The Quiet Girl has become the first Irish language feature film to be nominated for an Oscar.
The film, called An Cailin Ciuin in Irish, has received a nod for international feature film ahead of the 95th Academy Awards along with All Quiet On The Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Close and EO.
Based on Booker-prize nominated author Claire Keegan’s novella Foster, the Irish adaption explores how Cait is sent from her family in rural Ireland to stay with relations in Ring, County Waterford, an Irish-speaking area, in 1981.
Played by Catherine Clinch, the nine year-old girl is welcomed with open arms by Eibhlin (Carrie Crowley), but her husband (Andrew Bennett) keeps Cait at arm’s length before she blossoms in their care and also discovers family secrets.
Writer and director Colm Bairead and producer Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, from Insceal, said in a joint statement: “This is a truly historic and meaningful moment for Irish film, the Irish people and the Irish language.
“Never before has an Irish film been nominated in this category. Never before has Irish-language art been given such a platform.”
Desiree Finnegan, chief executive of Screen Ireland said it was an “historic moment for Irish-language film.”
The Quiet Girl, which has grossed more than one million euro (£883,960) at the box-office in Ireland and the UK becoming the most successful Irish language film ever, has also got two nominations for a Bafta.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar singled out the film, as he hailed Irish success at the nominations.
“Congratulations to all the Irish #oscarnominations2023,” Mr Varadkar wrote on Twitter.
“It is fantastic to see Irish creative talent achieving well deserved recognition on the world stage.
“Comhghairdeas mor leis An Cailin Ciuin @quietgirlfilm – the first Irish language movie ever to receive an Oscar nomination.”
Adding to the Irish success has been Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy The Banshees Of Inisherin which has picked up a total of nine nominations – beaten only by sci-fi thriller Everything Everywhere All At Once.
McDonagh’s story, starring Irish actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, who were also nominated for Oscars for their roles, is about what happens when a friendship falls apart.
Farrell, 46, and Gleeson, 67, reunite with McDonagh for the project for the first time since the success of In Bruges, another hit dark comedy which is set in the Belgium city.
This time the pair start off as friends, playing Irish islanders who live on the fictional island of Inisherin where Farrell’s character keeps animals and Gleeson plays music.
Gleeson’s character decides he does not wish to be friends anymore which causes dark consequences for him, Farrell and others on the island.
The film is also set with the backdrop of the last days of the Irish Civil War in 1923, which is seen in glimpses when the characters look at the mainland, and was filmed on Ireland’s west coast on Achill Island and on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands.
Culture minister Catherine Martin TD called the Irish success a “testament to the talent here in Ireland” as she said the film breaks the record with the most nominations for an Irish film.
Farrell and fellow Irish actor Paul Mescal, for his performance in coming-of-age drama Aftersun, both got their first nomination for best actor.
Aftersun follows the story of Calum, played by Normal People’s Mescal, and his daughter Sophie, played by newcomer Frankie Corio, on holiday in Turkey while Celia Rowlson-Hall portrays an adult Sophie, who looks back at the holiday 20 years on.
Nell Mescal, sister of Paul Mescal, a musician, wrote on Twitter after the news: “(I) am so proud it is making me sick … I would post the video of my reaction but those tears were UGLY.”
Irish editor Jonathan Redmond was also nominated for his film editing on Baz Luhrmann picture Elvis and Irish animator and visual effects supervisor Richard Baneham got another nod for Avatar: The Way of Water for visual effects.