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  • Southside

Another graduate of Ballyfermot College gets Oscar nomination

Monday, 29th January, 2018 6:00pm
Another graduate of Ballyfermot College gets Oscar nomination

Nora Twomey is up for an Oscar.

Another graduate of Ballyfermot College gets Oscar nomination

Nora Twomey is up for an Oscar.

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ANOTHER animation graduate from the Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) has been nominated for an Oscar.

Nora Twomey is the seventh BCFE graduate to have been nominated for an Oscar, this time for her directorial debut, ‘The Breadwinner’.

 This is quite a feat for one college, which has been punching above its weight for over 30 years.

The Breadwinner tells the story of a headstrong 11-year-old girl who is forced by circumstances to become the breadwinner for her family in war-torn Afghanistan.

It’s a tale of female empowerment under the male-dominated Taliban. 

 Made on a tight €10m budget, The Breadwinner was recently nominated for a Golden Globe but narrowly lost out to Disney/Pixar’s ‘Coco’ which had a budget of €200m. 

 Hailed by Variety magazine as one of the top ten animators to watch out for in 2018, the 45-year-old Cork native dropped out of school at 15 and took a factory job before finding her calling and applying for a place on the animation course at BCFE. 

 They liked her portfolio and she knew within a week that the animation course at BCFE was perfect for her – she loved the discipline and the emphasis on the meticulous details. The training stood to her. 

 In 1999 she co-founded Cartoon Saloon with fellow BCFE students Ross Murray, Tomm Moore and Paul Young, who have already been nominated for two Oscars for their films ‘Song of the Sea’ and ‘The Secret of Kells’. 

 Nora is delighted with her success. she said: "I've been accepted as a member of the Academy so I get to vote on the Oscars.

“When the letter came through, I had to pinch myself. It's the sort of thing I couldn't even have dreamt of happening when I was in college in Ballyfermot."

The Oscars take place on March 4.

 Nora joins an elite list of BCFE graduates who have been nominated for Oscars including Richard Baneham, Oscar winner, Visual Effects, ‘Avatar’ (2010).

It also includes Tomm Moore and Paul Young, Oscar nomination, Animated Feature, ‘Song of the Sea’ (2015); Tomm Moore, Oscar nomination, Animated Feature, ‘The Secret of Kells’ (2010); and Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell, Oscar nomination, Short Animated Film, ‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’ (2010).

Also on the list is Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell, Oscar nomination, Short Animated Film, ‘Give up yer aul sins’ (2002).

Last week the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, congratulated the many Irish Oscar nominees.

As well as The  Breadwinner, Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri’ received seven nominations including Best Picture. 

Saoirse Ronan is nominated for Best Actress in the title role of ‘Lady Bird’.

Consolata Boyle is nominated in the Best Costume Design category for ‘Victoria and Abdul’.

Daniel Day Lewis received a nomination for Best Actor for his role in ‘Phantom Thread’.

With the nomination of The Breadwinner this year, Irish Film Board-funded films have received one or more nominations in the main categories in each of the last four years. 

The minister said this was  an amazing global achievement for such a small organisation.

Although Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri was not an Irish Film Board funded film, the Film Board did fund an early film by Martin McDonagh.

‘Six Shooter’ won an Oscar for Best Live Action short Film in 2004.    

 “I am delighted to see so much Irish interest with actors and filmmakers nominated for this year’s Academy Awards,” Minister Madigan said.

“In terms of its size, Ireland punches way above its weight in the quality of its audiovisual output.”

The Breadwinner is a tale of female empowerment.

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