Kenneth Branagh to be honoured with an Oscar Wilde Award
Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh, one of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers and actors, will be honored at the US-Ireland Alliance’s Oscar Wilde Awards on March 24, 2022, at Bad Robot, the Santa Monica production company of J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath.
Other honorees include Academy Award winning writer-director-producer Adam McKay and Irish actor Dónall Ó Héalai, who will receive the “Wilde Card”, an award presented to up-and-coming talent. Irish performers Loah & Bantum, and True Tides will perform.
Belfast, written and directed by Branagh, is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood amid the social tumult of the late 1960’s. The film stars Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds and introduces 10-year-old Jude Hill. Released in the US on November 12th, the film grossed an estimated $1.8 million at the box office in the first weekend. It has been awarded multiple international and regional film festival awards, including 11 British Independent Film Awards nominations.
Ken’s Belfast is a beautifully written, semi-autobiographical screenplay that is a look at the city through the eyes of his 9-year-old self. Set in 1969, it shows the idyllic joy of his childhood, overtaken by the violence that marked the beginning of what came to be known as The Troubles. The film also serves as cautionary tale amidst the current uncertainties that Brexit has imposed upon the people of Northern Ireland, people who remember the Troubles and who want such violence left firmly in the past.
Trina Vargo, Founder – US-Ireland Alliance
Branagh directs and will return in the role of Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s brilliant mystery Death on the Nile, the follow-up to his 2017 film Murder on the Orient Express. The 20th Century Studios feature is scheduled for release in 2022.
Additionally, Branagh will soon be seen starring as Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the upcoming Sky Atlantic limited series This Sceptered Isle. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the series tells the story of the events surrounding the Prime Minister, the UK government, and the country in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic.
Branagh starred in Christopher Nolan’s latest feature Tenet, alongside John David Washington and Robert Pattinson for Warner Brothers. He also recently directed Disney’s Artemis Fowl, based on the beloved book by Wexford author Eoin Colfer.
Most notably, Branagh played the crucial role of Commander Bolton in Christopher Nolan’s epic film Dunkirk. The film received a total of 8 Academy Award® nominations. He also played Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn, opposite Michelle Williams and directed by Simon Curtis. The role earned Branagh an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination. This marked Branagh’s fifth career Academy Award® nomination, making him one of the first actors to receive five nominations in five separate categories (Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Short).
Branagh is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where he won the Bancroft Gold Medal. He succeeded Lord Attenborough as President of RADA in the summer of 2015. In 2012 he received a Knighthood for his services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland. And this year Belfast awarded him with their Freedom of the City.
Presenting Sponsors of the Oscar Wilde Awards are Hackman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based, privately-held, real estate investment and operating company. Other major supporters include Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen.