Last night, Northern Ireland film Boogaloo and Graham won a BAFTA in the short film category.
The film is set in 1970’s Belfast and is based on the story of two brothers who are each given a chicken by their father. Both Jamesy and Malachy raise their pets, Boogaloo and Graham, in the turbulent environment of ‘the Troubles’.
Director, Michael Lennox, described how most people have preconceived expectations when they see Belfast portrayed in the seventies. He went on to say, “we wanted to use this to our advantage, and use (this narrative) to segway into another story….It’s universal that in any conflict that family life goes on behind closed doors”, and this concept is certainly at the heart of the film.
Queen’s University Belfast played a central role in the BAFTA Award winning production, with the writer, producer, and many of the cast and crew each currently working towards, or having previously achieved, a degree from QUB.
Writer, Ronan Blaney, who graduated with an English degree from QUB in 1989, said “it’s a real honour” that his work was nominated for the award, and that the entire experience has been “overwhelming”.
This 15 minute film has been a huge success and source of inspiration for budding filmmakers at Queen’s, including Chris McConnell, a QUB film studies graduate who is currently studying an MA in Broadcast Literacy.
Chris told The Scoop, “The success of Boogaloo and Graham at the BAFTAs this week has placed an expectation on Northern Irish filmmaking. For such a beautiful piece to come from such a dysfunctional country and have its excellence acknowledged gives hope to not only myself, but very likely to many other student filmmakers in Belfast that their creations can be seen, can be respected, and can be rewarded. Boogaloo and Graham’s success has inspired in me a value of worthiness and equality knowing that our small thickly-accented productions are valued in the big, bad world.”
Boogaloo and Graham has also been nominated for an Oscar award in the Short Film (Live Action) category at this years ceremony which will be held on Sunday 22nd February at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
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