Writer begins Oscar bid with act of charity


A second-hand suit from Derry is about to rub shoulders with the world's most expensive designer outfits. Forget Armani, Versace and Gaultier - Derry-based film-maker Dave Duggan is flying to Hollywood tomorrow for next week's Oscar ceremony dressed in a second-hand suit which he bought yesterday from a local Oxfam shop.

Duggan, who wrote the script for Dance Lexie Dance, which has been nominated in the short film category, says he hopes to scoop the film industry's biggest prize in a suit that cost him a couple of pounds. "I believe we have a first-rate chance of winning and on Oscar night I could be popping the gold statuette into a patched-up pocket. I hope the previous owner of the suit will recognise his former outfit on television, because if he does, it means we'll have won," he said.

The Oscar-nominated short film, which was financed by the BBC Northern Ireland Film Commission, cost ú45,000 and was filmed over six days in Derry. It tells the story of a Protestant widower who reluctantly agrees to help his only daughter take up Irish dancing in her bid to join the cast of Riverdance.

Dance Lexie Dance has already won numerous short film awards at several international film festivals including the Aspen Festival and the Chicago Film Festival.