Irish Abroad: Lenny Abrahamson’s Room wins Audience Award in Calgary

Chalk up another win for Lenny Abrahamson’s new film Room, as the Irish/Canadian co-production has scooped the Audience Award for Best Narrative at the Calgary International Film Festival, sharing the award with Remember from director Atom Egoyan.

Room sees writer Emma O’Donoghue adapt her own best-selling novel, which is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. To him the room is his world, but his mother knows different having been held there for 7 years.

The film stars Brie Larson (Short Term 12, The Spectacular Now), Jacob Tremblay (The Smurfs 2, Somnia), Joan Allen (The Bourne Supremacy, Nixon) and William H. Macy (Shameless, Magnolia). The film also features Sean Bridgers (Rectify), Tom McCamus (The Samaritan) and Megan Park (What If). Room is an Element Pictures and No Trace Camping production, in association with Telefilm Canada, Film4, and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board. It will be released in Irish cinemas on January 15th.

The 16th Calgary International Film Festival saw more than 200 films screened for 35,000 people, with 27,000 votes cast for the Audience Awards. The Discovery Award Best Documentary went to Made in Japan from director Josh Bishop, the Discovery Award Best Narrative was awarded to Keep In Touch from director Sam Kretchmar, the Audience Award Best Documentary went to Guantanamo’s Child from directors Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard), the Audience Award Best Animation Short went to Bear Story from director Gabriel Osorio, and finally the Audience Award Best Live Action or Documentary went to The House Is Innocent from director Nicholas Coles.