Feature length animated film Song of the Sea, from Irish company Cartoon Saloon has been nominated for an Oscar.
The animated film will compete against some of the biggest players in the movie business. It is the second film produced by Cartoon Saloon to have received an Oscar nomination, following The Secret of the Kells in 2010.
Song of the Sea is now pitted against some of the industry’s power houses of animation, such as DreamWorks and Walt Disney, vying for the award of Best Animated Feature with How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls, among others, with animated blockbuster The Lego Movie missing out entirely.
The film tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse — the last Seal-child — who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea.
The film takes inspiration from the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land. It is directed by Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells) and features the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt, and Jon Kenny.
Music is by composer Bruno Coulais and Irish band Kíla, both of whom previously collaborated on The Secret of Kells.
The Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on February 22nd and Song of the Sea will be released in Irish and British cinemas on July 10th this year.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, said of Song of the Sea's nomination: "I would like to offer huge congratulations to Cartoon Saloon, and to its director Tomm Moore, for securing this very prestigious nomination. Tomm previously received recognition for his work on The Secret of Kells, which was of course nominated for an Oscar five years ago.
"This is yet another significant achievement for the Irish animation sector, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It is an extremely dynamic element of the Irish audiovisual industry, and, as this nomination shows, it is making a big impact on the global animation scene."
The announcement follows a report this week from the Irish Film Board showing that the Irish Film and Animation Industry Going Strong.
The Kilkenny based Cartoon Saloon employs 45 staff, but there is estimated 6,500 full-time (equivalent) jobs in the Irish film industry, with some 15,000 working in the sector in total.
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