Academy Awards

Huge haul of nominations for Irish film at the 2023 Oscars, including Best International Film nomination for An Cailín Ciúin

It was a bumper day for Irish film at the 2023 Academy Award nominations. Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland has congratulated writer/director Colm Bairéad, producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi and the entire creative teams behind An Cailín Ciúin on its Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film. This is the first time an Irish-language film has ever been nominated in this category, selected from 92 eligible countries.

There were also multiple nominations for The Banshees of Inisherin and short film An Irish Goodbye, which was nominated for Best Live Action Short. The agency would also particularly like to congratulate Irish actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan and Paul Mescal on their Academy Award nominations across the acting categories.

Our huge congratulations to Colm Bairéad and Cleona Ní Chrualaoi on An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl)’s Academy Award nomination today. This is an historic moment for Irish-language film, which we are immensely proud of, along with our Cine4 partners TG4 and the BAI. Best International feature is an intensely competitive category this year and so it is remarkable to have received the nomination.

This poignant film that Colm Bairéad has made in An Cailín Ciúin is an outstanding artistic achievement, as is the work from the film’s cast and crew, from Kate McCullough’s stunning cinematography to Stephen Rennicks’ emotive score, and of course, Catherine Clinch’s heart-breaking performance.

We’re also delighted to see so many nominations for The Banshees of Inisherin, short film An Irish Goodbye, and for Irish actors Paul Mescal, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan. Today’s news is an incredible showcase of the range of Irish creative talent being recognised and celebrated amongst the very best in the world.

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive – Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland

Based on Irish author, Claire Keegan’s acclaimed story, Foster, with the screenplay written by Bairéad, An Cailín Ciúin is an intricate, deeply felt coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl. Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows Cáit (Catherine Clinch) as she is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer. She is welcomed with open arms by Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley), but her husband, Seán (Andrew Bennett) keeps Cáit at arm’s length. Slowly, however, a warmth grows within this makeshift family and Cáit begins to blossom in their care. But in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.

An Cailín Ciúin was one of 15 films shortlisted from 92 countries who submitted to the Academy Award category for Best International Feature Film. This marked the first time an Irish-language film had been shortlisted in this category and only the second Irish film ever to reach the category’s shortlist stage, after Viva in 2016.

An Cailín Ciúin had a phenomenal cinema release in Ireland (Break Out Pictures) and the UK (Curzon) last year, running for over six months and is currently back in Irish cinemas again. It has grossed over €1.1m at the Ireland-UK box office so far, making it the highest-grossing Irish-language film of all time and one of the most critically and commercially successful Irish films of recent years. 

We are honoured beyond words that An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl has been nominated for the 95th Academy Awards. 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. This film has been an extraordinary labour of love and it has been a joy to see audiences the world over take it into their hearts. Our sincere thanks to the members of the Academy for embracing An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl and giving her a voice. Our huge thanks also to the funders of this film; TG4, Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, to the Irish Film and Television Academy, Bankside Films and to all of our wonderful distributors around the world.

Writer/Director, Colm Bairéad and Producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi from Inscéal

An Cailín Ciúin has touched the hearts of cinema-goers throughout the world, breaking record after record. Colm Bairéad and Cleona Ní Chrualaoi have created a classic masterpiece and have become a huge source of pride for those of us who speak this minority language and for all those people worldwide who understand the importance of a thriving Irish language for Ireland’s culture and creativity. I congratulate everyone involved in this success – cast and crew, my own colleagues at TG4 and our partners at Screen Ireland and the BAI. Our ‘Cine4’ scheme was about creating a new world of movies for the Irish language community, but it has in actual fact been central to a new wave of cinema for all of Ireland. The road towards the Oscars has been opened by Colm and Cleona and today we celebrate the global resonance of that huge achievement.

Alan Esslemont, Director General – TG4

Congratulations to Colm, Cleona and all the cast and crew of An Cailín Ciúin, on your Academy Award Nomination. Your brilliant and beautiful film, in our native Irish language, has been recognised amongst the best in the world. On behalf of all of our Irish Academy Members, who have recognised and rewarded your remarkable work here in Ireland, we are all so very proud of your achievements and The Quiet Girl’s journey thus far around the globe. Comhghairdeas!

Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive – The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA)

We first saw An Cailín Ciúin during the pandemic in 2021 and were blown away by its searing beauty and heartfelt honesty and couldn’t wait for audiences to view Colm’s quiet masterpiece. It’s been an unstoppable film since then and we couldn’t be prouder that it has now reached such dizzying heights, what a staggering achievement for Irish cinema.

Nell Roddy and Robert McCann Finn of Break Out Pictures – Distributors

The Banshees of Inisherin was nominated for 9 awards, including Best Film, Best Actor for Colin Farrell, Best Supporting Actor for Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, and Best Supporting Actress for Kerry Condon. Martin McDonagh’s black comedy/drama was shot on location in Achill and the Aran Islands and co-produced by Irish production company Metropolitan Films.

An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) was produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal. It was made as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish-language films in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). The film is also in receipt of the Irish Government’s Section 481 tax incentive.

An Cailín Ciúin will have its nationwide release in the US in February via NEON sub-print Super and will be released in many other territories from February onwards.

Filmed entirely in Northern Ireland, Oscar-nominated short film An Irish Goodbye, is a black comedy about the reunion of estranged brothers Turlough and Lorcan following the untimely death of their mother. Under the watchful eye of odd-ball parish priest Father O’Shea, the brothers’ pained reunion is worsened by the fact Turlough must now make new care arrangements for Lorcan, who has Down Syndrome. A robust and dedicated farmer, Lorcan’s dream of continuing to work the land he grew up on is thwarted when Turlough decides he’s sending him to live with their aunt on the other side of Ireland. But when the brothers discover an unfulfilled bucket list belonging to their late mother, Lorcan senses an opportunity: he’ll only agree to leave the farm once he and Turlough have themselves completed every single wish on their mother’s list…all one hundred of them. 

The film stars Seamus O’Hara (The Northman, Game of Thrones), James Martin (Marcella, Ups and Downs), Paddy Jenkins (Hunger) and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones, Fortitude). 

Having grown up watching the Oscars every year from afar, we are completely honoured and overwhelmed by this nomination. The Academy Awards represent the very pinnacle of international filmmaking, and we are simply blown away to be a small part of this year’s celebration. All our thanks go to our generous, passionate and talented cast and crew; a wee film shot in Templepatrick has somehow made its way to Hollywood – this a dream come true. I mean, Steven Spielberg is going to be there, lads. Steven Spielberg.

Tom Berkeley and Ross White, Writers and Directors

The Academy Awards is the gold-standard awards ceremony for the art of cinema, and we are truly delighted for Ross, Tom and the entire team behind An Irish Goodbye who have secured a prestigious Oscars nomination. We are so proud of the team who continue to rack up acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Northern Ireland Screen is very pleased to have supported An Irish Goodbye and wish them every success for awards season.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive – Northern Ireland Screen