Oscars at the ready: Yorkshire prepares to enjoy more of the Hollywood treatment
THE WHITE Rose will be well represented at the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday when the great and the good of the entertainment industry gather in Hollywood, California for the biggest night in the showbusiness calendar.
While the world’s attention - and the lenses of the paparazzi - will be focused on the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who are all up for the major awards, three Yorkshire filmmakers are hoping to walk away with Oscar glory.
Phil Robertson, a senior lecturer at the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, and Leeds-born director Jamie Donoughue both played key roles in Shok, which has been nominated in the Best Short Film category.
And Serena Armitage, from Nun Monkton, Harrogate, is in the frame for an Oscar as part of the team responsible for Stutterer, which is nominated in the Short Film (Live Action) category.
Stutterer has already won a string of awards and tells the story of the struggles a young man with a speech impediment, but an eloquent inner voice. After falling in love online, he has to face his greatest fear: meeting and speaking to his new-found love in person.
Ms Armitage, who produced the film, said: “We are absolutely astonished and overwhelmed by the success of Stutterer. The last six months have been absolutely extraordinary.
“I can’t believe this little project we were sitting around a dinner table talking about, maybe throwing a few grand into, is now going to Hollywood. It has been an absolutely insane journey.
“We were just delighted to get into the Aesethica Short Film Festival in York in November.
“Thanks to their support we won a Critic’s Circle Award last month, and now this month we will be at the Oscars - it’s very surreal and very humbling.
“We didn’t set out to make an award-winning film, just hopefully something that might get seen by a few people, but the response has been completely bonkers and I’m just thrilled that we’ve made something that resonates with its audience.
“It was a film we self-funded out of our own pockets so the assistance received from York Handmade Brick is going to make a big impact to our trip to LA and our capability to promote the film.”
Ms Armitage has previously worked on ITV shows Come Dine with Me, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and the BAFTA-nominated Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Mr Robertson’s CV includes Larkrise to Candleford, Holby City and Tess of the D’Urberville and the photography director has high hopes for Shok, which highlights the real-life story of two boys whose friendship is pushed to the limits in the Kosovo war.
“I travelled to Kosovo to prep and find the locations for the story and also to get to know the director Jamie Donoghue,” said Mr Robertson. “Jamie wrote this wonderful script based on true life incidents and stories from people he met in Kosovo. I am excited to have contributed to this film which gives us a snapshot of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ witnessed all over Kosovo at the time.
“Shok tells the story of recent European history that perhaps not all of us knew about, portraying real events. “It is heartening and exciting to see it being viewed by many people across the globe. And now with the Oscar nomination, the film will reach an even wider audience.
“Shok is a story that had to be told and seen by everyone.”
Success for Shok or Stutterer would add to Yorkshire’s proud record at the Oscars which dates back to 1933, when Scarborough-born Charles Laughton became the first British actor to win an Academy Award in the title role in The Private Life of Henry VIII.
Here are five other Oscar winners from the Broad Acres...
Born John Barry Prendergast in York in the year of Charles Laughton’s breakthrough Oscar win, John Barry went on to become Britain’s most successful composer. He won five Oscars during his glittering career: 1967 - Best Original Song and Best Original Music Score, Born Free; 1969 - Best Original Music Score, Lion in Winter; 1986 - Best Original Music Score, Out of Africa; 1991 - Best Original Music Score, Dances With Wolves; 1993 - Best Original Music Score - Chaplin.
A former pupil at Ermysted’s Grammar School, Keighley-born Simon Beaufoy receive a Best Original screenplay Oscar nomination for The Fully Monty in 1997 before winning an Academy Award two years later for Best Adapted Screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire.
Dame Judi Dench
It seems something of an injustice that Heworth-born Judi Dench has picked up an Oscar just once from the seven times she has been nominated for an Academy Award given the consistent high quality of her performances. The win came in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love as Best Supporting Actress for her role as Elizabeth I. She was also nominated in 1997 - Best Actress, Mrs Brown; 2000 - Best Supporting Actress, Chocolat; 2001 - Best Actress, Iris; 2005 - Best Actress, Mrs Henderson Presents; 2006 - Best Actress, Notes on a Scandal; 2013 - Best Actress, Philomena.
Born in Snainton, Scarborough, Ben Kingsley won an Oscar as Best Actor in a Leading Role in the 1983 movie Gandhi. he has also been nominated on three other occasions: 1992 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Bugsy; 2002 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Sexy Beast; 2004 - Best Actor in a Leading Role, House of Sand and Fog.
Film director Tony Richardson was born in Shipley in 1928. The father of actresses Natasha and Joely Richardson won two Oscars in 1963 as Best Director and Best Motion Picture for Tom Jones, an adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel starring Albert Finney and Susannah York.
Here is a full list of the 2016 nominees:
• Best actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale (The Big Short)
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
• Best actress in a supporting role
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
• Best actor in a leading role
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
• Best actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Brie Larson (Room)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
• Best picture
The Big Short
Bridge Of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
• Best director
Adam McKay (The Big Short)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Lenny Abrahamson (Room)
• Best original score
Bridge Of Spies
The Hateful Eight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
• Best original screenplay
Bridge Of Spies
Straight Outta Compton
:: Best adapted screenplay
The Big Short
• Best animated feature
Boy And The World
Shaun The Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There
• Best documentary feature
The Look Of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom
• Best original song
Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)
Manta Ray (Racing Extinction)
Simple Song #3 (Youth)
Til It Happens To You (The Hunting Ground)
Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre)