The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has selected Colm Bairéad’s debut feature The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin) as its entry for the best international film category for the 2023 Oscars, in the first announced submission of the upcoming awards season.
The Irish-language work swept the IFTA Awards last March to become the first debut feature to win best film, as well as clinch best director, actress, cinematography, editing, production design, and original score.
Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the coming-of-age drama stars Catherine Clinch as a quiet, neglected girl who is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer. She begins to blossom in their care but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.
The feature garnered rave reviews in Ireland and the UK and broke box office records for an Irish-language film when it was released in both territories last May, more than quadrupling the previous record for a local language film with a gross in excess of $800k.
This year’s Irish Oscar selection committee included producer and Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey (Ben-Hur, Touched by an Angel), Oscar-nominated actor John C. Reilly (Chicago, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty), producer & Paramount TV EVP of International Strategy David Flynn (Bodkin, Seraphim Falls), Oscar-nominated director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In America), director Aisling Walsh (Maudie, Song For A Raggy Boy) and actress Fionnula Flanagan (The Others, The Guard).
The committee was chaired by IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty.
“This is such a unique and beautiful film that captures your heart from the outset, and leaves you profoundly moved,” said Moriarty.
“How proud we are to submit this outstanding Irish language film into the Oscar competition, to compete with the best in the world, as we know this story will resonate with international audiences, beyond the borders of language, and no doubt with American Academy Members too.”
The Quiet Girl was produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoí as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish-language film, in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), and the film is also in receipt of the Irish Government’s Section 481 tax incentive.