24 Mar 2021
A film made by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, has been nominated for an Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.
The Kilkenny-based studio got the nod for Wolfwalkers in the best Animated Feature Film category – their fourth nomination in the classification in recent times and their fifth Oscar nomination in total.
The Apple Original film tells the story of Robyn, a young apprentice hunter, who comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. With much of the animation inspired by Celtic art, Wolfwalkers is considered a triumph of creative collaboration and Irish storytelling.
Written and directed by locals Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, the animated gem was created in the medieval city of Kilkenny, where the story is also set and where Cartoon Saloon has begun hosting a new festival of visual storytelling called Kilkenny Animation.
Featuring cartoons, animation and illustration in a series of exhibitions, talks, performances, workshops and experiences that celebrate the creativity and craft of the visual image, the next festival is pencilled in for October 2021.
The Irish film will compete against Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon and Soul at the 93rd Academy Awards, but with many thinking it a two-horse race between Wolfwalkers and Pixar’s Soul, this could be the Kilkenny studio’s best chance yet to finally land the coveted Oscar.
The Irish have fared well at Hollywood’s biggest night over its nine decades. With 27 Oscar wins to date there are plenty of highlights to look back on as part of Ireland’s cinematic heritage.
In the acting category, Daniel Day-Lewis has managed to net an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role three times – an honour that only he holds.
There have wins in plenty of other categories too, with County Sligo man Neil Jordan bagging a Best Original Screenplay for his writing in The Crying Game, Dubliner Richard Baneham being part of the team to win Best Visual Effects for Avatar in 2010, and musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning Best Original Song for their tear-jerking track ‘Falling Slowly’, which they wrote for the film Once in 2008.
When it comes to Academy Award nominations, Jim Sheridan, one of Ireland's best film-makers, has racked up an astounding six, while Carlow-born Saoirse Ronan has received four – for Atonement, Brooklyn, Lady Bird and Little Women.
Dubliner Lenny Abrahamson also saw Room earn a Best Director Oscar nomination in 2015, with the film earning nods for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay and going on to see Brie Larson take home the Best Actress in a Leading Role award.
With Irish fingers crossed for the latest home-grown Oscar nominee, the whole country will be watching the red carpet event on 25 April to see if Wolfwalkers can take home the golden statuette for Kilkenny.
Wolfwalkers, Kilkenny Animation, Image by Allen Kiely
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