Staff at Ballyfermot College of Further Education are “incredibly proud” of former student Richard Baneham, who won his second Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards last night.
Baneham was among the team that won Best Visual Effects for Avatar: The Way Of Water. He also won the same award for the original movie 13 years ago.
Mr Baneham, who is from Tallaght, was congratulated by fellow Dubliner Brendan Gleeson on his way up to accept the award at the ceremony in LA.
The 49-year-old started his speech by saying: “Go raibh míle maith agat, to James Cameron whose artistic thumbprint is on every frame of this movie.
“We accept these awards on behalf of a very large crew. The effects stand on the shoulders of our actors, their performances are everything.”
Cecilia Munro, the Principal of BCFE, told Independent.ie: “Richie Baneham won again, it is fantastic.
“I feel incredibly proud that an Irish person has won an Oscar and he is an inspiration in the area he works in. He’s such a visionary, he’s ahead of the curve.
“As an educator, I’m proud he has won an Oscar for his vision, his creativity, and his ability to think outside the box.
“Richie came to Ballyfermot College with creativity, and got the rudiments on how to animate, how to storyboard, how to draw, and once he got those, he developed his creativity.
“We are incredibly proud because he got to do what he wanted as a student. We fostered, nurtured, and encouraged, after that, it was all him.”
Munro spoke of how Richard’s win will bring hope and inspiration to the college students.
“This is a good day for the college and the Irish creative arts. It gives the students vision and hope. Richie’s father Michael brought in the BAFTA award for Avatar: The Way Of Water,” she said.
“He let the students hold it, take photographs with it and he spoke about how proud he is of his son. You could see hope in the students and that’s very important.
“Young people today have a lot stacked against them. There’s climate change, political issues, cost of living issues, war in Ukraine, the world of work has changed.
“To a student who is creative, you can do it, if the hope and vision is there, you will get it. Richie Baneham just proves it,” she added.
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