Huge cheers erupted in the Den bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood on Sunday night when Terry and Oorlagh George’s short movie The Shore won an Oscar for the father-daughter team. Director Jim Sheridan who has made two Oscar nominated movies with George – In the Name of the Father and Some Mother’s Son, was among the cheering crowd of about 150 LA-based Irish who gathered to watch the show, just down the road from the Kodak theatre.
“I love working with him. Tonight was like my happiest moment ever watching the Oscars, when he won,” he said. “He’s just so human and he said something sweet about his daughter that he wouldn’t have to wait til she got married to tell the world how fantastic she is. I adore him and I’m so f***ing proud, you have no idea.”
The Shore is a deeply personal story of a father who returns to Northern Ireland after 25 years, with his adult daughter, played by Kerry Condon. It was shot entirely on location at Killough in County Down, where George spent much of his childhood.
“Our little film was inspired by the people of Northern Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, who – after 30 years of war – sat down, negotiated a peace and proved to the world that the Irish are great talkers. I want to dedicate this to them,” he said, as he accepted his Oscar. He has been nominated twice before for Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father.
“This is about reconciliation in Northern Ireland. It is really close to my heart.”
The Shore was a family affair in more ways than one. Produced by his daughter Oorlagh, costume design was by his sister Catherine and his other son Seamus was second assistant director.
“We just wanted to tell one story of personal reconciliation that went along with the story of national reconciliation and we’re so thrilled about this home made movie coming full circle,” said Oorlagh George.
The celebrations went on into the night, as the Georges moved between the many post Oscar parties in Hollywood, but the celebration they plan to have at home was foremost on their minds.
“I’m going to go back to the Anchor Bar in Killough with the prize and hopefully use it, not just to promote the peace process in Northern Ireland, but tourism and everything that’s going on there. I hope that this is a reaffirmation that things have changed there and that we’re trying to move on and that it’s a great place to be,” said Terry George.
The Georges later descended on The Den Bar with their Oscar, joining the cast and crew of the other Irish nominated movie, Pentecost. The distributor of both movies, Derry O’Brien who flew to LA this week for the Oscars was jubilant.
“I’ve had eight Oscar nominated movies over the past few years and I’m so thrilled for everyone involved in this one,” he said.
Among the local Irish who turned out to watch the show were actors Caroline Morahan, Olivia Tracey and Johnny O’Callaghan.
Elsewhere in LA, Cork born actress Sonya Macari was celebrating the huge successes of The Artist, which swept the boards with Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director among it’s haul. Sonya played an autograph seeker in one of the film’s early scenes, alongside the lead actress Berenice Bejo.
“When I was cast in The Artist early last year, I knew there was something very special about it. I consider myself very lucky to have gotten to be in this movie. I’m very happy to have been part of something that’s making history,” she said.