The team behind the Oscar-winning short An Irish Goodbye is looking forward to basking in their success with a cinema tour of Ireland.
Ross White and Tom Berkeley, who wrote and directed the film, are scheduled to fly home from Los Angeles on Thursday after a “whirlwind” experience.
The prestigious Vanity Fair Oscars Party was among the events they attended and the pair said their gongs served as calling cards, bringing in celebrities who counted them heroes to greet them.
“There hasn’t been much sleeping in the past few days, there’s been a lot of crying, partying, dancing and screaming,” White told the PA news agency.
“We will be back for St Patrick’s Day, we look forward to returning to Belfast to celebrate it.”
Berkeley said, “It was a real whirlwind, being in those rooms is bizarre, especially the Vanity Fair afterparty, it was such a small room and it felt like everyone but us was stratospherically famous wherever you went.” turns, one sees on one of your idols.
“Luckily we had the boys (their Oscars) with us so that was a good business card, that shiny little man is attractive and people stopped by to congratulate you and strike up a conversation.
“People were excited to meet us and hear what we wanted to do and do next.
“The industry, especially in America, puts a lot of emphasis on the Oscars, especially for aspiring filmmakers, they see that as young blood coming through.
“Hopefully we can take advantage of these opportunities because there are a lot of things we want to do. We don’t want this to be the last interaction with this (Academy Awards). We want to land there again.”
One of the film’s leading stars, James Martin, is dominating the headlines after becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to win the Academy Awards.
White said representation is important, but added: “James’ role isn’t about his disability, it’s not enough to put someone in front of the camera, we have to write an interesting role to get an actor like James interested and to excite.”
When asked if they realized while filming “An Irish Goodbye” how well it would work, Berkeley said they felt a spark and love within the crew and cast.
“When we first put Seamus (O’Hara) and James in the same room, their relationship was very special and it was a relationship they were able to build very quickly,” he said.
“It felt like the chemistry was taking the film where it was going. We knew it was something special, but we never thought it would come to this.”
An Irish Goodbye was partially crowdfunded and received help from NI Screen, but White and Berkeley also had to teach on the weekends to make a living and hope the award will ease the process in the future.
White said while they have projects to move on to, they want to “bask in the glory” of winning the Oscars in the coming weeks.
“We’re doing a big cinema tour with An Irish Goodbye and we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
“We’re coming back to Belfast and then we’re in Dublin March 24-25.”
Berkeley said they will be conducting special gala screenings, including question-and-answer sessions with the cast and crew.
“There was a lot of interest from people asking when they could see the film, so we wanted to give people the opportunity to see it in a theater,” he said.
One of her next projects is The Golden West, about two women fleeing the Irish famine in 1849 to go to the United States to join the gold rush.
“We’re calling it a bit like an Irish western, and it’s starring Eileen Walsh and Aoife Duffin,” added Berkeley.
“As for the rest of this year, we’re talking about scooting off to a little secluded house to start writing again and hopefully writing a debut film, we’ve got a few things we’d like to look at.”
For details on An Irish Goodbye theatrical screenings, please visit https://www.floodlightpictures.co.uk/screenings.