An Irish Tradition Begins in Los Angeles, Hollywood's A-List Turns Out to Honor Jordan, Sheridan & Holmes
March 05, 2006
St. Patrick's Day came early to Los Angeles when Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and David Holmes were feted Thursday night at "Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film," a celebration hosted by the US-Ireland Alliance.
Jodie Foster, Anjelica Huston - wearing Louise Kennedy -- and Adrian Dunbar paid tribute to the honorees at The Ebell in Los Angeles. Dick Cook, Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios and member of the event's host committee, was also on hand for what is destined to become THE annual Thursday night party before the Academy Awards®.
Among the 350 plus in attendance were Terrence Howard -- nominated for an Academy Award® for his role in Hustle & Flow -- Howard also starred in Jim Sheridan's most recent film, Get Rich or Die Tryin' and he'll star with Ms. Foster in Neil Jordan's upcoming film, The Brave One. Daryl Hannah; Colm Meaney; multiple Emmy® winning actress of Six Feet Under, Rachel Griffiths; Fionnuala Flanagan; Jeffrey Caine, nominated for an Academy Award® for screenwriting The Constant Gardener, Academy Award® nominee Martin McDonagh; Samantha Mumba; Damien Rice; David Friendly; Keith Duffy of Boyzone fame; and industry executives: Alan Bergman, Mark Zoradi and many more.
Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto, starring Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson, and Sheridan's Get Rich or Die Tryin', starring rapper 50 Cent, were both released in the fall. Mr. Jordan is currently in development on The Brave One for Warner Bros. The film is scheduled to begin production in the summer. Mr. Holmes just completed his work on the soundtrack for the next Steven Soderbergh film, The Good German, starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett.
The event, the brainchild of US-Ireland Alliance president Trina Vargo, will annually honor the craft of writing and expand the existing ties between the entertainment industries in the U.S. and Ireland. Jean Butler, of Riverdance fame, was emcee of the event. Guests were welcomed by Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheal Martin, who announced that the Irish company, Nephin Games, developer of community-based mobile games, has recently agreed to a deal with Starwave Mobile, a unit of the Walt Disney Internet Group, to develop a mobile game. Naoise Barry, Film Commissioner, the Irish Film Board, noted that: "This Irish party is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the depth of talent in the Irish film industry and highlight the recent increased tax incentives for film production in Ireland." Simon Perry, CEO of the Irish Film Board added: "An event in Hollywood focused on Irish writing can resound around the world and have untold cultural and economic impact as a result. Naturally, the Irish Film Board has been fully supportive of the US-Ireland Alliance's smart move in drawing attention to one of the country's great strengths."
The paintings of Dublin artist Charlie Whisker were auctioned at the event. In addition, honoree David Holmes treated the party-goers with a performance as dj. Award-winning singer Morgan Crowley thrilled the crowd as did Drogheda singer-songwriter SJ McArdle; Irish singing sensation Paddy Casey; Darren Holden, currently performing the role of Billy Joel in the national touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical, Movin' Out; and the jazz band Orca. To top it off, Tourism Ireland gave away a September trip to Ireland to attend the Ryder Cup.
Major sponsors of the event included Quinlan Private, American Airlines, The Irish Film Board, Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, The Walt Disney Studios and Palm.