John Michael McDonagh has said that he would prefer if his latest film, Calvary, was not called an Irish film because he doesn't find Irish films that 'intelligent'.
Speaking in a video interview for Associated Press, McDonagh, said, “I’m not a big fan of Irish movies, I don’t find them to be technically that accomplished and I don’t find them that intelligent.
"So I’m trying to get away from the description of the movie as an Irish film in a way."
He added, "You see the problem is they [audiences] know that lots of Irish films aren’t very good and they’re actually hesitant about going to see the movie themselves.
“So when you’re making a film there, you’re trying to convince the Irish audience ‘No, it’s not like all those terrible Irish movies you’ve seen before.'”
Calvary, which stars a predominantly Irish cast including Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, and Dylan Moran, was set, and shot, in the west of Ireland.
The film was also partly funded by the Irish Film Board.
However, McDonagh, who was born and raised in London, insisted, "It’s not an Irish film. It’s just set in Ireland with lots of Irish characters.”
Calvary received rave reviews in Ireland where it bagged an impressive €1.6m at the Irish box office. A strong opening weekend in the US last month - taking an average of $18,000 per screen - saw it expand its US run.
In April this year Calvary won Best Film, Best Actor (for Gleeson) and Best Script awards at the IFTAs.
Brendan Gleeson could receive a best actor Oscar nomination for his performance in the Sligo-shot film, Calvary. That is according to US film website Indiewire, which included the Irish actor among its possible nominees. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ralph Fiennes and Timothy Spall are also on their predictions.
BRENDAN Gleeson has been tipped to land an Oscar for his acclaimed performance in Calvary. The veteran Irish actor was universally praised by film critics for his convincing role as a doomed Catholic priest in the low-budget movie directed by John Michael McDonagh.