Oscar Nominated NI Short Broadcast Sunday

BBC Northern Ireland to air The Crush on Oscar night. Watch a trailer

Just hours before the great and good of the film world make their way up the red carpet at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre for the 2011 Academy Awards this coming Sunday, the only Northern Irish film nominated at the awards, short film The Crush, will be broadcast on BBC One NI. 

Written and directed by Belfast-born Michael Creagh and produced by the Hole In The Wall Gang’s Damon Quinn, The Crush has been nominated in the Short Film (Live Action) category at the 83rd Academy Awards.

To celebrate the nomination, BBC Northern Ireland will broadcast the 15-minute film at 10.25pm on BBC One NI. Watch a short clip from The Crush below.

Having scooped second prize at Robert De Niro's prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2010, the omens are good for The Crush's chances at the Oscars.

Recalling how he came to be involved in the project, producer Quinn - who played Cal in the long-running BBC NI comedy series Give My Head Peace - said 'it was actually Michael's brother Jim who brought me the script for The Crush. As soon as I read it I knew we had to make it.

'It was a producers dream - a perfect script - but none of us thought we'd end up at the Oscars. We are the only Irish film out there this year. Who knows, we might even win the thing!'

The Crush was shot in Skerries, County Dublin in 2009 and tells the story of Ardal Travis (played by Creagh’s son Oran), an eight-year-old schoolboy who falls in love with his teacher, Miss Purdy.

As a symbol of his affection Ardal gives his teacher a toy ring. He is later heartbroken when he bumps into Miss Purdy and her boyfriend, who has just bought her an actual engagement ring. Devastated, a spurned Ardal hatches a plan to win the affections of his teacher and challenges her new fiancé in a duel to the death.

The director of photography on the film was BBC NI cameraman Jim Creagh, and a number of BBC NI production staff also worked on the project. The Crush is one of five shorts nominated for best live action short film at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Peter Johnston, Director of BBC Northern Ireland, added: 'We’re delighted to be able to bring this acclaimed short film to our audiences on the same evening as the Academy Awards are taking place on the other side of the Atlantic. We wish the team every success in picking up an Oscar on the night.'