IRISH PRODUCER SHORT-LISTED FOR OSCAR
A scene from the award-winning Head Over Heels
By David Hennessy
A London based Irish film maker has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly from Cromane in Kerry graduated from the National Film and Television School earlier this year and her graduation film Head Over Heels is one of ten shortlisted for Best Animated Short.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Fodhla told The Irish World.
Could Fodhla have imagined she would be shortlisted for one of the biggest awards in the business this time last year? “I think I was busy finishing film school at the time so no, we never thought about it but I always knew there was something special about Tim (Reckart) the director. There are big things for him in the future.”
How did Fodhla find out about her achievement? Well she was actually one of the last to know: “I didn’t find out until the next night because I didn’t have any internet, I was literally cut off and then I checked my facebook and I found out by post, people going: ‘Congratulations’.”
It was not long ago that another Irish NFTS graduate, Sean O’Riordan, succeeded with having a game show he devised optioned by Warner Bros. Like Sean, Fodhla thinks her success is testament to the NFTS: “The tutors are amazing, you have people like Stephen Frears (Academy Award winning director of The Van, High Fidelity and My Beautiful Laundrette) and Nik Powell (producer of The Crying Game) is the chair of the school. It’s a brilliant place. They’re an incredible school and they give you all the support in the world but without wrapping you up in cotton wool. They let you go off do your thing and if you need them they’re there.”
Head over Heels tells the story of a married couple who have grown so apart that one of them now lives on the ceiling. They want to save their marriage but how can they when they can’t even agree which way is up? The 11-minute short has already won Best Debut at the Galway Film Fleadh among other accolades.
Also shortlisted in the same category are Disney’s Paperman and The Longest Daycare from The Simpsons team. The five nominees will be announced on January 10. “We’ll see. Fingers crossed,” Fodhla says.
Fodhla has been working as a producer with Parallel Films.