Director Carney, currently working on ‘Sing Street’, spoke to IFTN in July about the process of writing the song

'Leviathan', the Russian entry for the Foreign Language category is also nominated – the film was graded by Windmill Lane's Dave Hughes, and shot by cinematographer Mikhail Krichman who is currently shooting ‘Secret Scripture‘ in Ireland, with Dave Hughes set to complete the grade on that film also.

The American Academy Awards are on 22nd February in Los Angeles.

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