Ireland says Viva to the Oscars
by Naman Ramachandran
- Paddy Breathnach's Telluride success will be a contender in the foreign language category
The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) has chosen Paddy Breathnach’s Spanish film set in Cuba, Viva [+see also:
film profile], as the country’s entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign language category. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival where it was a success. It will play at the upcoming Busan International Film Festival in October.
Written by Mark O’Halloran, the film follows Jesus, an 18-year-old Cuban who is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future direction, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer whilst earning his money through hustling. At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him, or else hanging around watching the boxers train next-door. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and freedom, his long lost father, a celebrated boxer, released from a 15-year prison term having killed someone in a street brawl when Jesus was a child.
The cast includes Hector Medina, Jorge Perugorría and Luis Alberto García.
IFTA CEO Aine Moriarty said, “The Irish Academy is delighted that this wonderful film from Paddy Breathnach and screenwriter Mark O’Halloran will represent Ireland for consideration in the Oscar Foreign Language category — as it reflects the diverse creativity and vision of this Irish team in bringing such a tender Cuban story to the screen that is both intriguing and visually captivating.”