Belfast Telegraph

Boogaloo and Graham gets Oscar nomination: Tale of Belfast boys and their chickens in running for Academy Award

Filmmaker celebrates nomination, but warns over arts cuts

By Amanda Ferguson

Northern Ireland filmmakers are celebrating after learning their Belfast-set short film is in the running for an Oscar.

The NI Screen-funded project, Boogaloo and Graham, directed by Michael Lennox, produced by Brian Falconer and written by Ronan Blaney, has received an Academy Award nomination in the live action short category.

Boogaloo and Graham follows two young boys who discover the facts of life, aided by their pet chickens.

It stars Martin McCann (The Survivalist, Jump, Whole Lotta Sole), Charlene McKenna (Jump, Ripper Street) and Jonathan Harden (Five Minutes of Heaven, Fifty Dead Men Walking). The 87th Academy Awards nominations were announced yesterday by directors Alfonso Cuaron and JJ Abrams.

Last night, director Michael Lennox told the Belfast Telegraph that hearing Abrams announce his name was "the most surreal moment" of his life.

"I am delighted, over the moon, it's surreal, it hasn't sunk in," he said of the Oscar nod.

"I watched the live feed online and heard one of the best filmmakers in the world announce my name. To get a Bafta nomination last week and an Oscar nomination this week, just as I am getting ready to edit my first feature film, is sending my career in the right direction."

Michael's debut feature A Patch of Fog, starring Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones), is a Belfast-set black comedy thriller expected to be released later this year.

The Belfast man explained the importance of funding to projects like Boogaloo and Graham after the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure asked NI Screen to prepare for its budget to be slashed by almost 50% from £1.9m to £1m.

"Funding cuts are a travesty," he said.

"We have come so far in the last five years. To stop that now is going backwards when we should be moving forward."

The Oscars, held on February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

"I will be heading out to LA in the next two weeks to start campaigning," Michael added.

Factfile

Other NI-made short films at the Oscars:

  • 2012 - Terry George's The Shore wins the Academy Award for best live action short film.
  • 2011 - Michael Creagh's The Crush nominated in best live action short film category.
  • 1998 - Tim Loane's Dance Lexie Dance nominated in the best live action short film category.

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