- 08 Mar 10
Richard Baneham, the Irish animation artist, last night scooped the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his work on Avatar, the 3-D extravaganza, directed by James Cameron.
The big winner on the night was director Kathryn Bigelow, who won the Oscar for Best Director, while her movie The Hurt Locker took the coveted Best Picture award. The Best Actor award went to Jeff Bridges for his outstanding performance in Scott Cooper's country music hit Crazy Heart, while Sandra Bullock took the Best Actress for her performance in The Blind Side.
Richard Baneham is a graduate of Ballyfermot College of Further Education, whose former students were up for three Oscars this year.
“Richard is one of Ireland’s most accomplished animators," Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism commented, on hearing the news of Baneham's remarkable success. "Winning this much-coveted award is a great personal success and a further recognition of the talent available in the Irish film industry, either working at home or abroad. Both Richard’s Academy Award and his recent BAFTA will inspire young Irish creative animators and all those working in, and committed to art, design and the digital media in Ireland.”
The Minister added: “At this year’s Oscars, Ireland had nominees in five categories, all at the cutting edge of filmmaking – and especially animation, where skills of craftsmanship and storytelling combine with digital technology."
Minister Cullen also extended his congratulations to the other Irish nominees represented at the 82nd Academy Awards who were, Tomm Moore, Cartoon Saloon for The Secret of Kells; Nicky Phelan and Darragh O Connell, Brownbag Films for Granny O Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty; Juanita Wilson and James Flynn for The Door and Peter J Devlin for sound mixing on Star Trek.
The Secret of Kells, Granny O Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and The Door were all funded by the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann.