The creators of An Cailín Ciúin are ‘still kind of pinching themselves’ after the Irish language film became the first ever to be shortlisted for an Oscar.
The film was last night announced as part of a 15-film strong shortlist for Best International Feature.
Five films from the list will be chosen to compete for the Oscar which will be awarded on March 12th.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the film’s writer and director Colm Bairéad said it is “beautiful” to see people take the film into their hearts.
“We’re still kind of pinching ourselves to be honest,” he said. “It is amazing news.
“Especially [because] it’s the first time an Irish language film has ever achieved this, which is a source of great pride for myself and my wife Cleona (Ni Chrualaoi) who is also the producer of the film.
“We are both Irish speakers and we are raising our own kids here in Dublin through Irish; it is just a beautiful thing.”
Colm said they knew early on that they had something special on their hands.
“I guess the real litmus test was releasing it and seeing how audiences reacted to it,” he said.
“So, we released in May in Ireland and the film ran for six months - just over six months which is kind of crazy - and then, obviously, became the highest grossing Irish language film of all time.
“Just the way in which the film was embraced by audiences was really special. It was incredible. It was really remarkable how people took the film into their hearts really.”
The director said he is “trying not to think too far ahead” – but noted that the race for the Oscar seems wide open.
“This year, people are saying it is probably the most competitive year ever for this category so it is not entirely beyond the realms of possibility that you could get a nomination,” he said.
“The quality of films in these 15 films is really wonderful.
“You are up against the very best of world cinema so to emerge – only five nominees will be chosen – from it is a really tough task, but we’ll certainly give it our best shot.”
The other films shortlisted are:
- Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
- Corsage (Austria)
- Close (Belgium)
- Return To Seoul (Cambodia)
- Holy Spider (Denmark)
- Saint Omer (France)
- All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany)
- Last Film Show (India)
- Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths (Mexico)
- The Blue Caftan (Morocco)
- Joyland (Pakistan)
- EO (Poland)
- Decision To Leave (South Korea)
- Cairo Conspiracy (Sweden)
You can listen back to the full interview with Colm Bairéad here: