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Ireland Selects ‘Viva’ for 2016 Foreign Language Oscar

Viva 230x240-1

88th annual Academy Awards® of Motion Pictures

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has selected the feature film VIVA as Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category at the 88thannual Academy Awards® of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences.

Directed by Paddy Breathnach (I Went Down), and produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole of Treasure Films (The Stag), ‘Viva’ was written by Mark O’Halloran (Garage, Adam and Paul).

The Irish made film set in Havana Cuba, is considered to be a very strong contender for Ireland in the upcoming Oscar race and has recently world premiered to great critical acclaim at Telluride Festival.

‘Viva’ tells the story of Jesus, an eighteen year old Cuban, who is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer.  At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him: romantic torch songs by the great names of Latin music. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and tentative freedom: his long lost father, a celebrated boxer, released from a 15 year prison term having killed someone in a street brawl when Jesus was a child. Through this uneasy relationship, ‘Viva’ becomes a tender love story between father and son as both men struggle to understand each other and escape the burden of expectation, duty and past sins.

The film, which is Executive Produced by Benicio Del Toro, is supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Windmill Lane Pictures, RTÉ and Treasure Entertainment. It is produced by Robert Walpole and Rebecca O’Flanagan (both of Treasure Entertainment), Cathleen Dore and Nelson Navarro Navarro of Island Films. The film was shot in Havana, Cuba, and Ireland and was post produced at Windmill Lane in Dublin.