Sunday 21 July 2019

'We were on Facetime to the gang in Dublin and they were going mental' - Element Pictures' Ed Guiney on The Favourite's 10 Oscar nominations

Element Pictures shareholders Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe
Element Pictures shareholders Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe
Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures. Photo: David Conachy
Element producer Ed Guiney. Photo: Rupert Thorpe
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Element Pictures co-founder Ed Guiney has revealed his surprise and excitement at the news that The Favourite is in the running for ten Academy Awards.

Speaking to Independent.ie from LA, he said that he and fellow Element co-owner Andrew Lowe watched the announcement live while on the phone with the team back in Dublin.

"It was 5am when we got up and Andrew and I were watching it and we were actually on FaceTime with the gang back in Dublin and they were all going mental, but we'll leave any lubrication until we get home!" said Ed, who will return to Dublin for celebrations on Thursday.

During the announcement, the early nominations for The Favourite in the Editing and Costumes categories as well as Dubliner Robbie Ryan's nomination for cinematography, raised their hopes for more.

"When those early nominations came in you kind of go 'there's support for this film', and all of those people who vote for those nominations are behind it and there's a big body of support so you start to get a sense of 'we might be lucky here'," he said.

The Favourite, directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, lead the Oscar nominations this year with 10 nominations each.  The Favourite is in the running for top awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Actress in a Leading Role for Olivia Colman.

Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are also competing for Best Supporting Actress while Irish talent Ryan is up for Best Cinematography for his work on the film.  There are also nods for Costume Design, Production Design, and Film Editing.

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara also share a nomination for Best Original Screenplay for their work on the film.

Director Lanthimos has previously worked with Element on The Lobster, which earned a Best Actress Oscar for Brie Larson, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Read more: Paul Whitington's Oscars 2019 predictions - who should win, who will win, and who doesn't stand a chance

Speaking to Ray D'Arcy on RTE Radio 1 following the announcement, Ed revealed he first met Yorgos on The Favourite ten years ago at which point the film had already been in development for a decade.

"He made a film called Dogtooth which was Oscar-nominated and we were looking for a director for this film, The Favourite, so we sent him the script.  At that point we were developing it and then he came to us with the idea for The Lobster which we did together, the subsequently The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

"We hope to continue working with him in the future," he added.

Speaking about the ten nominations, equalled only by Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, he said, "People say this, but it is true, kind of getting the nominations is such a win.  It's brilliant.  We'll see beyond that what happens."

The Favourite faces tough competition from seven other films for Best Picture, including Roma, Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, A Star is Born and Vice.

"There are some pretty big movies there," Ed told Ray.  "This is great and we'll take this and we'll bank it and we'll be very happy."

Read more: Oscar nominations 2019: Irish-produced The Favourite up for 10 awards but disappointment for Saoirse Ronan

Between now and the Oscars on February 24th, Ed and the team are focusing mainly on the BAFTAs .  The Favourite is in the running for 12 awards on February 10.

There was more good news for Irish talent with Cartoon Saloon and Louise Bagnall's Late Afternoon making the shortlist for Animated Short while Irish director Vincent Lambe's film, Detainment, is in the running for Best Live Action Short.

Speaking on the Ray D'Arcy Show, Louise said, "It's just amazing to be in the race at all.  We're coming from very much outside the dominant part of the industry, which is over in the States.

"With the short films as well it's very hard to predict which ones will get into the nominations and it's very hard to predict which ones will win so it's anybody's race."

She added, "We have a great team of people here.  They're all really dedicated to making a really high quality production."

'Everyone was disinhibited' - How pretending to be lions and tigers helped stars of The Favourite to bond 

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