Irish director Benjamin Cleary reveals how a little help from his friends brought him an Oscar win

Cleary's short film 'Stutterer' won on Sunday for 'Best Live Action Short'


Jacob Tremblay, left, and Abraham Attah, right, pose in the press room with Shan Christopher Ogilvie, second left, and Benjamin Cleary, winners of the award for best live action short film for Stutterer, at the Oscars. Image: Jordan Strauss / AP/Press Association Images

'Slainte!' was the final word by Ireland’s Oscar winner Benjamin Cleary as he left the stage of the Academy Awards on Sunday night with his first statuette for his debut film Stutterer.

The road to the Oscars was a bumpy one for the Dubliner, not least because he raised a lot of the funding for the live action short himself.

Speaking to Newstalk presenter Orla Barry, the director said he managed to make the film by saving some money himself and getting help from his friends.

"I wanted to direct, but I was finding that in the funding that I was applying for, we were getting the script shortlisted, but they were saying that  in order to direct, you need to have a reel to show. 

"So I just had to go out and save up some money, get together with some friends and try and convince a load of people to trust that I could do it". 

Image: Shan Christopher Ogilvie, left, and Benjamin Cleary pose in the press room with the award for best live action short film for Stutterer. Jordan Strauss / AP/Press Association Images

Cleary added that the total budget of the piece was something in the region of €4,000, but with the nomination and eventual Oscar win, he hopes will now be able to clear the first hurdle of the funding meetings with greater ease.

Stutterer tells the story of a young man with a speech impediment whose life is thrown into chaos when an online date asks to meet him in person.

"Every day is a proud day to be Irish," said Cleary as he accepted his Oscar at the ceremony in Los Angeles, "but today more so than usual. So, everyone, for all the support back home, thank you so much".

Stutterer was written and directed by Ben Cleary, and stars Matthew Needham and Chloe Pirrie.

Orla Barry presents The Green Room on Newstalk, Saturday evenings at 8pm