IFTA, The Irish Film and Television Academy has announced that Tom Collins’ ‘Kings’ starring Colm Meaney, Donal O’Kelly and Brendan Conroy has been officially selected by an independent IFTA jury for submission to the 80th Academy Award(S)®, for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category. This is the first time that an Irish language film is being submitted from Ireland for this category.
"Kings" tells the story of a group of Gaelic-speaking young men who in the mid 1970s left the west of Ireland, bound for London, filled with ambition for a better life in a place where they could be kings. Thirty years on they meet to mark the passing of the youngest of the group. For some of them, those thirty years have been hard. Their muscle has been spent, their hopes dashed on the roads and building sites of Britain, to be replaced with a sense of hopeless disaffection. ‘Kings’ is a story of a lost generation, rich in humanity and emotion, and with a heart-breaking resonance not just for the Irish in today’s changing world.
According to director Tom Collins, "‘Kings’ has been a remarkable journey for me over the past four years. To receive this latest accolade is quite overwhelming and I am indebted to the Irish Academy for their support. I know it’s always dangerous to have messages in films, but I hope people will watch ‘Kings’ and empathise with the whole experience of emigrants in a foreign land and how hard it is for them to find their way home. This is a universal story – it’s not just about paddies…” Specifically concerning the relationship with the original play "Kings of the Kilburn High Road" and the playwright Jimmy Murphy (see below), Collins had this to say to Screenplay Europe: "I regard Jimmy as a friend and one of Ireland's best writers. Kings is doing exceptionally well which wouldn't have happened without [him]".
"Kings" was produced by Newgrange Pictures and goes on release in Ireland on September 21.