Belfast Telegraph

The Ulster filmmaker in with reel chance of an Oscar

Cameraman Seamus’s joy at nomination

By Adrian Rutherford

A Northern Ireland film-maker has spoken of his pride after being nominated for an Oscar for his work on the Hollywood movie Anna Karenina.

Seamus McGarvey has been shortlisted for his cinematography on the critically-acclaimed period drama.

It comes 24 hours after he was nominated for a BAFTA and an IFTA for the same film, which was directed by Joe Wright and stars Keira Knightley and Jude Law.

It is the second Oscar nomination for Mr McGarvey, who previously received one for another Wright and Knightley collaboration, Atonement.

Speaking from Canada, the Armagh-born film-maker said he was thrilled by the news.

“It came as a total surprise,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“I hadn’t been expecting it at all.”

Mr McGarvey, who is currently in Vancouver preparing to shoot the much-anticipated Legendary Pictures remake of Godzilla, was told the news via a text message.

“I was sitting with the TV and computer switched on waiting for the nominations and there was a power cut,” he said.

“Yesterday, as a joke, I had a little bet with our director Gareth Edwards, and I said if I get nominated I would give him $100 (£62) and vice versa.

“So I found out this morning when he sent me a text telling me I owed him $100.

“It will be the best $100 I’ll ever lose.”

It is one of four Oscar nominations for Anna Karenina, which is also shortlisted for Costume Design, Production Design and Music. Set in late-19th-century Russia’s high-society, the film focuses on the aristocrat Anna Karenina, who enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.

Although thrilled by his nomination, Mr McGarvey said that the main prize was seeing his work on the big screen.

“From an awards point of view, it is the one everyone aspires to achieve,” he said.

“For me, though, it is really about the film, and I love it when a film is seen and really appreciated by people. That is the real prize.”

Meanwhile, Irish producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly has also been nominated for her animated short film Head Over Heels.

She shares the nomination with its director Timothy Reckart.

It is her first Oscar nomination for the animation which sees a married couple live on opposite sides of their house.

The Oscars ceremony will be held on February 24 and will|be hosted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.

Profile

Seamus McGarvey was born in Armagh. The 45-year-old began his career as a stills photographer, then went to film school at the University of Westminster in London. After graduating in 1988 he began shooting short films and documentaries, progressing to movies such as Atonement. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for his work on that film.

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