President Mary McAleese has congratulated the Irish winner of an Oscar for best visual effects in screen blockbuster 'Avatar'.
Richie Baneham, who trained in Ballyfermot College and now works on some of the world’s biggest movie productions in Los Angeles, shared the Oscar with his effects colleagues last night.
“It’s an incredibly surreal moment,” he said. “The strange thing is it’s kind of a serene feeling in this weird way to be finally handed the trophy. It does not feel real in any way, until you have come through the press and done all that and walked away and handed the piece to your wife and say: ’Here, what do you think of that?’
Mr Baneham was animation supervisor on 'Avatar' – the most financially successful film in cinema history.
President McAleese said she was delighted at Mr Baneham‘s win.
“This award is a wonderful recognition of Richard’s remarkable talent for animation and builds on his success earlier this year at the Bafta awards,” she added.
The President sent her congratulations to the other Irish nominees.
“This year’s Oscars were also a remarkable testimony of the vibrancy and diversity of film industry talent in Ireland,” she said.
“To have Ireland represented in five separate categories showcases the great success of the Irish film industry, particularly in the area of animation.”