Irish Film wins Oscar February 25, 2008 “My Name is Khan” examines the life of a Muslim man from India, living in San Francisco, who embarks on a remarkable journey across the United States, inspiring people while inviting debate and creating an accidental revolution. The Irish film ONCE has scooped the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 80th Annual Academy Awards last night. The award winning song ‘Falling Slowly’ written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová went up against three songs from the Disney hit film ENCHANTED and one song from AUGUST RUSH directed by Irish director Kirsten Sheridan. ONCE stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in the leading roles and is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin telling the story of a busker and an immigrant, who fall in love over an eventful week, as they write, rehearse and record a number of songs. This is the second major award for the film this weekend, as ONCE also claimed the coveted prize of Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday night, against tough competition from the Romanian film 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Simon Perry, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said “America and the Academy already smiled warmly on Irish talents with five nominations, but for Once to actually win is a mark of recognition like no other – particularly for a film made with no pretensions. Both this award and the fitting Independent Spirit award finish what has been as astounding year for a small Irish film.” Oscar winner Marketa Irglova said “This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, Fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. This song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are.” Produced by Samson Films with funding from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, ONCE has already won a host of awards over the past year and charmed audiences around the world, selling in almost every territory. The film won the Audience Award for World Cinema at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival after it was discovered by Sundance programmers at the Galway Film Festival. It went on to receive US distribution by Fox Searchlight last year taking over $10 million at the US box office. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova have already scooped the Best Song Award at The Critics Choice Awards for “Falling Slowly” beating songs from the musical Hairspray and US films Gangster, Into The Wild and Enchanted to win the award. “Falling Slowly” was also nominated in the Best Song category in the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards, where the ONCE soundtrack itself has been nominated for the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture category also. The soundtrack also recently won the LA Film Critics Associations Award for Best Music.