Belfast Telegraph

Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry George comes home

By David Young

The red carpet has been rolled out as Northern Ireland welcomed home Oscar-winning director Terry George.

The Co Down filmmaker jetted into Belfast from the US after a week of celebrations to mark his triumph in Hollywood.

But an Ulster Oscar bash in his home village of Killough, Co Down was put on ice for a while longer as he recovered from his trans-Atlantic journey.

George's film The Shore won the famous gold statue for the best live action short. It is set at the director's family cottage at Coney Island near Killough, on the edge of Strangford Lough.

Upon landing at Belfast International Airport, the director said it was good to be home.

"It's great to come home and to visit everyone who made the film possible, the people who were in it, go back and see our neighbours," he said.

"You kind of hope that you'll bring back the awards here to Ireland."

The Shore tells the story of a man who moved to the US to escape the Northern Ireland Troubles and returns home 25 years later. It starred local actors Ciaran Hinds, Maggie Cronin and Conleth Hill.

The filmmaker's daughter Oorlagh, who produced the film, travelled home with her father.

"I'm really excited to come home and share it with our family who were all in the film and also with everyone who made it possible: Tourism Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, the cast and crew that we had were so incredible," she said.

"So we're really, really looking forward to celebrating with them."

Back in Killough locals were eager to hear when the champagne corks would be popping again. They had partied long into the night as they watched the ceremony live in local bars last weekend and are hoping for another shindig later in the week with George and the statue as star guests.

John Fitzsimmons, owner of the village's Anchor Bar, said local people would love to throw a huge party to toast his success. But he said his most famous customer would not want to be the centre of attention for long.

"He doesn't like a fuss," said Mr Fitzsimmons.

"Once he's down in Killough, he's just over at his home. You'll see him knocking about and next thing the door will open and in he'll come with no big fuss; just sit with his pint of stout."

He added: "When I was speaking to him on the phone last week he said: I'm looking forward to bringing the Oscar down into the bar to you.

"I said: I'm going to hold you to that."

Belfast Telegraph


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