In the world of film, it is the award seasons with hopes running high for Irish success at the Oscars in late February. Armagh native Seamus McGarvey is up for cinematography for his work on “Anna Karenina” and Kerry producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly’s whose short animation Head Over Heels has been nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category. While Wicklow based actor Daniel Day Lewis looks set for his third best actor Oscar for “Lincoln”.
Whatever the fortunes of the trio, the works of Irish filmmakers received a major boost recently with the news that Tony Donoghue’s hugely charming “Irish Folk Furniture” has won best short animation at the Sundance Film Festival. The animated tale which was shown at the Cork Film Festival back in November is a stop-motion animation featuring folk furniture made in rural Ireland. The film was according to Donoghue “totally a community-based project” following 10 years of research and interviews with people from the filmmakers local community in Tipperary.
The success of Irish Folk Furniture which was made with a €150 camera bought on eBay shows what heights that filmmakers can achieve with a thoughtful and clever idea and a limited budget. While we await with bated breath for (hopefully) further good news for Irish filmmakers in the many award shows and in particular in next months Oscars we can be happy (for now) with O’Donoghues unexpected international success with this clever and thoughtful animated piece. And as for the future of this little gem of a film, Irish Folk Furniture will return to the big screen, being one of the many films showing at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival next month.