An Cailín Ciúin becomes first Irish language feature shortlisted for Oscars’ Best International Feature Film

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. 

I only went and won an IFTA.

The winners of the IFTA awards, hosted by the Irish Film & Television Academy, were announced last week. I was delighted to be among the winners for my editing on ‘An Cailin Ciúin’. It’s a huge honour for me and I’m thrilled that my peers in the editing branch of the Academy chose to recognise me.

Groundbreaking Win for the Irish Language

Hollywood Leading Man Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman) presented the Best Film Award on the night, which went to An Cailín Ciúin, written and directed by Colm Bairéad.  A historic milestone for the IFTA Awards, when an Irish language feature film has won Best Film.  In her emotional acceptance speech, the film’s producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, who is married to the director, said “I think this is a watershed moment for Irish Language Cinema and we’re just so proud to be part of this.”

Chris Pine acknowledged the power of Irish storytelling: “I’ve long been a fan of Irish Storytelling, and I’ve had the pleasure of performing in Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore.  I love your countryside, and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in Galway, the Aran Islands, and Dublin, and just recently I had the good fortune to do some filming in Antrim.”

He also praised the standard of Irish screencraft saying: “Throughout tonight, you have seen first-hand the incredible films and filmmakers you have in Ireland….I salute and congratulate all of you! “

Bairéad also took home the award for Best Director Film, which was presented by Irish acting Legend Gabriel Byrne. Accepting the award Bairéad said: “Oh my God!  Wow!  That’s amazing! Thank you IFTA for this extraordinary honour. Thanks to the Cine4 Scheme, which made our film possible, Screen Ireland, and the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland). Thank you guys for believing in our quiet little film that has a big heart.”

An Cailín Ciúin’s success continued when young debutante Catherine Clinchreceived the Best Lead Actress Film award from Marvel’s Daredevil and lead of Kin, Charlie Cox. An emotional Clinch, shocked by the win, was joined by her mother who said: “Catherine said there was absolutely no way she would win so she didn’t prepare anything as that would look cocky and there was no way. So thank you so much!”

An Cailín Ciúin Wins in Berlin

Following its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) has won The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for Best Film and a special mention from the children’s jury.

This is a historical first for an Irish-language film and speaking about the award Director Colm Bairéad said: “It was truly an honour to have our World Premiere at the Berlinale next to so many wonderful films in the Generation Kplus programme this year. For An Cailín Ciúin to have won the Grand Prix is an overwhelming vindication of TG4, Screen Ireland and the BAI in their vision for indigenous, Irish-language cinema and its potential to reach far beyond our shores. It’s also a beautiful tribute to the extraordinary work of our cast and crew, most especially the wonderful Catherine Clinch, who was the light that guided us through the making of this film.”  

Commenting on the win, Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, said: “Comhghairdeas ó chroí le Colm Bairéad agus an bhfoireann chruthaitheach an scannán An Cáilín Ciúin. Huge congratulations to Colm Bairéad and the creative team behind An Cailin Ciuin.  We are so proud to have supported this special film as part of the Cine 4 fund in partnership with TG4 & BAI. It’s fantastic to see history to be made at the Berlinale as the first Irish-language feature film to screen at the festival. Irish language film production has been revitalised in recent years, fostering new and emerging voices with universal stories to tell and is being watched by audiences around the world.”

Alan Esslemont, Director General TG4 said: “Heartfelt congratulations to Cleona Ní Chrualaoi, Colm Bairéad and all the team at Inscéal who worked on ‘An Cailín Ciúin’ for their outstanding work and for the wonderful reception their film has received both from audiences and critics.  I’d like to thank my own colleagues in TG4 and our partners in Screen Ireland and the BAI for their outstanding and pioneering commitment to cinema in the Irish language.  Yet again the Cine4 scheme has attracted the highest international acclaim and this is a clear testimonial of the quality of the creative and artistic talent at present working through Irish in Ireland.”

