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Oscars 2023: Northern Ireland short film An Irish Goodbye wins Academy Award 

Date Posted: March 13, 2023

Northern Ireland Screen funded short film, An Irish Goodbye, written and directed by Ross White and Tom Berkley scooped the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 95th Annual Academy Awards last night in Los Angeles.

Ross and Tom shared the stage with global A-listers at the glittering ceremony in the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood. Scenes of the jubilant duo alongside actors James Martin and Seamus O’Hara were beamed onto screens around the world.

This latest accolade follows the film’s BAFTA win for Best British Short Film last month.

The heart-warming short film has been captivating audiences around the world having already screened at over 60 film festivals across 6 continents.

Local audiences can watch the award-winning short film now on BBC iPlayer. There are also special homecoming screenings planned by Queen’s Film Theatre on 21 March to mark World Down Syndrome Day and The Strand Cinema on 22 March.

An Irish Goodbye filmed entirely on location in Northern Ireland, showcasing the beauty of our rural landscape in Co Derry~Londonderry, Saintfield and Templepatrick. The black comedy follows the reunion of estranged brothers Turlough and Lorcan after the untimely death of their mother. Under the watchful eye of odd-ball parish priest Father O’Shea, the brothers’ pained reunion is worsened by the fact Turlough must now make new care arrangements for Lorcan, who has Down Syndrome. A robust and dedicated farmer, Lorcan’s dream of continuing to work the land he grew up on is thwarted when Turlough decides he’s sending him to live with their aunt on the other side of Ireland. But when the brothers discover an unfulfilled bucket list belonging to their late mother, Lorcan senses an opportunity: he’ll only agree to leave the farm once he and Turlough have themselves completed every single wish on their mother’s list…all one hundred of them.

The film stars Seamus O’Hara (The Northman, Game of Thrones), James Martin (Marcella, Ups and Downs), Paddy Jenkins (Hunger) and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones, Fortitude).

Congratulating everyone involved in making An Irish Goodbye on their Oscar success Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said:

“Ross and Tom have done us incredibly proud. This Oscar win not only raises the profile of the film industry in Northern Ireland but also the beauty of our landscape. To win an Oscar is international recognition at the highest possible level. This win, along with their recent BAFTA win, is a huge milestone for the professional careers of this filmmaking team.

“Hundreds of thousands of short films are produced every year around the world and for Northern Ireland to win one really underlines the world class talent we have working in the industry here. With new filmmakers breaking through on shorts and first features, we’ve got a lot to be proud of, and so much to look forward to. We must also acknowledge the continued support of our partners, the Department for the Economy and Department for Communities, Lottery Fund and the Arts Council who allow much of this talent development to happen. Together we are creating an ecosystem whereby talent like this can reach its full potential.” 


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