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Wicklow author Claire Keegan’s film ‘An Cailín Ciúin’ makes Oscars’ history


Wicklow author Claire Keegan.

Wicklow author Claire Keegan.

Wicklow author Claire Keegan.


The film adaptation of Wicklow author Claire Keegan’s novella ‘Foster’ has been selected among five films nominated for the Oscar for the Best International Feature Film, making ‘An Cailín Ciúin’ the first Irish-language film to ever be nominated in the prestigious awards category.

An Cailín Ciúin’ (The Quiet Girl) will now battle it out against the German production ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, south American entry ‘Argentina, 1985’, ‘Close’ by Belgian director Lukas Dhont and Polish road movie ‘EO’.

The winner of the esteemed accolade will be announced at the 95th Academy Awards, which will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on March 12.

An Cailín Ciúin’s Oscar nomination comes just days after the critically acclaimed film was nominated in the Best Film Not In The English Language and Best Adapted Screenplay categories at the 76th British Academy Film Awards, which will take place on February 19.

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Based on Keegan’s third literary work, which won the 2009 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award and appeared in the New Yorker, ‘An Cailín Ciúin’ has been described as an “intricate, deeply felt” coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl.

Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows Cáit, played by Catherine Clinch, as she is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer.

Directed, written and produced by Colm Bairéad and Cleona Ní Chrualaoi from the Inscéal production company, the film had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February and has racked up a host of awards and nominations since, including seven Irish Film and Television Academy Awards and a multitude of jury and audience awards from international film festivals across the globe.

It had a successful cinema release in Ireland and UK cinemas last year, running for over six months and grossing more than €1m at the Ireland-UK box office, making it the highest grossing Irish-language film of all time and one of the most critically and commercially successful Irish films of recent years.

The film was selected by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) in August as Ireland’s nominated film for the Best International Feature Film Oscar category and went on to participate in a preliminary round of voting, before being selected as one of the 15 shortlisted films in December.

Another success for Wicklow at the BAFTAS came with the nomination of the film adaption of Emma Donaghue’s 2016 novel ‘The Wonder’ for Outstanding British film.

All the exterior scenes for the haunting movie were filmed in Wicklow in the Glenasmole Valley on the Old Military Road, an area of heather hills, bog and heathland known locally as the Featherbeds.