UCD graduate wins Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action)

Posted February 29th, 2016

  • Stutterer was made with a budget of £5,000
  • Director Benjamin Cleary worked in a London restaurant before and during production to fund the film

UCD business and law graduate Benjamin Cleary has won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) at the 88th Academy Awards. Cleary wrote, edited and directed Stutterer.

The movie tells the story of a man with a speech impediment who must face his worst fear when an online relationship takes a step forward.

Cleary completed a master's in screenwriting at London Film School in 2011 and worked in a restaurant in the city before and during filming to raise the £5,000 needed to make the short film.


This year’s Oscars also saw Brie Larson win Best Actress for her performance in Room, a movie adapted from UCD graduate Emma Donoghue's book of the same name.

Donoghue wrote the screenplay for Room and was nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. The film received four nominations.

Donoghue was joined by Colm Tóibín, adjunct professor in the UCD School of English, Drama and Film in achieving Oscar nods. Tóibín is the author of Brooklyn, a book adapted into a feature film of the same name. Brooklyn received three nominations.

Both Donoghue and Tóibín have recently been awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Literature by University College Dublin.


Irish President Michael D. Higgins commended the scale of recognition for Ireland's contribution to this year's awards.

"I send my warmest congratulations to Ben Cleary and the team behind 'Stutterer' and to all the Irish nominees and those who are travelling with them." 

The Academy Awards, also knows as the Oscars, is an annual awards ceremony hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States.

This year’s event was hosted by comedian and actor Chris Rock and saw Leonardo di Caprio win the Best Actor award with Spotlight winning Best Picture.  

You can watch Stutterer on the RTÉ Player here.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations