Ifta announces Foscadh (shelter) as Ireland’s entry to the 2022 Oscars


WEDNESDAY 22 September 2021: The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) announced that Irish-language feature film Foscadh (Shelter) has been selected as the Irish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars® (formerly Best Foreign Language category) ) to the 94 to comee Annual Oscars.

The film was shortlisted by IFTA’s 2022 selection committee, comprising director Aisling Walsh (Maudie; Elizabeth is Missing; Song for a Raggy Boy), actor Owen McDonnell, (Killing Eve; An Klondike; Paula) , cinematographer Kate McCullough (Normal People; Arracht; Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away), producer Martina Niland (Sing Street; Once; Float Like a Butterfly), actress Fionnula Flanagan (The Guard ; The Others; Waking Ned Devine) and Paul Young, CEO of the five Cartoon Saloon, Irish animation company nominated for several Oscars® (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner). The committee was chaired by the CEO of the Academy, Áine Moriarty.

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Foscadh (Shelter) is a poignant meditation on isolation, neurodiversity, and abandonment of the past, set in the rugged mountains of Connemara. Based on characters from Donal Ryan’s novel The Thing About December, Foscadh (Shelter) tells the story of naive recluse John Cunliffe who is suddenly propelled into adulthood at the age of 28. When his overprotective parents die, friendless John inherits the mountains that hamper the lucrative development of a wind farm, and he is forced to navigate the rough waters of romance, trust, and revenge for the first time.

Written and directed by Seán Breathnach, Foscadh (Shelter) stars IFTA 2020 candidate Dónall Ó Héalai (Arracht), Fionnuala Flaherty (An Klondike) and Cillian O’Gairbhí (Blood). Foscadh (Shelter) joins a stellar list of Irish films (not in English) which have been selected by the IFTA Selection Committee to represent Ireland in the Oscar race in recent years. Last year, IFTA submitted the Irish-language feature film Arracht to represent Ireland, and previous selections have included Gaza (Arabic-language documentary); Viva (Spanish language); Granite Song (Irish language); As If I Am Not There (Serbo-Croatian language) and Kings (Irish language) among others.

Foscadh (Shelter) was produced by Paddy Hayes (Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody), whose father Tom Hayes was nominated for an Oscar® fifty years ago in 1961 for the documentary Cradle of Genius. The film is produced by Hayes’ Magamedia and premiered to critically acclaim at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2021, winning the Best Irish First Feature at the Festival Awards.

Along with the announcement of its selection as Ireland’s submission in the Oscar® Best International Feature Film category, the Irish Academy exclusively unveiled the full international trailer for Foscadh (Shelter).

Foscadh trailer (Shelter)


Speaking about the selection of Foscadh (Shelter), Áine Moriarty – CEO of the IFTA Academy said:

“The Irish Academy is delighted to announce that Foscadh will represent Ireland. This is a stunning first feature film by Seán Breathnach with its beautiful, tranquil portrayal of the West of Ireland. Its subtle and brilliant storytelling will undoubtedly resonate with an international audience of all languages. The vulnerability and isolation captured in Dónall Ó Héalai’s remarkable performance is another reminder of the acting talent in this country.

Seán Breathnach, writer / director of Foscadh (Shelter) said: “It is truly both an honor and a privilege to be chosen by IFTA to represent Ireland in the Best International Film category at the Oscars. We are delighted that Foscadh (Shelter) is garnering such a positive response from critics and festivals, following its Best Debut Film award at the Galway Film Fleadh. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful actors and teams agus ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil lenár lucht maointhe, TG4, Fís Éireann, agus Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann.

Foscadh producer Paddy Hayes said: “I think Foscadh (Shelter), with his searing story of a young recluse overcoming personal adversity, will really resonate with members of the Academy and have a real chance to be on the shortlist. The film will have its international premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival in Los Angeles in October and I look forward to building an Oscar® campaign around it in the months to come. My own father, Tom Hayes, was nominated for the Oscar® in 1961 for his film Cradle of Genius, so it would be great to finally live up to his expectations 50 years later!

Foscadh (Shelter) was supported by Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4 under the Cine 4 program, an initiative set up in 2017 to develop original feature films in the Irish language. Foscadh (Shelter) is distributed in Ireland by Eclipse Pictures.

The Oscar® candidates for best international film will then be shortlisted from 15 international finalists on December 21st who will ultimately be shortlisted among the last 5 Oscar nominees in this category on February 8e. The 94e The Academy Awards (the Oscars®) are currently scheduled for Sunday 27e March 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and will honor the best movies of 2021.

Foscadh (Shelter) worldwide sales are managed by The Yellow Affair.


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