Canadian co-productions 'Brooklyn,' 'Room' in best picture race

Canadian co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" are among the eight films nominated for a best picture Oscar.

"Brooklyn" is a Canada-U.K.

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-Ireland co-production largely shot in Montreal, while "Room" is a Canada-Ireland co-production and filmed in Toronto.

"Brooklyn" co-producer Pierre Even says he's thrilled to see Canadian talent compete head-to-head with big studio titles, including "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian," "The Revenant" and "Spotlight."

The period romance stars Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman torn between two countries and two men.

The Canadian-Irish screenwriter behind "Room," meanwhile, says she's blown away by the success of her harrowing tale.

The film also earned nominations for best director for Lenny Abrahamson, best actress for Brie Larson and best adapted screenplay for Emma Donoghue, who wrote the novel of the same name.

Donoghue said Thursday she was busy fielding calls of congratulations from Ireland and Canada.

"A lot of people in those two countries are thrilled to see this Canadian-Irish co-production manage to be up there in the big leagues with huge studio pictures," she said from Nice, France.

"It's just wonderful to see a fairly low-budget film, made mostly with state money, can do so well."

Even says Telefilm kicked in about $1.5 million towards making "Brooklyn," while much of the cast is peppered with Montreal performers, including Jessica Pare and Emily Bett Rickards.

"With successes like 'Room' and 'Brooklyn' it brings back a lot of marketability for Canadian films and Canadian crews and Canadian industry," Even said from Montreal.

U.K.-based producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey are listed as the filmmakers who would get a trophy if "Brooklyn" wins.

But Even said that doesn't take away from the achievements of Canadian artists.

"It's important that Telefilm continues to support these types of projects," he said.

"It will help us as producers and creators to get more jobs and to do more business in the future."


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