Cork director amongst Oscar nominees

Cork director amongst Oscar nominees
Producer Angelina Jolie, director Nora Twomey and star Saara Chaudry attend "The Breadwinner" premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pic: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cork director Nora Twomey has been nominated for a Best Animated Feature Film Oscar for her film ‘The Breadwinner’.

It is her debut feature film as director but will not be Ms Twomey’s first time attending the Oscars ceremony; her animation studio Cartoon Saloon has previously been nominated for Star of the Sea and The Secret of Kells.

Ms Twomey, a Midleton native, was also nominated for a Golden Globe for the film, which tells the story of a young Afghan girl who poses as a boy in order to help her family survive under threat from the Taliban. Angelina Jolie was also involved as executive producer.

After the nomination, Ms Twomey said: “At a time when women’s voices are coming to the forefront, the story of a young girl using her voice for what she believes in is more relevant than ever.” 

"We watched the live stream announcing the Oscar nominations. We have a room here at Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny, where we go to have a cup of tea and a chat. It is fantastic recognition for the animation industry."

"The project, The Breadwinner, was a huge collaborative effort, with 300 people involved from Ireland, Luxembourg and Canada. It took many, many months of hard work. The making of The Breadwinner was a long process. Seeing the end result is fantastic. I had a tremendous team of people around me," she said.

Angelina Jolie is the executive producer of the film.

"She is wonderful," says Nora. "She has a warm personality and she had a big interest in the subject matter of the film, a young girl who loved her father and who wants to see him again."

Asked about preparations for Oscar night on March 4, Nors said she has to keep sane!

"The big win is that more people will go to see the film and get to hear the story. Getting recognition from The Academy is great," she said.

Ireland also has a strong contender in the Best Actress category, where Saoirse Ronan has been nominated for her role in Lady Bird. She becomes only the second woman, the first being Jennifer Lawrence, to receive three acting nominations under the age of 24.

Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been nominated for Best Picture and has also earned him a nomination for Best Original Screenplay but he was not, as many expected, nominated for Best Director. The Best Picture and Best Director statuettes generally go to the same film, although there have been exceptions in recent years.

Daniel Day-Lewis is going for his fourth Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Phantom Thread and Consolata Boyle has been nominated for Costume Design for Victoria & Abdul.

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy The Shape of Water led the line with an impressive 13 nominations, just one short of the record. They followed by Dunkirk with eight and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with seven. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird earned five nominations, including a Best Director nomination. Natalie Portman had made a point of noting the all-male nominees for Best Director at the Golden Globes, after a year when Hollywood was dominated by stories of the sexual assault and harassment of women. Rachel Morrison also made Oscar history by becoming the first woman nominated for cinematography.

The 90th Academy Awards will take place in Hollywood on Sunday, March 4, presented by tv host Jimmy Kimmel.

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