Ireland chooses Pat Collins’ Song of Granite as its Oscar submission
by Davide Abbatescianni
- The Irish folk songs of Joe Heaney will represent the Emerald Isle at the 2018 Academy Awards
The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has officially nominated Pat Collins' Song of Granite [+see also:
film profile] as Ireland’s entry for the 90th Oscars, in the Best Foreign-language Film category. Fully shot in black and white, Song of Granite tells the turbulent story of Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, born in 1919 in Carna, a remote village on the Atlantic coast. Collins' work audaciously alternates narrative sequences and original footage, celebrating both Heaney's life and his musical works. Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde and Sharon Whooley co-wrote the script together with Collins.
The legendary singer is portrayed by three different actors. Young, talented Colm Seoighe plays the role of the protagonist during his childhood, while Michael O'Chonfhlaola and Macdara Ó Fátharta, respectively, portray Heaney during his youth and later life.
The film was successfully presented at the prestigious SXSW event in Austin, Texas, and won the Best Cinematography Award at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year. Produced by Alan Maher, Jessie Fisk and Martin Paul-Hus (for Amérique Film and Marcie Films Ltd), Song of Granite received contributions from numerous local partners, such as the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the national TV channel, TG4. Moreover, two Canadian co-production partners granted it their financial support – namely, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles de Québec (SODEC) and Telefilm Canada.
The announcement made by the Irish Film & Television Academy was very well received by Collins. “Joe Heaney, the subject of this film, was a great teacher and advocate for Irish traditional singing and taught singing to students all over America,” he said. “He remains one of the great traditional singers. I think he would have liked the notion of a film with sean nós singing at its core representing Ireland in an international competition like the Oscars.”
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