24 June 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
“The most exciting thing is that I will get to see Cartoon Saloon films before everyone else!”; Caitríona Balfe, Brian J. Falconer, and Louise Kiely among Irish invited to join Oscars voting membership
29 Jun 2022 : Nathan Griffin
The Academy Class of 2022
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has revealed their Class of 2022.

The organisation, which is working to combat a lack of diversity within its membership, has extended 397 invitations to artists and executives of the international screen industry. “Membership selection is based on professional qualifications, with an ongoing commitment to representation, inclusion and equity remaining a priority,” AMPAS stated in their release.

The invitees, who The Academy describes as having “distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures,” will be given the status to participate and vote in upcoming Oscar viewing and voting season.

According to APMAS, the 2022 class is 44% women, 37% belong to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 50% are from 53 countries and territories outside the United States.  There are 71 Oscar® nominees, including 15 winners, among the invitees.

Among those to be invited is a strong Irish contingent including actors Caitríona Balfe, Jessie Buckley, and Jamie Dornan, producer Brian J. Falconer, casting director Louise Kiely, costume designer Joan Bergin, and editor Úna Ní Dhonghaíle.

AMPAS references recent work of each invitee that led to their selection with Balfe’s performance in Belfast and Ford v Ferrari, Buckley’s performance in The Lost Daughter and I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and Dornan’s performance in Belfast, as well as his musical number about seagulls in Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, earning each of them a nod in the actors category.

Northern Irish producer Brian J. Falconer (Derry Girls) has been recognised in the Short Films and Feature Animation chapter for his work on his Oscar nominated short Boogaloo and Graham and Saul & I, having since produced Northern Irish thriller The Dig and the 2020 IFTA Best Film winner Ordinary Love starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville.

“I am delighted to be invited to join the Academy membership,” Falconer told IFTN, when speaking about the nomination. “A lot of people vouched for me so thank you to them for giving me the opportunity to be a champion for Irish short film and feature animation at AMPAS.”

“The most exciting thing is that I will get to see Cartoon Saloon films before everyone else!” the producer added.

Úna Ní Dhonghaíle has been recognised in the editing chapter for her recent work on Kenneth Branagh's multi Oscar nominated drama Belfast and the touching biopic Stan & Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, which depicted the careers of legendary entertainers Laurel and Hardy.

“I am so honoured and humbled to receive this incredible invitation. This is a dream come true for me and for my family, I wouldn’t have been able to edit the films and TV shows I do without their love and support,” Ní Dhonghaíle told IFTN. “I would like to sincerely thank AMPAS for including me in their wonderful organisation. I am speechless.”

Casting director Louise Kiely’s mentioned projects include The Green Knight and Irish musical dramedy Sing Street, while multi-Primetime Emmy winning costume designer Joan Bergin (whom one would think would have been invited before this) has been recognised for her work on The Prestige and In The Name of the Father.

“What a wonderful surprise it is, to have been invited to be a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Kiely told IFTN. “Working in a field which I love is in itself a treasure, and to be recognised in this way is an exceptional honour. I very much look forward to becoming an active member of the Casting Directors' Branch!”

Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2022.

Click here for the full list of 2022 invitees.

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