Some people thank their mum and dad. Others thank God. Jamie Donoghue may be the first to thank an Icelandic volcano for his Oscar nomination.
“I’d flown out there to spend three days filming a commercial,” says 35-year-old Jamie. “But before I could fly home that Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name erupted, bringing air travel across much of Europe to a standstill. It was five weeks before I could catch a flight back, so I decided I might as well get to know the country a little better.
“I made so many new friends and learnt so much. Kosovo is a really rich country in terms of history, but there is so much about the place that people don’t know. When I came back to Leeds I knew there was a story to tell, but it had to be right, both for an international audience and for the people of Kosovo.”
It took Jamie, who went to Ashville College in Harrogate, and fellow Leeds producers Harvey Ascott and Howard Dawson four years to complete the film, which is set during the bitter and bloody Kosovan war of the late 1990s and tells the story of two boys whose friendship is tested to the limit. However, the trio’s patience has now been rewarded with a nod from Hollywood and the Academy Awards.