Belfast film-maker Terry George, already a double Oscar® nominee and creator of the critically acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda, directed the movie.
Shot under the shadow of the famous Mountains of Mourne and just yards from George’s holiday home in Coney Island in County Down, the film tells the captivating story of the bond between two best friends from Belfast – Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill) – whose lives went their separate ways during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Twenty-five years later Joe returns to his homeland for the first time to show his American daughter Patricia (Kerry Condon) her Irish roots.
In his absence Paddy has married Joe’s former fiancée Mary (Maggie Cronin). Patricia pushes to find out what happened all those years ago. The dénouement is in equal parts moving and hilarious.
In his acceptance remarks Terry George paid tribute to the people of Northern Ireland who made peace after 30 years of conflict.
He dedicated his win to “the people of Northern Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, who after 30 years of war sat down, negotiated a peace and proved to the world that the Irish are great talkers. I want to dedicate this to them.
"This is about reconciliation in Northern Ireland, it is really close to my heart,” he added.
He was accompanied on stage by his daughter Oorlagh, who produced the film.
Multi-Grammy winner and Northern Irish music legend Van Morrison has also put the beautiful Coney Island area in spotlight with a famous recording by the same name.
The Oscar recognises Ireland’s high calibre of acting, production and writing talent along with its growing reputation as a location for movie-making.