Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dubliner Ben Cleary the toast of his old school after short film 'Stutterer' wins Oscar

Published 01/03/2016 | 07:10

Director Benjamin Cleary
Director Benjamin Cleary

Staff and students at Oscar- winner Ben Cleary's old school in Dublin have spoken of their pride at his achievement.

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In a statement issued to the Herald, St Michael's College in Ailesbury Road offered its "huge congratulations" after Cleary's film, Stutterer, picked up the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short.

"This wonderful achievement follows hot on the heels of a previous Oscar nomination for another past pupil, producer and actor Peter McDonald, who was also nominated for Best Short Film in 2012," it said.

Dubliner McDonald was nominated for Pentecost, which he wrote and directed.

Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage accept the award for Best Live Action Short Film for
Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage accept the award for Best Live Action Short Film for "Stutterer" at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

"Ben's achievement is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the success of a growing band of St Michael's past pupils who have chosen careers in the arts," the statement continued.

Among distinguished alumni of the school are actors Killian Scott of Love/Hate fame, Jason O'Mara who has appeared in CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds and Allen Leech who found fame in Downtown Abbey.

Screenwriter Benjamin Cleary (L) and actress Chloe Pirrie in attendance at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, Hollywood, California. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Screenwriter Benjamin Cleary (L) and actress Chloe Pirrie in attendance at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, Hollywood, California. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

"The entire college community, and especially the class of 2002, are delighted with Ben's wonderful success," the statement added.

The 32-year-old film-maker from Rathmines was thrilled to collect a gong.

Actor Matthew Needham appears in a scene from Stutterer, directed by Dubliner Ben Cleary.
Actor Matthew Needham appears in a scene from Stutterer, directed by Dubliner Ben Cleary.

Stutterer, which stars Matthew Needham and Chloe Pirrie, made it to the final 10 from 144 short films.

The Sligo-born designer who made Cleary's tux for Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles was delighted to see one of his creations on the red carpet.

Cian McAuliffe (36), of Beggar's Run in London, told how he managed to get the bespoke tux ready in under a week.

"Ben sent me a text saying he needed a suit for the Oscar's and could I help him out," said McAuliffe. "He was leaving the next week for LA."

Cleary was too busy to go to London, so a Skype fitting was organised.

"Basically, he was at home with his mother and they had a measuring tape and I directed her on what measurements I needed," said McAuliffe. "It fitted perfectly."

'Every day is a proud day to be Irish but today more so than usual' - Triumph for Irish director Ben Cleary as Stutterer wins Best Live Action Short Oscar

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