Hansard to perform Once song at Oscars

A song which was almost banned by Oscar chiefs will be performed at the prestigious award ceremony.

A song which was almost banned by Oscar chiefs will be performed at the prestigious award ceremony.

Nominees Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova will sing 'Falling Slowly' live in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The track, from the low budget romantic movie 'Once', has been nominated for the Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards.

The eligibility of the song was probed by Oscar officials who were unclear as to whether it had been written specifically for the film, as the rules demand.

But despite appearing on two albums in 2006, they ruled the song was written for Once four months before it publicly appeared.

The Frames frontman Hansard, and Irglova, a young Czech pianist and vocalist - co-wrote the track and star in the movie together.

The pair performed 'Falling Slowly' in Los Angeles this week at the Irish Film Board’s US reception to celebrate Irish film.

More than 20 Irish production companies are in LA to promote the country’s film industry to some of the world’s top studio executives.

Leading lights of the US and Irish film industry attended the event, with 'Once' director John Carney, Neil Jordan, Mischa Barton, and Kirsten Sheridan, among the guests of honour at the reception.

Naoise Barry, of the Irish Film Board, said the US is important for the Irish film business.

“It’s a major market for Irish film and also provides essential direct foreign investment in the form of larger US film and TV drama shooting on location in Ireland,” she said.

“The timing of the trade mission is also relevant as there is a focus on the Irish film industry with five Irish nominees at the Oscars this week,” she added..

The star-studded Academy Awards will take place on Sunday at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

Other Irish hopefuls up for awards include Carlow teenager Saoirse Ronan, 13, in the best supporting actress category for her role in the period drama 'Atonement', and Daniel Day Lewis, 50, who lives in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, who hopes to scoop best lead actor in the blockbuster 'There Will be Blood'.

Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey from Armagh is up for best cinematography for 'Atonement', and Peter J Devlin is in the category for Best Achievement in Sound for the action film 'Transformers'.

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