urx unit loader Irish eyes on Oscar
Irish Film Awards

Now here’s an awards show that will really get your Irish up.

Irish filmmakers Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and David Holmes will be honored at a pre-Oscar Oscar bash at the Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. That’s Oscar bash, as in “Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film” on March 3, 2006, hosted by Angelica Huston.

“The event is designed to honor the craft of writing and expand the existing ties between the entertainment industries in the U.S. and Ireland, particularly in film production, gaming, music and animation,” says Trina Vargo, president of the US-Ireland Alliance.

Jordan’s “Breakfast on Pluto,” starring Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson, and Sheridan’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” starring rapper 50 Cent, are currently in theaters. And Jordan’s next film, “Borgia,” sounds intriguing, with Colin Farrell (whom we presume will be out of self-imposed rehab by then) as Cesare Borgia and Scarlett Johansson as his poisonous sister, Lucrezia.

In addition to honoring Irish film writing, the event will be a networking night for the U.S. and Irish film worlds. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook, Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Amy Pascal, and Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall of Kennedy/Marshall are on the inaugural host committee of what is envisioned as an annual event.

Photo: Jim Sheridan, Jean Butler, and Neal Jordan will appear at the “Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film” event on March 3, 2006.
(US-Ireland Alliance)

]]>Other confirmed attendees are Peter Rice, president of Fox Searchlight; producer John Calley, director John Moore, Cillian Murphy and casting agents Jane Jenkins, Janet Hirshenson, and Jeanne McCarthy.

Jean Butler, the high-stepping redhead of “Riverdance” fame, will emcee (what, no dancing?) and an auction of paintings by Dublin-based artist Charlie Whisker is threatened, er, promised.

The leading sponsors of the “Wilde” night are American Airlines, The Irish Film Board, Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. And expect a fair amount of Irish foodstuffs and spirits: Lily O’Brien’s chocolates, Hot Irishman, Boru Vodka, Taytos, Ballygowan, Magners, Club Orange and Club Lemon. Sustainable Seafoods, headed by an Irishman, will provide organic seafood and there will even be cheese from the Irish Dairy Board.

Sounds great. But who’s bringing the Guinness?