Irish Film Selected For Foreign Language Oscar

An Irish language film about the plight of Irish migrant workers in England has been selected for submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at next year's Academy Awards.

The €2.2 million feature 'Kings' was shot in Belfast, London and Dublin in 2006, and tells the story of a group of young men who left the west of Ireland in the mid-1970s to come to London, filled with dreams of a better life. Thirty years later, they meet to mark the passing of the youngest member of the group and find that, for some of them, those years have been very hard.

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) said: "Their muscle has been spent, their hopes dashed on the roads and building sites of Britain, to be replaced with a sense of hopeless disaffection. 'Kings' is a story of a lost generation, rich in humanity and emotion, and with a heart-breaking resonance not just for the Irish in today's changing world."

Based on Jimmy Murphy's play, 'The Kings of the Kilburn High Road', 'Kings' stars Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly and Brendan Conroy.

It is the first time that an Irish language film is being submitted from Ireland for this category. A small independent jury, put together by the IFTA, made the decision. The jury members were director Neil Jordan, actor Daniel Day Lewis, actress Fionnula Flanagan, writer/director Terry George and casting director Ros Hubbard.

Áine Moriarty, CEO of the IFTA said: "IFTA is very proud to submit the very first Irish language film to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. 'Kings' is a powerful and moving story that transcends its native language and can communicate universally with its raw and honest storyline."

Writer/director Tom Collins, who is originally from Derry, said: "'Kings' has been a remarkable journey for me over the past four years. To receive this latest accolade is quite overwhelming and I am indebted to the Irish Academy for their support. I know it's always dangerous to have messages in films, but I hope people will watch 'Kings' and empathise with the whole experience of emigrants in a foreign land and how hard it is for them to find their way home. This is a universal story - it's not just about paddies..."

The Academy accepts one foreign language film from each eligible country for consideration under this category and will announce their selection of five foreign language films on January 22 next year.

'Kings' is due for release in cinemas across Ireland on September 21.


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