Chalk down another win and another Oscar qualification for Ian Hunt Duffy’s Gridlock, as the film won its second award of the night at the Oscar qualifying Foyle Film Festival, following similar success at the 61st Cork Film Festival.

Gridlock is a thriller set during a traffic jam on a country road. When a little girl goes missing from one of the cars, her father forms a desperate search party to find her, and soon everyone is a suspect.

The short features some of Ireland’s finest actors, with Moe Dunford (Vikings), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), and Amy De Bhrun (The Stag). They are ably supported by Ronan Leahy (Pursuit), Steve Wall (Dark Touch), Joe Mullins (Pilgrim Hill), Robyn Dempsey (Two Hearts), Tristan Heanue (Today), Patrick Murphy (Made Ordinary), and Aoife King (Mammal).

Gridlock was written by Hunt Duffy and Darach McGarrigle, and produced by Simon Doyle for Fail Safe Films. Cinematographer is by Narayan Van Maele, with sound from Nikki Moss, and editing by Eoin McGuirk.

LIM AWARD - BEST IRISH SHORT: Gridlock directed by Ian Hunt Duffy

Eavan King and Bernie McLaughlin from the Foyle Film Festival and Eamonn McLaughlin from Brunswick Moviebowl present the Light In Motion Award for Best Irish Short Film to the filmmakers of Gridlock.
Photo – Lorcan Doherty Photography

The film, along with winner of the Best International Short Grandma’s Day from Polish director Milosz Sakowski will now qualify for consideration of the Academy Awards. Grandma’s Day focuses on Tomek who needs money and tries to pull a ‘grandparent scam’ on an elderly woman. Everything is going fine until she locks him in her apartment and threatens to expose him, unless he pretends to be her grandson when a social worker comes to visit.

The award for Best Animation went to South Korean director Seongmin Kim for Green Light, which follows Mari who does all she can to rebuild after a nuclear disaster. Ransacked from director and former banker Petur Einarsson about the financial crisis in Iceland in 2008 was named as the winner of Best Documentary.

The awards, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, were followed by the screening of The Eagle Huntress in Brunswick Moviebowl, bringing to a close five days of premieres, special events and industry networking. Special guests at this year’s festival included; filmmakers John Maclean (Slow West), Tony Cranstoun (I Give It A Year, Mr Bean’s Holiday) and Ciáran McMenamin (Made In Belfast, To End All Wars) and James Northcote (A United Kingdom, The Imitation Game, Belle, Wuthering Heights).

Bernie McLaughlin, director and programmer of the Foyle Film Festival, said:

We are proud to honour the winning filmmakers of our Oscar®-affiliated Light in Motion awards. We’ve been privileged this year to enjoy a really impressive array of short films, documentary features and short animations from around the world. I’d like to thank all our competitors for sharing their work at Foyle Film Festival and we wish them all the very best in their careers going forward.

The Foyle Film Festival is one of three festivals at which winning a designated award qualifies the winner for the next Academy Awards longlist. The Cork Film Festival and Galway Film Fleadh are the other two. Gridlock will join Graham Cantwell’s Lily on the Fiction longlist, which won the The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama at the Fleadh.

Full list of Light in Motion Awards Winners & Runners-up

LIM AWARD – BEST IRISH SHORT: Gridlock directed by Ian Hunt Duffy

Runner Up – Pause directed by Niamh Heery

LIM AWARD – BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT: Grandma’s Day directed by Milosz Sakowski

Runner Up – Standby directed by Charlotte Regan

LIM AWARD – BEST SHORT ANIMATION: Green Light directed by Seongmin Kim

Runner Up – Way of Giants directed by Alois Di Leo

FFF BEST DOCUMENTARY WINNER: Ransacked directed by Petur Einarsson

Runner Up – How to Defuse a Bomb The Project Children Story directed by Des Henderson

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