DCU graduate nominated for Oscar
DCU graduate Kathleen Oâ€™Rourke is the writer and performer of a film nominated for the best animated film award at the 7th March Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles. Kathleen is a 2001 graduate of the BA in Communication Studies.
Granny Oâ€™Grimm was made in 2008 by Irish company Brown Bag Films and centres on a character whom Kathleen devised and whose bedtimes stories are â€œgrimmer than the Grimm fairytalesâ€.
Kathleen Oâ€™Rourke said that she was â€œvery excitedâ€ about the nomination and has already had a flavour of what is ahead in the awards ceremony from attending a nominee lunch in Los Angeles earlier this month.
She recalled that she was supported and encouraged to pursue comedy writing by her DCU lecturers and by the â€œvery creative classâ€ of which she was a part. Among the characters who featured in sketches she wrote and performed at DCU was a bitter granny character. She developed this further as a member of the Fallen Angels cabaret. Her friend Nicky Phelan, an animator, suggested the character could be the basis of an animated film.
The resulting film has been screened at festivals around the world and received awards at many of these. The filmâ€™s production was supported by the Irish Film Board, RTE and the Arts Council.
After DCU, Kathleen took a postgraduate course in primary school teaching and worked as a teacher. â€œIt was very rewarding in its own way, â€œshe said. â€œBut my heart was in comedy.â€ She is aiming to develop Granny Oâ€™Grimm for television and is discussing a school-based sit com project with a production company. Her three years of career break from teaching seem likely to be extended.