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Outrage as The Banshees of Inisherin nominated for Outstanding British Film Bafta

The award, given annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, recognises “outstanding and original British filmmaking which shows exceptional creativity and innovation”.

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo: Jonathan Hession courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

The Banshees of Inisherin has scooped up a whopping ten Bafta nominations – including Oustanding British Film.

While the film takes place off the coast of Ireland (on the fictional island of Inisherin) and boasts an impressive cast of Irish talent, it was listed among nine other titles competing for the Outstanding British Film award.

The award, given annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, recognises “outstanding and original British filmmaking which shows exceptional creativity and innovation”.

To be eligible for nomination in this category, a film “must have significant creative involvement by individuals who are British” including its director(s), writer(s), and up to three producers.

The Banshees of Inisherin was written, directed, and produced by Martin McDonagh, who was born and raised in London by Irish parents.

The British-Irish filmmaker enlisted in the help of British producers Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin to create the 2022 tragi-comedy, qualifying it for the Bafta nomination.

However, some social media users were left unimpressed with The Banshees of Inisherin being classified as a “British” film due to its “blindingly obvious” Irish nature.

The Banshees of Inisherin is tied with Everything Everywhere All At Once for the second-highest number of Bafta nominations. Infographic: PA Graphics.© Press Association Images

The cast boasts Irish stars Colin Farrell, who is among the Best Actor nominees; Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, both up for the Best Supporting Actor gong; and Kerry Condon, who is hoping to bag the Best Supporting Actress gong next month.

Filming took place on location in Inishmore and Achill Island and the plot follows Irish characters with Irish names.

Taking to Twitter, one person suggested that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts may have made a “typo” when they announced that The Banshees of Inisherin was being considered for Outstanding British Film.

“Think there's a typo there - an Irish film is listed under the nominees for "Outstanding british Film" you may need to correct and reissue?” they said.

Another said: “something about banshees of inisherin getting nominated for best british film is just very silly”.

Someone else wrote: “How is the Banshees of Inisherin, written and directed by an Irish person, with an Irish cast and filmed in Ireland, a British film?”

While another added: “'The Banshees of Inisherin' is an Irish film, no? Irish actors. Filmed in Ireland. Story set in Ireland. The only British connection is the director, who is of Irish background..”.

And a sixth person joked: “bafta calling banshees of inisherin a "British" film has restarted The Troubles”.

The Banshees of Inisherin is also nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Editing.

And among today’s other Irish nominees are Paul Mescal and Daryl McCormack, who are both up against Colin Farrell in the Best Actor category their performances in Aftersun and Good Luck to You, respectively.

McCormack also landed himself a nod for the EE Rising Star award.

Irish-language film An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), which was adapted from Claire Keegan’s novella Foster, bagged nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Not in the English Language.

Meanwhile, An Irish Goodbye, by Tom Berkeley and Ross White, is up for Best British Short Film and Richard Baneham received a nomination for his visual effects on Avatar: The Way of Water.

This year’s Bafta ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 19 at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London.

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