Ireland was in the spotlight last week for its social progressiveness, and the country has now let the world know that they’re artistic progressives too.
Last night, the Irish Film and Television Academy awarded Tomm Moore’s feature Song of the Sea its top film prize at the 2015 Film & Drama Awards. To be clear, this isn’t an animated feature award; it’s the best Irish film of the year. Moore’s Song of the Sea was the only animated work in the best film category, and competed against five live-action films.
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The film, produced by Kilkenny, Ireland-based Cartoon Saloon, is still awaiting release in its home country; it will be released into Irish theaters in July.
Song of the Sea’s win surprised many, not the least of whom was the film’s director Tomm Moore, who tweeted:
Completely shocked and delighted to win best film at Iftas ! Irish filmmakers show they can see animation is a medium not a genre! Thanks!
— tomm moore (@tommmoore) May 24, 2015
The Irish Film & TV Academy also awarded Julien Regnard’s Somewhere Down the Line in the best animated short category:
Song of the Sea’s win against live-action competition happened on the same day that an animated short, Ely Dagher’s Waves ’98, beat out its live-action counterparts at Cannes for the short film Palme d’Or.
Song of the Sea was also nominated for the animated feature Oscar this year. The film lost to Disney’s Big Hero 6. The Walt Disney Company, which presents the Academy Awards on its own ABC network, has won the animated feature Oscar 7 out of the last 8 years.