In recent years Ireland has punched above its weight in the Academy Awards shorts categories (both live action and animated), winning two Oscars in 10 years and receiving nominations for six others. Irish Film New York (IFNY)—an organization that fosters partnerships between Ireland and the US by presenting events and screenings featuring the best of Irish cinema to US audiences—presents a series of four shorts on Sept. 12-13. The 2012 Oscar winner The Shore is a wry, humbling tale of reconciliation and making peace in post-ceasefire Northern Ireland, directed by Terry George, and Martin McDonagh's Six Shooter, which won the live action Oscar in 2006, is the director's stylish precursor to In Bruges, bearing all the familiar McDonagh hallmarks of trickery, gore, sparkling dialogue and … a loaded gun. The two nominated films include Nicky Phelan's delightfully macabre animation Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (2008) from Brown Bag Films (who were also nominated in 2002 with Give Up Yer Aul Sins) and Juanita Wilson's heartbreaking tale of life after the Chernobyl disaster, The Door (2009).
Terry George | 2011 | HDCAM | 29m
The Shore, 2012 Oscar winner for Best Short Film, Live Action, was filmed on location in Killough, a small village in County Down, and it tells the heartfelt story of two boyhood best friends, Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill), who have long been divided by a misunderstanding. Twenty-five years earlier their world and their friendship was shattered by the conflict escalating in Northern Ireland and the two boys' lives took very different paths. Now Joe returns for the first time in 25 years to his homeland with his 24-year-old daughter. But in his absence Paddy has married Joe’s former fiancée Mary: what happened all those years ago? Can old wounds be healed? The answer is in equal parts hilarious and moving.
Juanita Wilson | 2008 | HDCAM | 17m
The Door, 2009 Oscar nominee for Best Short Film, Live Action, is an emotional and beautifully told short film shot in the contaminated lands of Chernobyl. This film opens with an absurd act: stealing a door. It then moves from past to present, as it focuses on a family’s desperate attempt to come to terms with the devastating effects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It is only in the final shot that the true meaning and purpose of the door is revealed. Then, what had seemed an absurd act turns into a simple statement of human dignity. Based on the “Monologue About a Whole Life Written Down on Doors, the testimony of Nikolai Fomich Kalugin” by Svetlana Alexievich (from her book The Chernobyl Prayer).
Martin McDonagh | 2004 | HDCAM | 27m
Six Shooter, 2006 Oscar winner for Best Short Film, Live Action, is a dark and bloody comedy from the same writer and director that brought us In Bruges. This film follows the unexpected and intense tale of Donnelly (Brendan Gleeson) whose wife of many years has died that morning. As he travels on a train to Dublin he sits across from a strange, talkative and possibly psychotic young man. Due to this chance meeting Donnelly’s life and the lives of his fellow passengers will never be the same again.
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
Nicky Phelan | 2009 | HDCAM | 6m
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, 2010 Oscar nominee for Best Short Animation, is a sharp-witted animated short film in which a seemingly sweet old Granny tells her version of the well-known fairytale Sleeping Beauty. While Granny is babysitting her young granddaughter she tells her a bedtime story as only an aged Irish grandmother can! But rather than being sent off to sleep with visions of living happily-ever-after her granddaughter is left terrified by the completely inappropriate and hilarious bedtime story.