Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
Casualty director Ian Barnes has picked up a coveted Oscar nomination for his short film Wish 143, about a young boy desperate to come of age before his time runs out.
The Bristol-based director, a regular on BBC One's hugely popular hospital drama, filmed Wish 143 in Bristol in 2009. Made as part of BBC Film Network's BBC Drama Shorts 2009 commission, the film stars Jim Carter, Jodie Whittaker, Rory Kinnear and Sam Holland and was written by Casualty writer Tom Bidwell.
Currently directing an episode of Casualty, Barnes heard about the nomination while attending a planning meeting, he says: "I was in the middle of a planning meeting for Casualty and we all trooped out to watch the nominations on the internet. When news of the nomination came through the whole Casualty office went berserk – it was like England had won the World Cup or something.
"I had a little jump up and down and then went back into the planning meeting. I'm incredibly pleased and proud but it's quite surreal and I'm struggling to take it all in. I'm just trying to concentrate on my next episode of Casualty and trying not to think about Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johanssen!"
Ian Barnes and writer Tom Bidwell met while working on Casualty before collaborating on Wish 143, and Tom is a graduate of the BBC Writers Academy. Tom Hooper, whose film The King's Speech has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, is also an alumnus of the BBC's continuing drama department, having directed EastEnders in the Nineties.
Casualty series producer Oliver Kent says: "We're overwhelmingly proud of Ian and Tom and absolutely delighted for the success of Wish 143. Win or lose at the Oscars, we'll always be happy to welcome them back to Casualty!"
Casualty continues to entertain Saturday night audiences with a medicinal mixture of high-action drama, reflection of social and health issues and the everyday lives and loves of the staff at Holby City hospital's emergency department. Now in its 25th year, Casualty is the world's longest-running prime time medical drama.
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