Derry director’s film singled out for Oscars

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A Derry director has had his film chosen as Ireland’s nomination for the best foreign language film category at the Oscars.

Actors John Finn and Owen McDonnell on the set of An Bronntanas.

Actors John Finn and Owen McDonnell on the set of An Bronntanas.

It’s the second time prolific Derry film maker Tom Collins has been singled out by the Irish film industry as a contender for the Academy Awards.

The Celtic Noir thriller ‘An Bronntanas’ (The Gift) was filmed off the coast of Galway and has already come in for critical praise. It tells the story of the crew of a rescue boat in contemporary Ireland who discover an abandoned fishing boat with a cargo of over a million euros worth of drugs. The crew must make the decision of whether to report the haul or sell the drugs and use the money to save their village which is struggling in tough economic times.

In 2007 Tom’s film ‘Kings,’ which tells the story of a group of young men who left the west of Ireland in 1977 for London, was also entered as Ireland’s choice for Oscar nomination.

Tom was told on Wednesday that his latest project has been chosen to compete against foreign language films from around the world for a prestigious spot in the academy awards shortlist.

Speaking to the Journal, the Derry film maker said: “It’s very hard to get an Oscar, but being put forward for this means that the film is taken more seriously across the world and it opens up the chances of the film doing well internationally. It’s always good to see your work being seen.”

For Tom, the coming months will mean travelling to Los Angeles to promote the film to American audiences following the screening of the Irish language thriller on TG4 on October 23.

“It’s all about working hard over the coming months to build up a campaign around the film and in that process, even if you don’t go all the way with that process people are then aware of this new piece of Irish work and it’s worth it, if it introduces people to the Irish landscape and encourages them to come here.”

Having grown up in Derry’s Bogside, Tom’s had a thirst for the industry from the age of five when he was first handed a camera by his mother Susan.

In 1988 he set up De Facto Films, which still operates his home city.

The original Irish language show ‘An Bronntanas’ was developed by Galway-based production company ROSG and Northern Ireland-based De Facto Films.

A clip of An Bronntanas will be available to view on www.derryjournal.com