Irish short nominee hopes to crush rivals

THE independent Irish movie industry was in jubilant celebration last night with the nomination of a short film for the Oscars.

The Crush, a 15-minute romantic comedy about a young boy’s crush on a schoolteacher, will now compete for one of the coveted Academy awards.

The film’s makers were popping the champagne when contacted last night but also voiced confidence that the Dublin-made production would clinch an accolade in the short film (live action) category at the awards next month.

Film producer Damon Quinn explained how the short piece had already caught the attention of movie festival judges around the world.

“You really feel an uplift when you come away from it, something we all need at the moment.”

The Crush achieved best Irish short at the Foyle film festival in late 2009, then won second place as best short at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca festival in New York last April.

Film director Michael Creagh was overwhelmed by media interest last night, releasing a brief statement: “I am thrilled my little independently financed and produced short film has made such an impact with the members of the Academy, to get to the nomination stage.”

The film sees schoolboy Ardal, 8, (played by the director’s son, Oran) fall in love with his teacher Ms Purdy (Olga Wehrly). Later, the besotted pupil challenges the teacher’s fiancé to a duel to the death.

Mr Creagh added: “It is a real family cause for celebration, as the film not only features my son Oran in the lead role but my brother Jim Creagh acted as both director of photography and executive producer. Hollywood here we come!”

The film received no external or industry funds and just €25,000 was spent on shooting the movie in Skerries, north Dublin. The Irish Film Board congratulated the makers of the short movie, the seventh Irish short film to be nominated for an Academy Award nomination since 2002.

The Crush will compete with four other films in the category.

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