As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, with over 120 nominations spread across 24 different categories.
While most moviegoers tend to focus on the more prestigious categories for feature-length movies — acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting — the Academy also honors filmmakers who opt to create short films. The Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film has been handed out since 1931, and like other award seasons, five films were nominated for this year’s awards.
One film, in particular, is garnering a lot of attention around the internet, but not for the reasons you might think.
As detailed by the BBC, one U.K. mother is taking issue with Detainment, an Oscar-nominated short film directed by Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon. The movie, which was first aired at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, depicts the murder of James Bulger, a 2-year-old toddler who was abducted, tortured, and killed by two young boys in 1993.
Detainment recreates police interrogations of the two young murderers by making use of original transcripts — as opposed to taking liberties and creating dialogue from scratch — which lends a sense of realism to the film, which has a running time of just 30 minutes.
Over 90,000 signatures in support of @Denise_fergus and to get the @TheAcademy to revoke the shortlisting of a horrific short film about her son #JamesBulger made without any permission or notification from/ to the family ! Please keep signing https://t.co/Xy42wPyy2M @jbmt1
— Kymmy Rowlingson (@kymseygr1) January 21, 2019
Taking to Twitter, Denise Fergus — the mother of James Bulger — expressed her feelings about the recent Academy Award nomination.
“I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am that this so-called film has been made and now nominated for an Oscar,” Fergus tweeted.
“It’s one thing making a film like this without contacting or getting permission from James [sic] family but another to have a child re-enact the final hours of James’s [sic] life before he was brutally murdered and making myself and my family have to relive this all over again! After everything I’ve said about this so called film and asking for it to be removed, it’s still been nominated for an Oscar…”
The petition Fergus refers to was started on Change.org by Lisa Young, which is seeking to stop the movie from being shown, and for its Oscar nomination to be taken away. At the time of writing, the petition has gathered over 95,000 signatures.
As the BBC notes, shortly after the Academy Award nominations were announced, Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland, tweeted a congratulatory message to the film’s production team.
"All those who appreciate Irish creativity will welcome the shortlist for the 2019 Oscars, which includes many Irish nominees. I send my congratulations to Robbie Ryan and to the teams behind The Favourite, Late Afternoon and Detainment, who all fully deserve this recognition."
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) January 22, 2019
The 91st Academy Awards are set to take place on February 24, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.