Nell Roddy, Co-founder of Break Out Pictures added: ” An Cailín Ciúin is an incredibly moving, beautiful and accomplished film and we are delighted the whole team are getting the recognition they so richly deserve. We look forward to bringing it to cinema audiences later this year.”

An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) tells the story of Cáit (Catherine Clinch) – a nine year-old girl from an overcrowded, dysfunctional family who is sent away to live with foster parents for the summer. Despite a warm reception from the woman, Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley), the man of the house, Seán (Andrew Bennett), keeps his distance from Cáit and she from him, but over time, their strained relationship begins to deepen. Slowly, in the care of the Kinsellas, Cáit blossoms and discovers a new way of living. But in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth. 

Based on the acclaimed story, Foster by Claire Keegan, An Cailín Ciúin is a complex and delicate coming-of-age drama that explores questions of family, neglect and loss through the eyes of its young protagonist. 

An Cailín Ciúin is the feature film debut of writer/director, Colm Bairéad and producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal. The film was funded by Screen Ireland, TG4 and the BAI as part of the Cine4 scheme.  

Break Out Pictures will release An Cailín Ciúin in cinemas later this year. 

The film will open The Dublin International Film Festival on February 23rd.

Rome v Republic airs tonight at 10:10

New work on TV Alert!
Rome V Republic, examines the relationship between Church and state in Ireland from the time of Wolfe Tone, through independence and into the modern era. Presented by former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell it airs tonight on RTE One at 10:10pm.

I was delighted to edit this documentary for director Niamh Sammon. It was produced by Lucia Gavin and Yvonne Nolan, the film was shot by Richard Kendrick and scored by Nick Norton-Smith
I’m very proud of this one.

My Broken Brain airs RTE ONE 9:35

Over 700,000 people in Ireland suffer from some form of neurological condition. As this number is set to increase as the population ages, the importance of brain research cannot be underestimated. Over the course of this programme, we follow patients experiencing four such conditions; Epilepsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease – as they undergo testing, surgery and treatment.

IFTA Nominated

Delighted to have been nominated for an Editing IFTA for my work on ‘Giles’

That show is also nominated for best Sports Programme.

Also nominated in that category is ‘Crash and Burn’ which I also cut.

Looking forward to a great night with lots of my pals!


Full list of nominations…


Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge (Mind the Gap)
Dancing with the Stars (ShinaWil)
Ireland’s Got Talent (Kite Entertainment/Green Inc Film and TV)
The Tommy Tiernan Show (Power Pictures)


Bridget & Eamon (Pureclass Productions/RTE)
Derry Girls (Hat Trick / Channel 4)
Mrs Brown’s Boys (BOC Productions / BBC/RTE)
The Young Offenders (Vico Films/ BBC3/RTE)


Creedon’s Shannon (RTE Cork)
Hector Central (Good Company Productions/TV4)
Room to Improve (Coco Television)
Schizophrenia: The Voices in My Head (Frontline Films)


Éire Fhiáin An Cósta Thiar (Crossing the Line / TG4)
John Connors: The Travellers (Scratch Films / RTE)
Keeping Ireland Alive – The Health Service In a Day (IndiePics / RTE)
The Zoo TV Series (Moondance / RTE)


Autism and Me (Firebrand / RTE)
The Great Irish Sell-Off (RTÉ Factual)
Pearl Harbor – The Heroes Who Fought Back (360 Productions/Discovery)
Shaw: My Astonishing Self (Animo TV / RTE)
We Need to Talk about Dad (Waka TV/RTE)


Fair City (RTE)
Red Rock (TV3)
Ros na Rún (TG4)


Cathy Belton – Red Rock (TV3)
Sharon Horgan – Catastrophe ((Merman & Avalon TV / Channel 4))
Seana Kerslake – Can’t Cope Won’t Cope (Deadpan Productions / RTE)
Saoirse-Monica Jackson – Derry Girls (Hat Trick/Channel 4)
Hilary Rose – Young Offenders (Vico Films / BBC3/RTE)


