Sunday 25 September 2016

'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

Published 29/02/2016 | 05:17

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
Shan Christopher Ogilvie (left) Benjamin Cleary (right) with the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in the press room of the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 28, 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 28, 2016.

Young Irish director Ben Cleary is celebrating this morning as his film Stutterer has won Best Live Action Short at the Oscars.

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The 32 year old filmmaker from Rathmines wrote and directed the film and largely funded the project himself.

Stutterer, which stars Matthew Needham and Chloe Pirrie, made it to the final ten from a long list of 144 films for the Oscars and has cleaned up at a range of film festivals throughout the year.

"You know when you make your first film you've got to convince a lot of people to jump on board and take a risk with a first time director so to every single member of the cast and crew of Stutterer for jumping on board and taking a risk with me I'm forever grateful," said Ben on accepting his award.

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.
Director Ben Cleary, from Rathmines.

"To the academy for this award, it's such a huge honour, thank you so much. To my amazing aprents for all the support, thank you. Chloe Pirrie you're amazing wherever you are up there, to the wonderful Matthew Needham, you are this film brother.

"Every day is a proud day to be Irish but today more so than usual so everyone for all the support back home thank you so much."

Speaking to Anton Savage on Today FM following the win, Ben said, "It's been surreal all week but even more so now. It's amazing."

Above: Director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Benjamin Cleary. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Irish Film Board
Above: Director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Benjamin Cleary. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Irish Film Board

Ben accepted the award with producer Selena Armitage and they revealed they were hitting the town to celebrate.

Michael D Higgins hails Oscar recognition for Irish stars

"It’s actually been really nice. We just left the whole ceremony there, and we’ve gotten back now," he said.  "We’re best mates and we just got back to the flat and it’s sinking in a bit I think. We’re definitely going to head out now and have a laugh. What a night, we’re delighted."

Of bringing the Oscar with them he joked, "I just said to Serena there, ‘Can we leave it here?’ But she said, no, it’s our ticket into some of the parties so we’re  bringing it with us, it’s even surreal just seeing the thing."

"It’s mad, I can barely even remember what I said up on stage but I’m getting really nice texts from everyone back home saying that they’re delighted for us and that the speech was decent which is good cause I’ve gone to the lads ‘what did I actually say up there?’," said.

"The support from everyone back home has been unbelievable so yeah, I’m just really proud. It’s been such a good year for Irish film, to even be in the same conversation as some of the legends that were nominated is brilliant for us. So we’re delighted.

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"We’re slightly tired but we’re bolstered up by this and we’re gonna go out and have some night tonight I’d say! We’re gonna head out to a party now and hopefully meet up with my brother who’s here and two of my best mates are here and they’re really the people I want to go see now and just saviour this moment with them. It’s a special time."

Stutterer is currently available to watch on the RTE Player

Elsewhere, Lenny Abrahamson's Room missed out in the Best Film category to Spotlight while Emma Donoghue lost out on Adapted Screenplay to Adam McKay for The Big Short.  However, Brie Larson won Best Actress for her role in the Irish director's film.

Leonardo DiCaprio beat off competition from Michael Fassbender, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, and Eddie Redmayne to win Best Actor.

'My legs went to jelly, it was absolutely mad!' - 'Stutterer' director Benjamin Cleary on Oscar nomination

The winners

Best Picture: Spotlight

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room

Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Supporting Actor: Bridge of Spies

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Animated Film: Inside Out

Best Animated Short Film: Bear Story

Best Original Song: Sam Smith, Writing's On The Wall

Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Costume Design: Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Live Action Short Film: Stutterer

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

Best Original Film Score: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Academy Honorary Awards: Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Debbie Reynolds.

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