Ireland’s Oscar entry, An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl has made history by becoming the first Irish language feature film to be shortlisted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for this year’s Best International Feature Film category.
An Cailín Ciúin is one of 15 films shortlisted from 92 countries who submitted to the category. Separate to being the first time an Irish language film shortlisted in this category, it is only the second Irish film ever to reach the category’s shortlist stage following Paddy Breathnach’s Viva in 2016.
The film has been on an extraordinary journey since its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, racking up a host of awards including the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for Best Film, seven Irish Film and Television Academy Awards including Best Film, and a multitude of Jury and Audience Awards from film festivals across the globe. It has been a major hit also with critics garnering 5-star reviews in Ireland, the UK and Australia. It recently opened in New York and Los Angeles (Super) for an exclusive week-long run to rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Deadline and The Playlist. It will be released nationwide in the US in February.
Speaking on the film’s shortlist selection, Writer/Director, Colm Bairéad and Producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi from Inscéal, the production company behind the film, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl has been shortlisted by the Academy for Best International Feature Film and we are particularly proud to be the first Irish-language film to have achieved this. What an historic moment for Irish-language cinema!”
“We feel privileged and honoured to continue to represent Ireland as An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl bids to secure a nomination at the 95th Academy Awards. We couldn’t have made it this far without the incredible support of Screen Ireland, TG4, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the hard work and dedication of our distributors. Special thanks also to the Irish Film and Television Academy for its invaluable support and commitment and to the audiences who came in such record numbers to see our film so far”.
An Cailín Ciúin had a phenomenal cinema release in Ireland (Break Out Pictures) and UK (Curzon) cinemas this year, running for over six months and grossing more than €1m at the Ireland-UK box office, making it the highest grossing Irish-language film of all time and one of the most critically and commercially successful Irish films of recent years. In the past few weeks, the film has been included on many end-of-year “Best Films of 2022” lists including The Hollywood Reporter, Sight & Sound, Screen International, The Guardian, Observer (New York), The Observer (UK), The New Statesman, and The Irish Times. UK-based sales agent, Bankside Films has already secured a slew of worldwide distribution deals for the film.
Commenting on the shortlisting of the film, Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Eireann / Screen Ireland said: “We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Colm Bairéad and the entire creative team behind An Cailín Ciúin on today’s shortlist announcement. Comhghairdeas ó chroí libh! We are so proud of what the film has achieved, both at home and internationally. The Academy Award for Best International Feature Film is one of the most prestigious and highly competitive award categories in film, based on the finest world cinema has to offer. It is very moving to see an Irish-language film make such an impact on audiences at home, with its record-breaking cinema run earlier this year, but also with audiences around the world. Irish filmmakers and Irish stories are continuing to make a huge impact with their work, which is a testament to the industry’s talent, skill, and artistic vision. We hope the shortlist recognition will allow audiences who may not yet have seen this beautiful film to connect with it as strongly as we and so many others have”.
Alan Esslemont, Director General of TG4 said: “We are delighted to hear this good news today and I would like to congratulate Cleona and Colm and everyone involved in any way with An Cailín Ciúin; the first ever Irish-language film to be shortlisted in the Best International Feature Film category. The success of this beautiful film has been staggering winning many national and international awards and delighting cinema goers everywhere. When TG4 began the Cine4 scheme with Screen Ireland and the BAI, our vision was to win an Oscar for an Irish-language film. Today’s news brings us one step closer to that aim and is very encouraging for everybody in the Irish creative community. Comhghairdeas ó chroí!”.
Celene Craig, Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland said: “I am delighted to hear of the shortlisting of An Cailín Ciúin for the Best International Feature Film at next year’s Academy Awards and would like to offer our sincere congratulations to producers, Inscéal and all the cast and crew on this wonderful news. An Cailín Ciúin is a beautifully told story in the Irish language which has been rightfully appreciated by audiences in Ireland. It has also left an enduring mark internationally, reflected in the numerous nominations, awards and accolades garnered throughout the world. The BAI is very pleased to have supported the production through our Sound & Vision Scheme and wish the team every continued success”.
Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of the Irish Film and Television Academy said: “Congratulations to Colm, Cleona and all the cast & crew on this success. The Irish Academy has been so proud to champion this precious and beautiful film, which made history when it became the first Irish-language feature to win IFTA’s Best Film award this year, and selected to represent Ireland on the global stage at the Oscars. An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl continues to make history and is now in its rightful place, resonating with audiences worldwide and competing with the best in the world. This poignant and poetic story, unfolding on screen, is what universal Cinema is all about”.
Nell Roddy and Robert McCann Finn, joint MD’s of Break Out Pictures commented: “How wonderful that this truly special film is getting the global recognition it so richly deserves, heartfelt congratulations to Colm, Cleona and the entire An Cailín Ciúin film-making team”.
Based on Irish author, Claire Keegan’s acclaimed story, Foster, with the screenplay written by Bairéad, An Cailín Ciúin is an intricate, deeply felt coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl. Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows Cáit (Catherine Clinch) as she is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer. She is welcomed with open arms by Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley), but her husband, Seán (Andrew Bennett) keeps Cáit at arm’s length. Slowly, however, a warmth grows within this makeshift family and Cáit begins to blossom in their care. But in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.
An Cailín Ciúin was produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal, the production company she established with Bairéad in 2012. It was made as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish-language films in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The film was also in receipt of the Irish Government’s Section 481 tax incentive.
An Cailín Ciúin is currently playing in New York and LA. The film’s exclusive week-long run at the Angelika Film Center in New York and at AMC Sunset 5 in Los Angeles comes ahead of its nationwide release in the US in February 2023. The film will also be released in many other countries next year.
Bankside Films are representing An Cailín Ciúin for world sales.