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Chris Walley and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly Named Among BAFTA Breakthrough Brits for 2018
01 Nov 2018 :
Chris Walley & Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
The British Academy has named 'The Young Offenders' star and the Kerry-born film producer as two of their latest rising stars.

Breakthrough Brits is an annual initiative which supports emerging creative talent by offering them a mentor for the year. Previous Breakthrough Brits have included ‘Spider-Man’ star Tom Holland, ‘Black Panther’ actress Letitia Wright andImitation Game’ actor Alex Lawther.

Walley came to prominence in his breakout role as Jock in the record breaking Irish comedy ‘The Young Offenders’. The story has subsequently been turned into a BBC Three television series, which won Walley an IFTA for Best Actor - Television. Initially studying in London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the Cork native left the college upon earning his first West End part in Martin McDonagh’s stage play ‘The Lieutenant or Inishmore’ opposite ‘Poldark’ star Aiden Turner. 

Cronin O’Reilly studied film at St John’s College, Cork and gained work experience at Ardmore studios in Bray before moving to London aged 18. After being nominated for Best Animated Short Film for ‘Head Over Heels’ with director Timothy Reckart at the 2013 Academy Awards, the Irish producer set up her own production company Sixty Six Pictures. The company’s debut feature film ‘Lady Macbeth’ was nominated for three Baftas in 2018, including Outstanding British Film. Cronin O’Reilly also produced the Cultural Revolution documentary ‘My Generation’ alongside Michael Caine.

Producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly told IFTN:

“It means the world to be nominated. When I was 18 I had to move to England to pursue my dream of becoming a film producer. I’m a proud Kerry woman but I’m also a proud Londoner as this city has supported and nurtured my career for the last 13 years. To be named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit is a true honour.” 

Speaking to the Irish Times, Actor Chris Walley said: 

“It means a lot to me to be part of the Irish contingent, I feel so honoured. The people who have passed through this programme are people I admire hugely.”

Walley and Cronin O’Reilly are among 19 honourees from the worlds of TV, film and games who will be celebrated at a reception on November 7th at the BAFTA headquarters in Piccadilly, London.




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