Irish film makes shortlist for Foreign Language Oscar

The final list of five nominees will be unveiled in January

Irish film makes shortlist for Foreign Language Oscar

Image via @IrishFilmBoard on Twitter

An Irish Film Board (IFB) funded feature has been shortlisted in the Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.

'Viva' is directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Mark O'Halloran.

The Spanish language picture was selected by IFTA as Ireland's submission for the Foreign Language category, and the shortlist of nine films was narrowed down from an initial list of some 80 submissions.

The final list of five nominees will be unveiled on January 14th.

James Hickey, IFB chief executive, said: "It is wonderful to see Viva making the shortlist for the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards".

"To get this far in the selection process is a huge achievement in itself. Congratulations to Paddy, Mark, Treasure Entertainment and all of the talent involved and we wish them the best of luck in the weeks and months to come".

Written by Mark O'Halloran, 'Viva' follows Jesus - an 18-year-old Cuban - who works at a local Havana drag club, where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer.

The film premiered in September at the Telluride Film Festival.

It was produced by Robert Walpole, Rebecca O'Flanagan and Cathleen Dore for Treasure Entertainment.

The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28th.