Irish director Benjamin Cleary’s Stutterer short-listed for Oscar glory

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced the shortlist of 10 best live action short film contenders from a qualifying list of 144 films. One of the 10 chosen is Irish writer/director Benjamin Cleary’s Stutterer.

Dublin born Cleary currently resides in London and won the prestigious BlueCat short screenplay competition in Los Angeles in 2012. His debut short film, Stutterer, is the story of a man with a severe speech impediment who must face his worst fear.

The film stars Matthew Needham (Casualty), Chloe Pirrie (Shell), and Eric Richard (The Bill). Stutterer is produced by Serena Armitage and Shan Christopher for Bare Golly Films.

Stutterer has been accepted into a large number international film festivals including the Galway Film Fleadh, Vancouver International Film Festival, Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival and Rhode Island International Film Festival. The film won Best Foreign Film at the Oscar and BAFTA accredited LA Shorts Fest, making it eligible for consideration, before picking up an audience award at the DC Shorts Film Festival.

Ireland has done well in recent years on the short film front, with Northern Irish shorts Boogaloo and Graham, directed by Michael Lennox, and Stephen Fingleton’s SLR being shortlisted last year. Boogaloo and Graham made it to the Oscar ceremony, before losing out to British film The Phone Call.

Cleary is on a roll with awards and nominations, as his other short film Love is the Sting is long-listed for next year’s Oscars, having won at the Cork Film Festival earlier this week.

The final five nominees will be announced with the other Oscar nominees on Thursday, January 14.

The full shortlist:

Ave Maria – Basil Khalil – director (Incognito Films)
Bad Hunter – Sahim Omar Kalifa – director (A Private View)
Bis Gleich (Till Then) – Philippe Brenninkmeyer – producer (avenueROAD Films)
Contrapelo (Against the Grain) – Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer – director (Ochenta y Cinco Films)
Day One – Henry Hughes – director (American Film Institute)
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut) – Patrick Vollrath – director (Filmakademie Wien)
The Free Man (Zi You Ren) – Quah Boon-Lip – director (Taipei National University of the Arts)
Shok – Jamie Donoughue – director (Eagle Eye Films)
Stutterer – Benjamin Cleary – director (Bare Golly Films)
Winter Light – Julian Higgins – director (Innerlight Films and Prelude Pictures)