A `Dance' of delight over Oscar nomination

 

The champagne corks were popping in Derry last night when a local independent film company was nominated for an Oscar. Dance Lexie Dance, a Raw Nerve Production from Derry's Nerve Centre, was nominated for an Oscar in the live-action short film category when the nominations were announced yesterday.

The film, financed by the BBC Northern Ireland Film Commission, cost £45,000 sterling to make and was filmed over six days in Derry. It tells the story of how a Protestant widower reluctantly agrees to help his only daughter to take up Irish dancing in her bid to join the cast of Riverdance.

Dance Lexie Dance, which lasts 15 minutes, has already won numerous short film awards at several international film festivals, including the Aspen festival in Colorado and the Chicago Film Festival. It was written by Dave Duggan and directed by Tim Loane.

Producer Pearce Moore said staff at the Nerve Centre could not believe it when they were told of the Oscar nomination. "I was in my car at the time travelling from Belfast when the mobile phone rang. I would like to be able to tell you that I almost crashed it when I heard the news but the truth is the car had broken down and I was getting a tow to a garage.

"I just don't know what happens now. I don't know who or when or how many will go to the Oscar ceremonies. It hasn't really sunk in yet.

"One thing I can say is that we will be having a bit of a celebration. To be nominated for an award of this nature is just mind-blowing. I don't know the last time when a short film from Northern Ireland was nominated. It's a great credit to Northern Ireland and an amazing tribute to the quality of the work we are capable of producing."