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TV snub for Welsh Oscar hopefuls

23 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Image NFB and Beryl Productions International

Television viewers watching coverage of this year’s Academy Awards could miss out on the chance of seeing a rare Oscar win for a Welsh film in the live telecast of the star-studded event.

Affairs of the Art, the latest release from Cardiff’s Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, is in the running for the film industry’s most prestigious awards, in the animated short category next month.

However, Variety magazine has revealed that several major Academy Awards will not be presented on air during this year’s Oscars “in an effort to present a more streamlined and television-friendly broadcast”.

Eight of the 23 awards handed out by the Academy, including the animated short contenders, will instead be awarded off-air and will then be edited into the main broadcast.

Zoom call

According to Variety, nominees in the categories that will be awarded prior to the show were informed of the overhaul during a Zoom call on Tuesday night.

Along with the animated short award, the documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, live action short and sound prizes will all be announced an hour before the broadcast segment of the show begins.

Responding to the changes, Joanna told Nation.Cymru: “Of course I’m thrilled and honoured to be nominated but heartbroken about the decision to prerecord eight of the award categories, which includes short animation.

“Film is a team effort and the wonderful thing about the Oscars is that everyone is equally valued and recognised – to fast forward through eight of the categories feels so disrespectful.

This is Joanna’s third bid for an Oscar after being nominated previously for Famous Fred in 1997 and The Wife of Bath – Canterbury Tales Part 1 in 1998.

Affairs of the Art continues the popular Beryl series, that began with 1987’s Girls’ Night Out, followed by 1990’s Body Beautiful and 2006’s Dreams and Desires: Family Ties and has already secured over 20 awards from festivals around the world.

The film is the first co-production between Beryl Productions International and the National Film Board of Canada, and tells the story of Beryl, a 59-year-old factory worker who’s obsessed with drawing and determined to become a hyper-futurist artist.

The Welsh Language version of the film, Y Cythraul Celf, had its TV premiere on S4C on Boxing Day.

Two Welsh language features were previously nominated for best foreign language films at the awards, Hedd Wyn and Solomon & Gaenor and Matt Kirkby’s short film The Phone Call won an Oscar in 2015.

How Green Is My Valley

The Hollywood blockbuster How Green Is My Valley (1942) was set in Wales and nominated for a remarkable ten Oscars, winning five for: Best Director, John Ford; Best Supporting Actor, Donald Crisp; Best Art Direction-Interior; Best Cinematography, Black and White, Arthur C. Miller; and Best Picture.

The only Welshman in the cast was Rhys Williams who played, Dai Bando, a man who befriends the young Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowell) and teaches him how to fight.

How Green Is My Valley beat Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon in clinching the Best Picture award.

The other four films in the running for the Animated Short golden statuette are Bestia (Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz) Boxballet (Anton Dyakov) Robin Robin (Dan Ojari and Mikey Please) and The Windshield Wiper (Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez).

Final Oscar voting begins on 17 March and ends on 22 March 22, with the 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony taking place on Sunday 27 March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Sky TV will broadcast live coverage of the ceremony in the UK.

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Ed Jones
Ed Jones
2 years ago

This is a shame as it devalues the incredible skill and efforts shown by all of those nominated within those 8 categories.
As for ‘How Green Is My Valley’ – a poor book and, if you are familiar with Wales at all, a laughably bad film – the accents are interesting to put it mildly (and yes, I know why, but, it’s still very bad!)!

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