ONE OF the most riveting Irish films of the past few years has had its brilliance recognised by the world's most prestigious entertainment awards.
Breathtaking Irish film Wolfwalkers has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Animated Feature Film category, in a testament to the incredible work done by Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
Set in Kilkenny in 1605, Wolfwalkers tells the story of Robin, an English girl brought to Ireland with her father under the orders of the Lord Protector, who is set on wiping out the wolves from the woods by the walled-in town.
Robin, herself an aspiring hunter, begins her story wanting to prove herself by catching and killing a wolf on her own.
But local myths of Wolfwalkers, magical beings who lead the wolf pack and can transform into the beasts at will, turn out to be more than just the stuff of legends; and the consequences of an unlikely friendship leads Robin to face uncomfortable truths and stand up to dangerous injustices.
The film combines Irish mythology and history with larger-than-life characters, explosive action and gorgeous art, and should be in with a great chance of winning despite some serious competition.
Wolfwalkers is nominated alongside Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, and Soul-- with the Kilkenny studio facing off against some of the biggest and most influential animation studios in the world.
Incredibly, every one of Cartoon Saloon's previous feature films have been nominated for Oscars, including The Bread Winner, The Book of Kells and Song of the Sea, but so far none have clinched the prestigious award.
Both Wolfwalkers and Irish crime drama Calm With Horses have also been nominated for BAFTA awards-- you can read more about that here.