With a record 14 nominations for the Irish at this year’s Oscars, it would appear we’re entering a golden era for Irish filmmaking. However, Irish people have played crucial rules in Hollywood and beyond for decades and have helped to shape the modern film industry as directors, actors, writers, animators, producers and more.
Emigrants like Dublin born inventor Lucien Bull was an early pioneer of high speed photography, without which the Hollywood film industry would not exist. Others like the legendary actor, choreographer and Oscar winner Gene Kelly had roots in Ireland while the original designer of the famous Oscar statute Cedric Gibbons was also a proud member of the Irish diaspora.
To celebrate the success of the Irish as this year’s Oscars, we created a special Film Tour, along with some interesting stories about the film industry, past and present.
Oscars Tour – As Gaeilge
Beidh an turas seo ar siúl ar an 4ú agus an 11ú Márta ag 10am. Coinnigh do spás ar an turas speisialta seo chun tuilleadh a fhoghlaim!
Cedric Gibbons, the Irish American who designed the Oscar
Did you know that an Irish American designed the original Oscar statuette? One of the most lauded set designers in US film history, Cedric Gibbons went on to win 11 Academy Awards of his own for art direction – a category record that remains unsurpassed to this day. Ahead of the 2023 Academy Awards, we cast a look back on his career.
IMAGE: MGM art director Cedric Gibbons sitting in his office. (Photo by Jerry Cooke/Getty Images).
an cailÍn ciÚin and The Irish language abroad
Despite the tragic association between emigration and language loss, today An Ghaeilge is increasingly recognised as a language of opportunity, with vibrant communities of Irish language speakers (Gaelgeoirí) emerging all over the world.
Best Short Film: An Irish Goodbye Film Review
Vying for an Oscar in the ‘Best Short Film’ category, this dynamic, hilarious, and heart-warming relationship between brothers confronts the audience with existential questions about what really matters to us and where we really call home.
MORE FILM INDUSTRY STORIES
Browse through our online collection and follow the fascinating stories of the Irish around the world, both past and present.
The Irish-American animator who put the ‘looney’ into Looney Tunes – Bob Clampett animated Daffy Duck and Tweety, with his unique wacky style.
The Dublin inventor who was an early pioneer of high speed photography, Lucien Bull possessed a curious mind and was fascinated by the natural world.
From Roscommon to Hollywood – the story of Maureen O’Sullivan, and how she went from a convent school in Dublin to becoming Jane in Tarzan.
One of Ireland’s first Hollywood stars, ‘The Quiet Man’ actor Barry Fitzgerald was described as ‘one of the greatest comedians who ever went on stage’.
William Desmond Taylor
The Carlow man who shaped the silent movie era of Hollywood, William Desmond Taylor, who had directed almost 60 movies, was shot in the back in his own home.