Sean McGinley, Fir Bolg (Dearg Films / TG4)
Chris Newman, Red Rock (TV3)
Brendan O’Carroll, Mrs Brown’s Boys (BOC Productions for BBC/RTE)
Tommy Tiernan, Derry Girls (Hat Trick / Channel 4)
Chris Walley, The Young Offenders (Vico Films/ BBC3/RTE)


Big Week on the Farm (IndiePics/RTE)
Storm Ophelia: A 3 News Special (TV3)
TG4XX BEO (Gifted Empire/TG4)
Weather Live (Loosehorse/RTE)


First Dates Ireland (Coco TV / RTE)
Francis Brennan’s Grand Vietnamese Tour (Waddell Media / RTE)
Gogglebox Ireland (Kite Entertainment / TV3)
Painting the Nation (IndiePics / RTE)


Aerial Ireland (Tile Films / Smithsonian)
Fairytale of New York (RTE)
Portrait of a Gallery (Wildfire Productions / RTE)
Wild Ireland – The Edge of the World (Crossing the Line / BBC NI/TG4)


Anthony Foley: Munsterman (Wildfire Productions / RTE)
Crash and Burn (DotTV/RTE)
Giles ( Loosehorse/RTE)
Pull Like A Dog (Wildfire/RTE)


BBC NI Spotlight – The Nama Tapes: Corruption
Claire Byrne Live (RTE)
RTE Investigates – Nightmare to Let
The Tonight Show (TV3)


BBC Newsline
Brexit Gets Triggered : A 3 News Special
RTE Six One News


Bernard Dunne’s Mythical Heroes (Firebrand/RTE)
Drop Dead Weird (Telegael/RTE)
Is Eolaí Mé (Meangadh Fíbín TG4)
Lurgan 2K17 (Iris Productions /TG4)


The Day Henry Met (Wigglywoo)
Lily’s Driftwood Bay (Sixteen South)
Little Roy (Jam Media)
Vampirina (Brown Bag)


Fir Bolg (Dearg Films / TG4)
Frank O’Connor Idir Dhá Shruth (Animo TV/TG4)
Rocky Ros Muc (Below the Radar)
Ros na Run (EO Teilifis/Tyrone Productions / TG4)


Cathy Brady, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope (Deadpan Productions /RTE)
Jason Butler, Bridget and Eamon (Pureclass Productions / RTE)
Diarmuid Goggins, Red Rock (TV3)
Peter Foott, The Young Offenders (Vico Films / BBC3/RTE)


Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe (Merman & Avalon TV / Channel 4)
Stefanie Preissner, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope (Deadpan Productions /RTE)
Lisa McGee, Derry Girls (Hat Trick/Channel 4)
Peter Foott, The Young Offenders (Vico Films / BBC3/RTE)


Kim Bartley, Schizophrenia The Voices in My Head (Frontline Films/RTE)
Gerry Hoban Shaw, My Astonishing Self (Animo TV/RTE)
Garry Keane, Deafening (Mind the Gap / RTE)
Aoife Kelleher, We Need to Talk About Dad (Waka TV / RTE)


Patrick Jordan, The Young Offenders (Vico Films / BBC3/RTE)
Ciaran Tanham, Red Rock (TV3)
Mick O’Rourke, Sacred Sites (Tile Films / Smithsonian Channel)
Domenico Pontillo, Wild Ireland – the Edge of the World (Crossing the Line / BBC NI/TG4)


Iseult Howlett, Shaw My Astonishing Self (Animo TV / RTE)
John Murphy, Giles (Loosehorse/RTE)
Jamie Fitzpatrick, Wild Ireland – the Edge of the World (Crossing the Line / BBC NI/TG4)
Bob Caldwell, Pearl Harbor The Heroes Who Fought Back (360 Productions / Discovery)


Daniel Crowley, Jordan Mullen & Fionan Higgins – The Young Offenders
Mick Cassidy & Killian Fitzgerald for Sacred Sites
Paddy O’Hanlon, Garret Farrell & Michelee Fingleton Can’t Cope Won’t Cope
Fiachra O’Hanlon and Killian Fitzgerald Pearl Harbour The Heroes who Fought Back (360 Productions / Discovery)

