An Cailín Ciúin: ‘A breakthrough moment’ for Irish language films

Following the success of An Cailn Ciin (The Quiet Girl), the highest-grossing Irish language movie of all time, Irish language filmmaking is experiencing “a breakthrough moment.”

Máire N. Chonláin, the movie’s executive producer, claims as much.

The movie, which just broke box office records in the UK and Ireland, has been nominated by Ireland for Best International Feature at the 2023 Academy Awards.

The movie, which Colm Bairéad both wrote and directed, is based on Claire Keegan’s 2010 book Foster.

N Chonláin said BBC News NI, “It has universal themes and is a simple story about how you can grow up to be a happy person.”

The principal role was quite tough to cast, according to N Chonláin.

Before meeting Catherine Clinch, producers actively combed Gaeltacht regions and contacted Irish language schools.

The 1981 movie follows withdrawn and neglected nine-year-old Cáit as she is transferred to live with her distant relatives in County Waterford and, for the first time, finds herself in a loving household.

Following its Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) premiere, it earned praise from reviewers at a number of other events. It also had the biggest Irish-language box office debut ever, eventually earning more than €1 million.