Oscars academy honours for Irish artists

FOUR Irish artists have been invited to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which nominates and votes on the Oscars each year.

The announcement that Saoirse Ronan, Darragh O’Connell, Bono and The Edge are to join the 6,000 -member academy was made in Los Angeles yesterday.

O’Connell founded Brown Bag Films, which has been nominated twice for an Oscar, this year for Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and five years ago for Give Up Yer Aul Sins.

He is invited to join, along with seven other animators including Ken Bielenberg who created Shrek and Monsters vs Aliens, and Angus McLane, who created Toy Story 3 and Wall E.

Bono has also been invited to become a member for his work on Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese, and In the Name of the Father, directed by Jim Sheridan. The Edge received his invitation to join the organisation for his work on Golden Eye and Gangs of New York.

Ronan is invited for her roles in Atonement and The Lovely Bones.

“The work of these individuals has been appreciated by moviegoers all around the world,” said Tom Sherak, president of the academy. “The Academy is proud to invite each and every one of them.”

There are already several Irish members of the academy, including Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and Belfast sound engineer Peter Devlin, who worked on Avatar and was nominated this year for his second Oscar.

It is considered a great honour to be invited to join and the invitation is usually, though not always, issued to those who have previously been nominated for an Oscar.

Members vote to select the nominees and winners for the Oscars every year and it is a highly valuable networking opportunity.

Other invitees this year include James Gandolfini, Nick Hornby, Carey Mulligan, Zoe Soldana and Christoph Waltz.

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