Best Children’s and Young People’s

Bernard Dunne’s Mythical Heroes
Drop Dead Weird
Is Eolai Me
Lurgan 2K17

Best Animation

The Day Jenry met
Driftwood Bayt
Roy Littleroy

The Moderators shortlisted for Grierson

The Moderators, the short documentary I cut for Ciaran Cassidy, I’m delighted to say has been shortlisted for this years Grierson Awards. Absolutely thrilled with this as The Griersons are the pinnacle of documentary awards on these Islands.

Ciaran Cassidy and I worked on ‘The Last Days of Peter Bergmann’ and his co-director this time journalist Adrian Chen, a staff writer with The New Yorker and frequent contributor to a whole range of publications.
The film was produced by Colum McKeown with Laura Poitras (Citizen Four), AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook for Field of Vision, an online platform for challenging documentaries.

In an office in India, a cadre of Internet moderators ensures that social media sites are not taken over by bots, scammers, and pornographers. The Moderators shows the humans behind content moderation, taking viewers into the training process that workers go through in order to become social media’s monitors.

Grierson Short Documentary Award
Grand Prix SXSW Short Documentary

SXSW 2017
Sheffield DocFest 2017

You can watch the film below

The Full shortlist is here

Reaction to ‘Giles’ documentary

The reaction to the ‘Giles’ documentary which I cut for Loosehorse was incredible. It was watched by a huge audience figure and was the number one trending item in Ireland for twitter for a few days.

Liam Fay writing in the Sunday Times called it “a compelling chronicle of his life story and lifetime devotion to football…Giles was one of the year’s best home-grown documentaries, a film as much about the evolution of modern Ireland as the development of Irish football.”

In the Irish Examiner, Larry Ryan wrote “Giles, a lovely gentle film by Loosehorse, retraced the route through a football life of our greatest football man. The beauty of Giles the film, much like Gilesy the player, was simplicity. It let him talk. Pull the strings. It did the bread and butter stuff right.”

John Byrne writing for RTE website said “There was so much to savour in this compelling and almost flawless documentary it’s hard to figure where to begin.”

Here are some selected tweets about the film. There were 1000’s of them…

‘Sam Barry: Beyond The Baseline’ airs Thursday 9:30

I was delighted to cut this doc for Craig Speer about the life of Sam Barry, one of Irelands leading Tennis players. In between testing each other on 90’s Manchester United trivia I think we managed to fashion a unique look at a side of professional sport most people can’t imagine. I’m delighted with how this turned out.

It airs THURSDAY JULY 1ST at 9:30 on Eir 1

Ian O’Riordan in The Irish Times called it ‘the loneliest Irish sports documentary ever made’ which was pretty much what we set out to do.

In advance of the documentary Sam sat down with Jarlath Regan for his fantastic An Irishman Abroad Podcast

Filmed over a two-year period, this observational documentary charts the trials and tribulations of Limerick native Sam Barry as he tries to break into the elite top 200 tennis players in the world. eir Sport 1, Thur, June 1st 21.30.

This is a story of grit, dedication and a will to succeed no matter what. Sam Barry, just 25, is one of Ireland’s leading tennis players. He is determined to make it in the professional ranks of this most competitive of sports. He spends 40-45 weeks of the year on the road, travelling around the world to play in tournaments that will help him improve his ranking and achieve his ultimate goal – a place in the top 200.

This is the less glamorous side of professional sport, but it is equally compelling in its own right. Directed by Craig Speer and produced by GMarsh TV for eir Sport, Sam Barry: Behind The Baseline shows us the hard yards, the rites of passage that nearly every top level sportsman or woman has to go through to make it to the big time. It’s a story of endless travel, of anonymous hotel rooms and airport departure lounges, of gut-wrenching training sessions and matches in near-empty arenas.


Filmed and Directed by Craig Speer
Produced by Gillian Marsh
Edited by John Murphy
Music by Daragh Dukes