With an estimated 950 million people expected to tune into the 88th Academy Awards worldwide this Sunday night, not to mention the critical and industry acclaim received by each of the nine nominees, each of them are "already winners and Ireland should be exceptionally proud", according to Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board James Hickey.
He has been in Los Angeles all week promoting Irish filmmaking talent and Ireland as an international hub for creativity and innovation. Together with IDA Ireland, the IFB held a series of meeting with US studios, distributors, talent agents, content platforms, film financiers and entertainment technology companies, in order to capitalise on the international attention and to create maximum return for the Irish film industry and Irish film talent.
“Everyone associated with the nine Irish Oscar nominations are already winners. They are all world-class players who have been recognised for their talent in the most prestigious of film awards. Behind each nomination is a team of talent who should be justifiably proud, irrespective of the final outcome at the Awards,” said James Hickey.
The international recognition is also a ‘win’ for Ireland, according to Hickey, with the spotlight firmly on Ireland in the lead up to the event as a result of all the nominations for Irish talent. Leading film publications in the USA are profiling Ireland ahead of the Oscars, including Variety, which hailed Ireland as a ‘Capital of Filmmaking’.
Noting the fact that Ireland has never received so many nominations before, James Hickey said the success is a result of sustained investment and support for Irish film talent by the Irish Film Board since its establishment 20 years ago. “The role of the Irish Film Board is to support the development and production of Irish film, television drama, documentary and animation. Many of the films and talent whose success we are celebrating this weekend have been receiving IFB support for many years – this type of international success does not happen overnight. We must continue to invest in upcoming talent in order to ensure that young and emerging talent are afforded the same opportunities as the nominees.”