Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.58 4 Oct 2019


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The feature documentary 'Gaza' has been selected as Ireland's entry for the Academy Awards' 'Best International Feature Film' category.

This was formerly known as the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category.

'Gaza' examines the Gaza Strip among an eloquent and resilient cast of characters under siege.

It was predominantly filmed in the Arabic language.

The film is described as "a cinematic portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict."

From co-directors Garry Keane and award-winning conflict photographer Andrew McConnell, 'Gaza' premiered to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

This is not the first time Ireland has chosen a film in a language other than the Irish language for this category.

Previous selections include 'As If I Am Not There' (in Serbo-Croatian language) in 2014 and 'VIVA' (in Spanish language) in 2017.

Irish language has proved popular through the years - with selections including 'Kings' in 2011, 'An Bronntanas' in 2015 and 'Song of Granite' last year.

'Gaza' was chosen by IFTA's special selection committee, which this year included writer/director Neasa Hardiman, writer/actor Mark O'Halloran, editor Úna Ní Dhonghaíle and actress Fionnula Flanagan.

Speaking about the selection of 'Gaza', IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty said: "These brilliant Irish filmmakers have delivered a very intimate and beautiful film, risking their own lives in the process, to capture an honest, moving and very human story from within 'Gaza', bringing us a rich cinematic portrait of its people."

'Gaza' was produced by Brendan J Byrne for Fine Point Films - along with Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell for Real Films and Paul Cadieux.

It was funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Filmoption International, ZDF/ARTE with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

A shortlist of 10 films will be announced in December, while the final five nominees will be revealed next January.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, California on February 9th 2020.


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Academy Awards Arabic Best International Feature Film Fine Point Films Foreign Language Oscar Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland Garry Keane Gaza Gaza Documentary IFTA Ireland Screen Ireland

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